LAWRENCE KUMPF ET AL, Blank Forms, vol. 6: Organic Music Societies
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Publisher: Blank Forms
Year: 2021 (available for pre-order, coming early June)
Avant-garde jazz trumpeter Don Cherry and textile artist Moki Cherry (née Karlsson) met in Sweden in the late sixties. They began to live and perform together, dubbing their mix of communal art, social and environmentalist activism, children’s education, and pan-ethnic expression “Organic Music.” Organic Music Societies, Blank Forms’ sixth anthology, is a special issue released in conjunction with an exhibition of the same name devoted to the couple’s multimedia collaborations. The first English-language publication on either figure, the book highlights models for collectivism and pedagogy deployed in the Cherrys’ interpersonal and artistic work through the presentation of archival documents alongside newly translated and commissioned writings by musicians, scholars, and artists alike.
The collection also features several previously unpublished interviews with Don, conducted by Christopher R. Brewster and Keith Knox. A regular visitor to the Cherry schoolhouse in rural Sweden, Knox documented the family’s magnetic milieu in his until-now unpublished Tågarp Publication. Reproduced here in its entirety, the journal includes an interview with Terry Riley, an essay on Pandit Pran Nath, and reports on counter-cultural education programs in Stockholm, including the Bombay Free School and the esoteric Forest University.
Taken together, the texts, artwork, and abundant photographs collected in Organic Music Societies shine a long overdue spotlight on Don and Moki’s prescient and collaborative experiments in the art of living.