Blog Creativity

Arcana: Musicians on Music (John Zorn Series)

Reading about music can be counter intuitive, but I’ve found the Arcana series by John Zorn pretty inspiring, if not always well written.

The entire series is riddled with typos and bad editing, but if you can look past that, the essays from a broad range of creators are usually pretty good. Now in its 10th (and apparently last) edition, this series goes back to the first installment in 2000.

I was first turned onto this series by Matt Homiak, a bassist friend in Pittsburgh. At the time, Matt was really into ambient music, Bill Laswell, and funk. But the styles addressed within Arcana go way beyond that.

I just finished reading book VIII and have IX and X on the list for later this year. I can definitely say that this sort of reading impacts my approach to music/sound, and probably more subconsciously than consciously.


By jjdeprisco

Sonic explorer, sound artist, guitarist in Fricknadorable, software designer.