Thursday, May 21, 2020

"The World's Worst: A Guide to the Portsmouth Sinfonia" Edited by Christopher M. Reeves & Aaron Walker (Soberscove Press)

ISBN: 9781940190235

Off the top of my head I'm going to presume that this is the only book on the legendary Portsmouth Sinfonia. A combination of a scrapbook as well as a series of interviews by people (musicians?) who were involved with this English orchestra. Which included Brian Eno, Gavin Bryars, and Michael Nyman, among others. What makes Portsmouth Sinfonia unique is that they did the popular classics we all love and know, but they couldn't play. If they were musicians in the orchestra, they played instruments that they didn't know how to play. The conductor, couldn't read a music note if his life depended on it. Still, they manage to play at the Albert All among other classical orientated concert halls and made three albums. What seems to be a joke to some is in actuality an art practice at work. The thing is everyone involved with the orchestra was serious in doing the best that they can to perform the music. For me, it's another way of looking at the classics. It's interesting to hear these familiar works in punk or at the very least, a new way of approaching music. The book expresses the joy of being in the Portsmouth Sinfonia as well as its importance to the avant-garde music world.

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