Book Review – IrRational Music – Elliott Sharp

I was showing the CD “Village of the Unfretted” to my friend Leon in Riga, Latvia and he was totally floored by it. “You’ve got Elliott Sharp on it, the real Elliott Sharp” Yep, he’s a good bloke I countered. “You know Elliott Sharp?” Yes, I met Elliott Sharp at the NYC Fretless Festival in 2005, he was explaining his track for “Village of the Unfretted”, Twins. He had been in Italy on tour when they were born and composed the Track for the album. “That is amazing, The great Elliott Sharp toured the Eastern block in the 90’s when we were behind the iron curtain.” Well that is a great reason for buying the autobiography isn’t it?

cover photo: © Andreas Sterzing

Review – IrRational Music – Elliott Sharp

Elliot sets out the whole point of IrRational Music in the first chapter of the book and sums it all up in the last chapter, which I have read three times. In the chapters in-between are his memoirs and recollections of the musical world, his tours, recordings, commissions and performances.

In reality, this is not an autobiography so much as a manifesto of bringing the music in Sharp’s inner ear to the outer World of IrRational Music.

After reading the book I realised I know a lot more about Elliott Sharp now than I thought I did. The book explains his thinking and is peppered with some lovely tales from his life and times exploring musical instruments and the unfolding technology of computer controlled sound.

Who would I recommend this book to? Well just about anyone into the Avant Garde and anyone who has seen heard and met Elliott Sharp.

About the Author – Elliott Sharp

Born in 1951 he moved to New York in 1979 and became a stalwart of the Downtown Avant Garde scene. He  is a composer and multi-instrumentalist. He was awarded the Berlin Prize in Music in 2015 and a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2014. His composition “Storm of the Eye” for violinist Hilary Hahn appeared on her Grammy-winning album In 27 Pieces. He is of course also a fretless Guitarist of some note and contributed “Twins” for the Double CD “Village of the Unfretted”.

Book Credits

Author: Elliot Sharp © 2019
Publisher: Terra Nova Press with Found Sound Nation
ISBN-13: 978-1-949597-00-4
Format: Flexibound 242 pages



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