by Blank Forms

Blank Forms #07 – The Cowboy's Dreams of Home
Lawrence Kumpf and Joe Bucciero
Blank Forms - 20.00€ -

The seventh entry in an ongoing series of anthologies, this book features rare poems alongside new essays and interviews that engage the artists and themes explored elsewhere in Blank Forms' public programming.

Where most of prior entries, including Aspirations of Madness (2020), Intelligent Life (2019), and Music From The World Tomorrow (2018), have foregrounded little-seen or newly translated archival materials, this iteration privileges new texts produced specifically for the publication. These include an in-depth retrospective interview with the idiosyncratic Texan singer-songwriter and visual artist Terry Allen conducted by ICA Philadelphia chief curator Anthony Elms; a conversation between multidisciplinary writers—and longtime friends—Thulani Davis and Jessica Hagedorn on the occasion of Davis's latest poetry collection, Nothing but the Music, recently published by Blank Forms Editions; a recent discussion between composer Sarah Hennies and cellist Judith Hamann about their recent collaboration, which is included on Hamann's Music for Cello and Humming; and a conversation with composer-performers Tashi Wada and Charles Curtis, on the heels of a recent compilation of Curtis's work, Performances & Recordings 1998– 2018, produced by Wada. Each of these interviews shed light on the particularities of the artists' careers and methods in terms both formal and casual, practical and theoretical. 

In addition to these dialogues, this book features new critical reflections on three artists whose work Blank Forms has presented: the legendary jazz percussionist and healer Milford Graves, by Ciarán Finlayson; English multimedia artist Graham Lambkin and his beguiling 2011 album Amateur Doubles, by Alan Licht; and the UK-based experimental music trio Still House Plants, by Joe Bucciero. These articles mine historical, social, and theoretical contexts, filling gaps in the existing literature on the given artist-subjects. New and archival poems and writing about poetry complement these interviews and essays, including rare texts by Davis, Hagedorn, and René Daumal—the latter translated by Louise Landes Levi—and a suite of Auto-Mythological writings commissioned from Chicago-based composer and musician Angel Bat Dawid.

Blank Forms #06 – Organic Music Societies
Lawrence Kumpf, Naima Karlsson, Magnus Nygren
Blank Forms - 20.00€ -

Archival documents and new writings on the intermedia collaborations of avant-garde jazz trumpeter Don Cherry and textile artist Moki Cherry.
Avant-garde jazz trumpeter Don Cherry and textile artist Moki Cherry (born Karlsson) met in Sweden in the late sixties. They began to live and perform together, dubbing their mix of communal art, social and environmentalist activism, children's education, and pan-ethnic expression “Organic Music.” Organic Music Societies, Blank Forms' sixth anthology, is a special issue released in conjunction with an exhibition of the same name devoted to the couple's multimedia collaborations. The first English-language publication on either figure, the book highlights models for collectivism and pedagogy deployed in the Cherrys' interpersonal and artistic work through the presentation of archival documents alongside newly translated and commissioned writings by musicians, scholars, and artists alike. 

Beginning with an overview by Blank Forms Artistic Director Lawrence Kumpf and Don Cherry biographer Magnus Nygren, this volume further explores Don's work of the period through a piece on his Relativity Suite by Ben Young and an essay on the diasporic quality of his music by Fumi Okiji. Ruba Katrib emphasizes the domestic element of Moki's practice in a biographical survey accompanied by full-color reproductions of Moki's vivid tapestries, paintings, and sculptures, which were used as performance environments by Don's ensembles during the Sweden years and beyond. Two selections of Moki's unpublished writings—consisting of autobiography, observations, illustrations, and diary entries, as well as poetry and aphorisms—are framed by tributes from her daughter Neneh Cherry and granddaughter Naima Karlsson. Swedish Cherry collaborator Christer Bothén contributes period travelogues from Morocco, Mali, and New York, providing insight into the cross-cultural communication that would soon come to be called “world music.” 

The collection also features several previously unpublished interviews with Don, conducted by Christopher R. Brewster and Keith Knox. A regular visitor to the Cherry schoolhouse in rural Sweden, Knox documented the family's magnetic milieu in his until-now unpublished Tågarp Publication. Reproduced here in its entirety, the journal includes an interview with Terry Riley, an essay on Pandit Pran Nath, and reports on counter-cultural education programs in Stockholm, including the Bombay Free School and the esoteric Forest University. 

Taken together, the texts, artwork, and abundant photographs collected in Organic Music Societies shine a long overdue spotlight on Don and Moki's prescient and collaborative experiments in the art of living.

Blank Forms #05 – Aspirations of Madness
Lawrence Kumpf with Joe Bucciero
Blank Forms - 20.00€ -

Aspirations of Madness, Blank Forms' fifth collection of archival, unpublished, or newly translated texts, considers the work of Masayuki Takayanagi, the poet Louise Landes Levi, musician and writer Joseph Jarman, polymath Catherine Christer Hennix and her one-time student the poet Charles Stein, Russian musicologist Henry Orlov, and Maryanne Amacher—brilliant and overlooked artists whose work Blank Forms will continue to champion in a variety of contexts. Aspirations of Madness features additional contributions by Alan Cummings, Bill Dietz, Peter Kastakis, Art Lange, Leo Svirsky, Satoru Obara, and Tomoyuki Chida.

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