The Brooklyn Rail

NOV 2022

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NOV 2022 Issue
The Miraculous The Miraculous: Music

28. 1970, the London Underground

Soon after graduating from art school, a 21-year-old separates from his wife and moves from the city of Winchester near England’s south coast to London where he becomes involved with the avant-garde music scene. One day on the London Tube he runs into a former art-school classmate with whom he has lost touch. When this classmate is recruited into a nascent rock band, he invites his art-school friend, who happens to own a large German reel-to-reel tape machine, to record their rehearsals. Almost immediately he becomes an indispensable member of the band, playing synthesizers and doing wizardly things with tape recorders. After the band breaks up, his multifarious activities around the world as composer, producer, visual artist and conceptual troublemaker, persuade many people that he has been the most influential musical figure in the past half century. Looking back (something generally distasteful to him), he marvels as how easily things could have turned out very differently: “If I’d walked ten yards further on the platform, or missed that train, or been in the next carriage, I probably would have been an art teacher now.”

(Brian Eno, Andy Mackay)

Contributor

Raphael Rubinstein

Raphael Rubinstein is the author of The Miraculous (Paper Monument, 2014) and A Geniza (Granary Books, 2015). He is currently writing a book about the Jewish-Egyptian writer Edmond Jabès. A Professor of Critical Studies at the University of Houston School of Art, he divides his time between Houston and New York.

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The Brooklyn Rail

NOV 2022

All Issues