MUSICS was published from 1975 to 1979, by musicians and artists on the London scene of free improvisation, focusing on the most innovative participants of their generation. Steve Beresford, David Toop, Annabel Nicholson, Evan Parker, David Cunningham, Lindsay Cooper, Eddie Prevost, John Russell, Derek Bailey, Val Wilmer, Hugh Davies, Peter Riley and many, many others contributed to the writing, graphics and photography.
MUSICS was a blueprint for the interdisciplinary activities of sound art, field recording, free improvisation, live electronics, 20th century composition & audio culture. It came out six times a year and ran for twenty-three hand-assembled issues. The journal covered improvised and non-western music alongside performance art, reflecting the broad interests of the so-called “second generation” of London’s improvisers, and provided a convivial focus point. Overlapping with the London Musicians’ Collective (LMC), the publication first launched in Spring of 1975, with the tagline: “an impromental experivisation arts magazine” and a manifesto that proposed the destruction of artificial boundaries and linked Free Jazz, the academic ministrations of John Cage, Cornelius Cardew and K. Stockhausen and indigenous and non-European music. MUSICS was significant in the discussion of traditional Asian instruments as paths of equal value for the performance of musics.
Produced by what was effectively a ‘communitarian’ collective with few publishing skills and no support, the magazine’s roughness, marginality and scarcity has kept it from those who are active, even prominent in the field. Musics is an entree to the arcane world of the 1970s London improviser’s scene and presents scores, dialogues, debates, positioning, arguments, accolades, critiques, absurdist/dada notions, and a bit of pranksterism – all with collective enthusiasm.
Collected here for the first time after forty years, Ecstatic Peace Library present a complete facsimile of the magazine, featuring a Foreword by Steve Beresford and an Introduction by David Toop.
Musics: A British Magazine of Improvised Music & Art 1975-79 edited by Steve Beresford, David Toop, et al., Afterword by Thurston Moore
Published by Ecstatic Peace Library
Flexi-bound cover, Swiss-bound 340 x 240 mm, 800 pages
From The Wire 393 review: “…The journal explored bioacoustics and interspecies music, environmental music, echoes, music and food, ritual music, non-Western music, many of the urgent issues threading the teaching of music, music and feminism, and music and socialism…” “This reissue project is a colossal Rosetta Stone….”