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Soundings: All Kinds of Music, A 21st Century Musician's Anthology

Soundings - Sam Richards



Postage and Packing Free - A collection of essays, papers, short articles and polemics from the perspective of a practicing musician in the 21st century.



Detailed Description

publication date: November 2016

ISBN 978-1-84102-414-1 

Hardback 230 x 156mm

320 pages  

The range of musical subjects and approaches reflects the collection's overall commitment to diversity. Here you will find reflections on classical, experimental, folk, jazz, improvisation, popular musics and music history. There are writings which focus on an array of musicians: Tom Waits, Sun Ra, Cecil Taylor, Thelonious Monk, Walter Pardon, Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger, Adolf Wolfli, Moondog, Erik Satie, John Cage, Cripple Clarence Lofton and Professor Longhair. Readable and well-researched, these writings provoke and celebrate, probe and review some of the enormous range of music today.


Sam Richards (born 1949 in London), is an English writer, composer, improviser, jazz pianist and former folk music collector and performer. His father was the writer and playwright Allen Saddler (1923–2011).

After studying with Alfred Nieman at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and being active in experimental music, he moved to Devon and quickly became involved in the performance and collection of folk music, accumulating some 600 hours of recordings from traditional performers. In the late 1980s his interest returned to avant-garde and experimental music, and he has composed and performed extensively in that genre. He taught at Dartington College of Arts and now teaches part-time at the Plymouth University.

His writings include the books The Engaged Musician, John Cage as... and Sonic Harvest: Towards Musical Democracy; BBC Radios 2 and 3 documentaries including one on the composer Morton Feldman; and articles for Oral History, the Folk Music Journal, fRoots, Contemporary Music Review, Proof, The Wire and the New Statesman.

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