Legendary folk music revivalist Peggy Seeger makes CHP author Sam Richards’ The Engaged Musician ‘a must for all musicians who wish to live and work as part of our own time and times’. She goes on, ‘It will also come to the aid of those musicians who fear they cannot work and live thus,’ musicians who find themselves and their music at insurmountable odds ‘with the rich mainstream or minor stream currents of modern cultural life. The jumping-off point for the thesis of the book is Hogarth’s painting, The Enraged Musician, the latter being infuriated and un-engaged with common street music and “noise” under his window. Just one consonant in the adjective is changed and hey presto, we have an opposite definition of the artist. He/she is now one who welcomes variety and who learns from the work of others instead of living and working in self-imposed (and, by inference, elitist) isolation. Professor Richards is a classically trained musician and composer who has steeped himself in popular, ethnic, “fringe” and experimental musics – he quotes from an astounding variety of genres. The 360-degree vision is impressive and refreshing. Richards’ tolerance, understanding, perspective, veiled humour and a minimum of jargon make this book a vital read for anyone in any of the arts.’ Peggy Seeger, December 2013
The Engaged Musician is published by CentreHouse Press. See Amazon and other purchase options here.