Contributions - Pianos, Toys, Music and Noise – Conversations with Steve Beresford

I wrote the intro to Andy Hamilton’s hefty new study of the musician Steve Beresford, Pianos, Toys, Music & Noise.
Maybe ask your local library to stock it or your dad to buy it!
Here’s the info.
Steve is a major player in the second wave of British Free Improvisation, a lynchpin of the current scene, and a punk era collaborator with The Flying Lizards, Prince Far-I and The Slits.
He, I and Tania Chen toured Britain over the last decade performing John Cage’s Indeterminacy, and Steve appears playing toys and objects with me and Tania in King Rocker.
Comedy fans will know him as ‘man playing organ’ in a The Day Today sketch about executions, and as the director of music on Vic Reeves’ unnecessarily good album.

Steve Beresford’s polymathic activities have formed a prism for the UK improv scene since the 1970s. He is internationally known as a free improviser on piano, toy piano and electronics, composer for film and TV, and raconteur and Dadaist visionary. His résumé is filled with collaborations with hundreds of musicians and other artists, including such leading improvisers as Derek Bailey, Evan Parker and John Zorn, and he has given performances of works by John Cage and Christian Marclay.

In this book, Beresford is heard in his own words through first-hand interviews with the author. Beresford provides compelling insight into an extensive range of topics, displaying the broad cultural context in which music is embedded. The volume combines chronological and thematic chapters, with topics covering improvisation and composition in jazz and free music; the connections between art, entertainment and popular culture; the audience for free improvisation; writing music for films; recording improvised music in the studio; and teaching improvisation. It places Beresford in the context of improvised and related musics – jazz, free jazz, free improvisation – in which there is growing interest.