Sound Within Sound Radical Composers of the Twentieth Century [PDF]
An alternative history of 20th-century composers—nearly all of them women or composers of color—by a leading international music critic
Think of a composer right now. Was it a white man? Perhaps in old-fashioned clothing and wild hair? The music history we’re told is one dominated by men, and even then, only a select few enter the zeitgeist. This conventional history perpetuates the myth of “great works” created by “genius” artists. Men who enjoyed institutional privilege during their lifetimes and have since been enshrined by an industry of publishers and record labels. But just because we haven’t heard of spectacular female composers, doesn’t mean they weren’t creating music all the same.
Profiling a dozen pioneering 20th-century composers—including American modernist Ruth Crawford Seeger (mother of Pete and Peggy Seeger), French electronic artist Éliane Radigue, Soviet visionary Galina Ustvolskaya, and Ethiopian pianist Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou—acclaimed journalist and BBC broadcaster Kate Molleson reexamines the canon while bringing to life largely forgotten sonic revolutionaries whose dramatic lives and bursts of creativity played out against a backdrop of seismic geopolitical and social change. These composers, working at a remove from London, Paris, Vienna, and New York, were sidelined and ignored for systemic, structural reasons. This is a landmark alternative history of 20th-century composers; a radical, new, and truly global work of revisionist history. It is a campaigning book that challenges the status quo while introducing you to a world of groundbreaking music.