David Toop and Max Eastley – New & Rediscovered Musical Instruments, originally published by Quartz/Mirliton Publications, London, 1974
Pictures from an unofficial reprint of David Toop’s fondamental 1974 book on British instrument builders, published on his own Quartz/Mirliton imprint and limited to 300 copies. Introducing the work of Hugh Davies (on Shozyg and Springboard), Paul Burwell, Max Eastley (on Aelophones and Hydrophones), Paul Lytton, Evan Parker (on Doppler-Phone and Giant Buzz Drone) and David Toop.
In Cage’s cosmology (informed by Asiatic philosophy) the real world was perfect, if we could only hear it, see it, understand it. If we couldn’t, that was because our senses were closed and our minds were filled with preconceptions. Thus we made the world into our misery.
But if the world was perfect just as it is, neither terrible nor good, then it wasn’t necessary to demand that it should improve (one begins to know what to do with difficulties without making such demands). And if our art was no longer required to provide a substitute world, it was okay to give up trying to perfect and control it (hence the chance operations and noises). What happened for some of us was that our newly released art began to perform itself as if following its own natural bent. It may have occurred to us that we might live our lives in the same way.
Most Westerners would find this hard to accept, while for those who accept its wisdom it is much easier said than done. But here, I believe, is the most valuable part of John Cage’s innovations in music: experimental music, or any other experimental art of our time, can be an introduction to right living; and after that introduction art can be bypassed for the main course.
Allan Kaprow, ‘Right Living’ (1987), in Kaprow, Essays on the Blurring of Art and Life (via house-thestillness)
On demand box set to mark the label’s first anniversary. 15x7.5” polycarbonate squares 188x188mm, with lathe cuts made on a 1950s lathe. Silk-screened sleeves with handwriting. Any 15 records can be included. More details here.