A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music by George E. LewisA Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music by George E. Lewis

A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music

byGeorge E. Lewis

Paperback | October 15, 2009

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Founded in 1965 and still active today, the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) is an American institution with an international reputation. George E. Lewis, who joined the collective as a teenager in 1971, establishes the full importance and vitality of the AACM with this communal history, written with a symphonic sweep that draws on a cross-generational chorus of voices and a rich collection of rare images.

Moving from Chicago to New York to Paris, and from founding member Steve McCall’s kitchen table to Carnegie Hall, A Power Stronger Than Itself uncovers a vibrant, multicultural universe and brings to light a major piece of the history of avant-garde music and art.

George E. Lewis is the Edwin H. Case Professor of American Music at Columbia University. A recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship in 2002, Lewis has made over 120 recordings as composer or performer, and his publications on experimental music appear regularly in scholarly and popular journals. 
Title:A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental MusicFormat:PaperbackDimensions:728 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.7 inPublished:October 15, 2009Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226476960

ISBN - 13:9780226476964

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Table of Contents

Preface: The AACM and American Experimentalism 
Introduction: An AACM Book: Origins, Antecedents, Objectives, Methods 
Chapter Summaries 

Chapter 1: Foundations and Prehistory
 Coming North: From Great Migration to Great Depression 
 Early Musical Experiences 
 Improvisation and Autodidacticism in 1950s Chicago 
 The End of an Era 

Chapter 2: New Music, New York 
 Cultures of Spontaneity: Integrationism and the Two Avant-Gardes 
 Beyond a Bebop Boundary: The Challenge of New Music 
 Critical Responses: Anger, Noise, Failure 
 A Far Cry from New York: Segregation and Chicago Music 

Chapter 3: The Development of the Experimental Band 
 Alternative Pedagogies of Experimental Music 
 Eyes on the Sparrow: The First New Chicagoans 

Chapter 4: Founding the Collective 
 Urban Decline and the Turn to Communitarianism 
 Born on the Kitchen Table: Conceiving the Association 
 Naming Ceremony: Black Power and Black Institutions 

Chapter 5: First Fruits 
 The First Year: Concerts, Critics, and Issues 
 New Arrivals and the University of Chicago 
 Travel, Recording, and Intermedia 
 Memories of the Sun: The AACM and Sun Ra 

Chapter 6: The AACM Takes Off 
 The Black Arts Movement in Chicago 
 New Arrivals and New Ideas 
 The AACM School 
 Performing and Self-Determination 
 Cultural Nationalism in Postmodern Transition 

Chapter 7: Americans in Paris 
 Conceiving the World Audience 
 Le Nouveau Paris Noir: Collectivity, Competition, and Excitement 
 The Politics of Culture: Black Power and May 1968 
 Die Emanzipation: The Rise of European Free Improvisation 

Chapter 8: The AACM’s Next Wave 
 More from the Midwest: The Black Artists Group 
 New Elbows on the Table: The AACM’s Second Wave 
 Ten Years After: The Association Comes of Age 

Chapter 9: The AACM in New York 
 Migration and Invasion 
 Europe and the Lofts 
 Beyond a Binary: The AACM and the Crisis in Criticism 
 Diversity and Its Discontents: New American Music after the Jazz Age 

Chapter 10: The New Regime in Chicago 
 Generational Shifts in the Collective 
 The Two Cultures and a New Chapter 
 Form and Funding: Philanthropy and Black Music in the 1970s 
 Strains, Swirls, and Splits 

Chapter 11: Into the Third Decade 
 The 1980s: Canons and Heterophony 
 Great Black Music: The Local and the Global 
 Leading the Third Wave: The New Women of the AACM 

Chapter 12: Transition and Reflections 
 New York in Transition 
 Chicago in Reflection 
 J’ai deux amours . . . 

 The Way of the Arranger 
 The Individual 
 The Book 
 Expansion and Sacrifice 
 Boxing with Tradition 
 Contemplating the Post-jazz Continuum 

Appendix A: List of Interviews Conducted by the Author 
Appendix B: Selected AACM Recordings 


Editorial Reviews

A Power Stronger Than Itself is not only an essential history of the organization but a critical analysis into its place in American art, politics and socioeconomics.”