Menu Close

“Arcana X”, by John Zorn (various authors).

Twenty-five years ago, in 1997, John Zorn published Arcana, a first volume of texts – theoretical essays, interviews, critiques, manifestos, etc. – on new music and the avant-garde, written by the very musicians Zorn considered most outstanding and/or qualified to do so. That legendary first volume included texts by Fred Frith, Bill Frisell, Bob Ostertag, Z’Ev, Ikue Mori, Marc Ribot, George Lewis and Zorn himself, among many other authors, and became an success in the field of the most advanced music. So much so that it has been going on for five lustrums with successive volumes that in September it reached its tenth book, Arcana X. And it may well be the last, as can be read on the back cover – “its tenth and FINAL installment” (sic). Over the past twenty-five years, Arcana has published writings by more than three hundred of today’s most interesting musicians and musicologists, addressing topics such as composing, performing, improvising, collaborating, travelling the world or thinking about music from personal as well as philosophical and artistic perspectives, and covering fields such as jazz, rock, soundtrack creation or contemporary classical music.

This latest volume, published by Hips Road/Tzadik, features authors such as Susan Alcorn, Oren Ambarchi, Ran Blake, Peter Blegvad, Tyondai Braxton, Patricia Brennan, John Butcher, Ben Coniguliaro, Amir Elsaffar, Kenny Grohowski, Tom Guralnick, Mark Helias, David Hertzberg, Stefan Jackiw, Dan Kaufman, Derek Keller, Richard Kessler, Pauline Kim, Ulrich Krieger, Hannah Lash, Dan Lippel, Annea Lockwood, Dave Lombardo, Charlie Looker, Thomas Morgan, Stephen O’Malley, Laura Ortman, Alex Paxton, Alexandria Smith, Conrad Tao, Pat Thomas, Henry Threadgill, Anna Webber, Fay Victor, Christian Wolff and Miguel Zenon.