Gay Guerrilla: Julius Eastman and His Music

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Product Details
University of Rochester Press
Publish Date
6.2 X 9.3 X 0.9 inches | 1.35 pounds

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About the Author
Renée Levine-Packer is an arts administrator and author of This Life of Sounds: Evenings for New Music in Buffalo (OUP 2010).
Mary Jane Leach is a composer and performer and has been very active in recovering and reviving the music of Julius Eastman.

R. Nemo Hill is the author of a novel, Pilgrim's Feather (Quantuck Lane, 2002) a poem based on a story by H. P. Lovecraft, The Strange Music Of Erich Zann (Hippocampus, 2004), and three books of poetry from Dos Madres Press, WHEN MEN BOW DOWN (2012), IN NO MAN'S EAR (2016) and MAGELLAN'S REVERIES (2018) He is editor and publisher of EXOT Books, at

Julius Eastman enjoyed the admiration of peers such as Morton Feldman, Meredith Monk and Pierre Boulez. Here, highly engaging essays by those who knew Eastman well recall him as a person and assess his brilliance. While there are amusing anecdotes about his more madcap moments . . . the overall message is that he was an artist deserving of significant respect. BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE (Eastman's work) effectively rewrote the history of post-war American New Music, restoring to its narrative a gay black voice creating a liberating, high-energy form of organic minimalism. THE GUARDIAN It is eminently readable throughout. JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL MUSIC STUDIES (The book will be) a starting point for others who want to engage with Julius Eastman as a performer, scholar, or composer. ARSC JOURNAL A picture of (Eastman)--charismatic performer, magnetic personality and emotional escape artist--that puts his work in a context larger and more representative. BAY AREA REPORTER A composer of visionary power, a singer with a cavernous bass voice, a collaborator with the diverse likes of Meredith Monk and Pierre Boulez, Eastman had long been a fixture of the New York Music scene....Part of the pleasure of Eastman's rediscovery has been the belated, deserving reinsertion of a black, gay figure into music history. THE NEW YORK TIMES Outspoken about his own identity as a black queer man...Eastman was ahead of his time. His music is politics by other means, in search of a form, alighting toward a future that could grant him dignity, when he could be something other than an abstraction.THE NEW YORKER A fascinating new collection of essays exploring the life and work of the enigmatic composer Julius Eastman...who worked fluently in jazz, improvisation and acoustical experiments. An indication of his impact is the very fact that so many people have come together (in this book) to remember him and are actively championing his music. ALBANY TIMES-UNION The publication of this rigorously researched, lovingly produced, multidimensional study of a singular artist will surely be met with joy by those of us who remember Julius Eastman--the inspired creator, the sly provocateur and martyred saint of the avant-garde. For those who are interested in iconoclasts of whatever stripe, this volume will be a revelation and an invitation to rethink what composition, performance, and life at the precipice of madness can be.--Bill T. Jones, choreographer and dancer This book has arrived just in time for Black Lives Matter and gets my deepest praise. This important volume of essays brought forth by two brilliant women who have long championed Eastman's music, belongs in every music conservatory library and beyond.--Pauline Oliveros, composer