Music and The Shadow People
New York: Centering Music, 1995. Saddle-stapled, in red cardstock wraps. Offset. 58pp. First Edition. 5 ½ x 8 ½ in. Light wear on top left corner of recto of wraps, else near fine. Item #6809
Rare first edition of musician and composer William Parker’s artists’ book “tone poem” Music and The Shadow People. Richly illustrated, with play and variation in size and type of font, the book visually illustrates the “tone world” developed as the setting of the poem, in which “shadow people” - artists by another name - musically create a way out of the machinations of capital.
The poem has been adapted into performance on three occasions. First produced as an interdisciplinary performance piece for the Guelph Jazz Festival in 2002, it was then produced as a radio play by Andrew O’Connor in 2015, before he further adapted the play into a live performance for musicians, actors, and immersive multi-channel sound design in 2022.
Heralded by the Village Voice as “the most consistently brilliant free jazz bassist of all time,” Parker is a multidisciplinary artist who has recorded 40 albums as a bandleader playing his own music and concepts. He’s also recorded and toured for Cecil Taylor, Milford Graves, Don Cherry, Bill Dixon, and Peter Brotzmann, and developed a reputation as a connector and hub of information concerning the history of creative music, having published seven books covering philosophy, poetry, and the history of music and improvisation.