Jacqueline Caux – Almost Nothing with Luc Ferrari


Errant Bodies Press, ISBN: 978-0982743911, English, 176 pages, 2013, Germany

The unavailability of important texts in English is often underestimated and unrecognised in the mantra of the all-available/digitise everything online giants. Effective translation software seems to be another major technology lacking in our ‘futuristic’ present. This late but accurate translation (twelve years after) is a compelling compendium of unpublished texts, interviews and no less than fourteen poetic “imaginary autobiographies” about Luc Ferrari, one of the co-founders of the Groupe de Recherches Musicales, a pioneer of the use of tape in music composition, and, more than anything, a great interpreter of the John Cage revolution. This anthology covers an ample period of time: from the fifties until the nineties and provides important materials describing his methodologies of composition and his awareness of the mental processes essential to listening. These intimate processes are narrated in a kind of “literary music”, alternating with first-hand accounts, giving a clear impression of a unique vision, realised during a dedicated life. But in a perfect Cagean attitude, his sense of irony embeds itself in his definitions of “anecdotal music”, including experiments with social rituals, sexuality and imaginary generation of images. Exquisitely produced as a quality hardcover, this book is not only an aesthetic tribute but also an excellent collection of material for understanding Ferrari, including a complete list of works and discography with which the book ends.