“A very readable and well-researched account, with lots of great anecdotes.” —The Wire
Whether you’ve attended to Keith Rowe’s music for mere minutes or for decades, Brian Olewnick’s terrific biography brings home the fact that much of what you know about this crucial artist likely contains significant gaps. No longer. This marvelously researched life in its similarly fine telling—not to mention the bringing-together of a tremendous collection of written materials on Rowe and AMM—occupies a much-needed place in the literature on improvised and experimental music from the 1960s forward, and its nexus in Rowe of performance, politics, and visual art.
—David Grubbs, Musician and author of Records Ruin the Landscape: John Cage, the Sixties, and Sound Recording
Despite having extreme music as his subject, along with even more extreme politics, bitter feuds and the convoluted history of AMM and free improvisation, Brian Olewnick brings clarity, even-handed compassion, wry humour and insight to one of the great stories of post-war avant-garde music.
—David Toop, author of Ocean of Sound and Into the Maelstrom
“For someone interested in going ‘beyond’ with music and with guitar, this essential history will help you set your sights on places no musician has gone.” —Henry Kaiser for Guitar Moderne
“Keith Rowe, it seems, was always an original. But even avowed admirers of his work will glean from Brian Olewnick’s weighty and exhaustively researched biography a new understanding of just how original the now-seventy-eight-year-old performer was and still remains. The book provides an invaluable explanation of how Rowe developed his entirely unprecedented approach to the guitar—and why his influence primarily has been felt second hand, through the more widely publicized efforts of acolytes such as the psychedelic-rock innovator Syd Barrett and the indefatigable improviser Fred Frith.” —musicworks
“One can not underestimate the importance and innovation of the work undertaken by Brian Olewnick.” —Ondarock
“If you have even a passing interest in AMM, Rowe, or the artist’s path, this book is essential.”
As seen in: Jazz Word, 15 Questions