(edited by) Lawrence Kumpf – Blank Forms Journal, Vol. 4: Intelligent Life


Blank Forms Editions, ISSN: 2642-7052, English, 302 pages, 2019, USA

The 4th issue of Blank Forms’ journal serves its vocation to research and publish forgotten dynamics and connections in experimental music. The issue’s title is borrowed from Maryanne Amacher’s unrealised opera “Intelligent Life“, which is amply explored and situated in the composers’ work by Amy Cimini. From 1981-1983, Amacher envisioned a future set in 2021, when three former employees of a failed algorithmic music recommendation service form the futurist Supreme Connections LLC company developing speculative projects. Marcia Douglas’ literary essay about important sites in Rastafarianism’s development follows a translated interview with Robert Ashley and “Blue” Gene Tyranny in 1984 about the production for television of the opera “Perfect Lives”. Onyx Ashanti’s “Of Patterns and Patternists: a Sonocybernetic Manifesto”, instead, describes his own radical sonic practices, before an interview with Japanese guitarist Kazuo Imai. Spencer Gerhardt researches the inimitable Catherine Christer Hennix’s unorthodox approaches to math and composition, while the final contribution is a rare interview with the artist Walter De Maria. Beyond being a remarkable effort, Blank Forms Journal is a functional publication, part of a larger strategy including concert productions, music releases, essays translations, exhibitions and archival initiatives.