Music and Book reviews

Browsing: Book

Biography Book
25 Years of Grace: An Anniversary Tribute to Jeff Buckley’s Classic Album

Author: Merri Cyr with Jeff Apter.
Category: Biography
Carlton, Victoria: Nero, an imprint of Schwartz Publishing, 2019. 240pp. Hard cover LP sized book, lavishly illustrated with Cyr’s photos, text by Australian author Apter and reflections by a number of contemporaries.
ISBN 97817606418794.
http://blackincbooks.com
Reviewed by

I prefer to learn everything through music. If you want divinity, the music in every human being and their love for music is pretty much it. – Jeff Buckley

Fiction Book
A Lonely Girl Is a Dangerous Thing. By Jessie Tu

Author: Jessie Tu
Category: Fiction
Sydney: Allen & Unwin, 2020, 293pp
ISBN 978 1 76087 719 4 (pbk)
Reviewed by

“A powerful debut novel, one that explores what it’s like growing up in Australia with an Asian heritage; and how women are perceived when it comes to both professional ambition and sexual desire. It’s an investigation into how friendship works and how love is expressed in different families; and along the way, it dissects something of what it really means to be a child prodigy.”

Memoir Book
Acid for the Children

Author: Flea (Michael Peter Balzary)
Category: Memoir
London: Headline Publishing Group, 2019. 379 pp.
ISBN: 9781472230829 (ebook available)
Reviewed by

“Unknowingly we were tapping a new vein of rock music, without thought, just partying our asses off, lost in it.”

Musicology Book
Australian Music and Modernism 1960-1975. By Michael Hooper

Author: Michael Hooper
Category: Musicology
New York (NY): Bloomsbury Academic, 2019, 306 pp.
ISBN:  978-1-5013-4818-1 (Hardback). Also available as an ePDF and as an eBook
Reviewed by

“This book provides a well-researched and often fascinating account of the compositional practices and the historical, cultural and philosophical contexts and issues surrounding “modernist” classical music in Australia in the period 1960-1975.”

Biography Book
Awakening: Four Lives in Art

Author: Eileen Chanin, Steven Miller
Category: Biography, Book
Adelaide: Wakefield Press, 2015. 229pp. Paperback
ISBN: 978 1 74305 365 2
www.wakefieldpress.com.au
Reviewed by

Four inspiring women, though not exactly household names today, are given some much-deserved attention in this engrossing publication. Dora Ohlfsen, Louise Dyer, Clarice Zander and Mary Cecil Allen, born in Australia in the second half of the nineteenth century, all…

Classical Music Recording
Beethoven Piano Concertos 1 & 3, Chamber Versions

Artist/s: Australian Haydn Ensemble. Neal Peres Da Costa (soloist/fortepiano), Skye McIntosh (Artistic Director and violin), Matthew Greco (violin), Gabrielle Kancachian, James Eccles (violas), Daniel Yeadon (cello), Jacqueline Dossor (double bass), Melissa Farrow (flute)
Category: Classical, Cultural Policy
Label: ABC 481 6588. CD or online
Reviewed by

“A fine Australian ensemble takes a fresh look at two Beethoven concertos.”

Biography Book
Beyond Black and White – My Life in Music

Author: Roger Woodward
Category: Biography, Book
Sydney: HarperCollinsPublishers Australia Pty Limited, 2014. 609pp ABC Books under licence.
ISBN: 978 0 7333 2303
www.harpercollins.com.au
Reviewed by

In contrast with the austere black and white dust jacket, the first thing one sees when opening this book is the vividly coloured endpaper, painted by the nine year old author; such talent would surely lead to a future as…

Fiction Book
Cedar Valley

Author: Holly Throsby.
Category: Fiction
Sydney: Allen and Unwin, 2018. 391pp.
ISBN 978 1 76063 056 0 (pbk). Also Ebook.
Reviewed by

“The second novel from beloved Australian singer-songwriter Holly Throsby, ‘Cedar Valley’ opens and unfolds like a murder mystery, but it is really a love story— or its inverse: ‘Cedar Valley’ is an ‘unloved’ story.”

Biography Book
Céleste

Author: Roland Perry
Category: Biography, Book
Sydney: ABC Books / HarperCollinsPublishers Aust. Pty. Ltd. 2016. 388 pp. Accompanying CD (unreviewed)
ISBN 978-0-7333-3508-2 (pbk)
Reviewed by

“This biography is a fascinating description of the French demi-monde culture during the Second Empire, as experienced by Céleste Vénard (1824-1909), who eventually became the most celebrated courtesan in Paris. Roland Perry brings her inspiring story of courage and resilience to life for us in a very enjoyable read.”  

Community Music Book
Community Music in Oceania: Many Voices, One Horizon

Author: Edited by Brydie-Leigh Bartleet, Melissa Cain, Diana Tolmie, Anne Power and Mari Shiobara.
Category: Community Music
University of Hawai‘i Press, Honolulu, 2018. 344pp. Hardback and digital.
00ISBN: 9780824867003
Reviewed by

“The most important message from this extraordinary book is the power of community music to contribute to the sustenance of individual and collective identities, also often facilitating positive sociocultural and political change.”

Memoir Book
Confessions of a Lighthouse Keeper. Greg Appel

Author: Greg Appel
Category: Memoir
Guthugga Pipeline Press, 2020 236pp. Accompanying CD available
Reviewed by

“This unconventional memoir of a musician in a mid-80s Australian independent band and his later career in the arts has quirky insights into music, creativity, dreams, and growing up in Australia.”

Book Book
Creating Cities

The story of Australia’s most famous urban ‘intervention’ that provides a different model and scale of state-cultural industry relationships. The literature on the ‘creative’ or ‘cultural’ city is now substantial, driven by scholarly interest in how artistic creativity becomes embedded…

Music Criticism Book
Criticism, Performance and the Need for Conversation

Author: Alison Croggon
Category: Music Criticism
Sydney: Platform Papers Quarterly Essay on the Performing Arts, Currency Press, 2019. 59 pp.
ISBN: 978064842654
Reviewed by

“Good criticism opens up conversations and links artists to their audiences. It is particularly important for performance because it ‘constitutes its memory and functions in many cases as its major historical record’.”

Musicology Book
Curating Opera. Reinventing the Past through Museums of Opera and Art. By Stephen Mould

Author: Stephen Mould
Category: Musicology
Ashgate Interdisciplinary Studies in Opera, Routledge, Abingdon and New York, 2021
Reviewed by

“A meticulously researched and finely detailed account, from one who knows whereof he speaks, of the concurrent rise of the opera house and the art museum, and the subsequent, mixed consequences to the art-forms’ history.”

Biography Book
Daddy Who?

Author: Craig Horne
Category: Biography
Melbourne Books 2018. 259 pp. RRP $39.95
ISBN 9781925556254
Reviewed by

“A very personal story of Daddy Cool, the most successful Australian band of the early 1970s.”

Biography Book
Danger Music

Author: Eddie Ayres
Category: Biography, Book
Sydney: Allen and Unwin, 2017. 291 pp.
ISBN 978 1 76029 069 6 paperback
Reviewed by

“So, where does a person go when they’re feeling suicidal? To Afghanistan of course! Danger Music charts a year in the life of Eddie Ayres, one so turbulent, so full of extremes, that it is hard to believe it all happened in such a short space of time.”

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