Pianos, Toys, Music and Noise : Conversations with Steve Beresford

Steve Beresford’s polymathic activities have formed a prism for the UK improv scene since the 1970s. He is internationally known as a free improviser on piano, toy piano and electronics, composer for film and TV, and raconteur and Dadaist visionary. His resume is filled with collaborations with hundreds of musicians and other artists, including such leading improvisers as Derek Bailey, Evan Parker and John Zorn, and he has given performances of works by John Cage and Christian Marclay. In this book, Beresford is heard in his own words through first-hand interviews with the author. Beresford provides compelling insight into an extensive range of topics, displaying the broad cultural context in which music is embedded. The volume combines chronological and thematic chapters, with topics covering improvisation and composition in jazz and free music; the connections between art, entertainment and popular culture; the audience for free improvisation; writing music for films; recording improvised music in the studio; and teaching improvisation. It places Beresford in the context of improvised and related musics – jazz, free jazz, free improvisation – in which there is growing interest. The linear narrative is broken up by ‘interventions’ or short pieces by collaborators and commentators.