Organic Music Societies

by: Lawrence Kumpf

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Organic Music Societies, a 496-page paperback from Blank Forms / 6 x 8 inches / ISBN 9781733723589

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Archival documents and new writings on the intermedia collaborations of avant-garde jazz trumpeter Don Cherry and textile artist Moki Cherry

"With his legendary quartet of bassist Charlie Haden, drummer Ed Blackwell and trumpeter Don Cherry, they freed music from prescribed harmonies, rhythms and chord changes, revealing a true democracy to the music. [This] hefty 496-page new book ...seeks to clarify this time period." -- Andy Beta ― Washington Post

Don Cherry and Moki Karlsson met in Sweden in the late ’60s. They married and began to perform together, dubbing their mix of communal art, social and environmental activism, children’s education and pan-ethnic expression “Organic Music.” Their home in Tågarp became a locus of artistic production, attracting free-spirited musicians, poets, actors and artists with the promise of collective life. There, Keith Knox assembled Tågarp Publication Number One to document the collectivistic practices blooming under the Cherrys’ guidance. Reproduced here, the text includes interviews with Terry Riley and Cherry, a piece on Pandit Pran Nath, a report on the Bombay Free School and a survey of the esoteric Forest University by Bengt af Kintberg. This book explores Don Cherry’s work of the period through additional interviews by Knox, a piece on his Relativity Suite and an essay by Fumi Okiji. Moki’s writings on her workshops are featured alongside full-color reproductions of her tapestries, used as performance environments by Don’s ensembles. Cherry collaborators Bengt Berger and Christer Bothén contribute travelogues from the era.