The Closet Music book

In March 2013 the first collection of Closet Music works was produced: 18 pieces of music for imaginary performance. 13 composers from Britain, Holland and the US contributed works which vary from purely graphic to purely textual; from the frivolous to the political, from brief open-ended pieces to intense and challenging experiences. Only a few require any previous music-reading knowledge and, like poetry, they all repay a careful contemplation and revisiting rather than a quick read.

Presented simply and in a large, A3 landscape format, this book was a year in the making. After a series of emails between friends and colleagues discussing the idea of Closet Music in the Spring of 2012, I asked composers, writers and artists deliberately to provoke these imagined performances. From those who responded I selected a long-list, and in June 2012 I held a workshop, which most of the composers attended; also present were 2 non-composers who were able to give an indication of how people might react to the works who weren’t in the game of modern music themselves. One of the most interesting aspects of the workshop was the opposing views and feedback we gave to the same works – it is clear that (like any collection of varied works of any genre) different pieces will appeal to different people.

From there, a final selection was chosen for inclusion, and amendments made. Friday March 15th 2013 saw the launch of the book – an event which was also, and more importantly, a celebration of the collaboration between diverse composers and artists. A crowd of the composers, their friends, and interested people looked at representations of the works, listened to a presentation on the Closet Music idea and project, and made merry. Volumes of the books were sold and new ideas discussed.

Books are available for £20 from the shop.

Have a look at some samples from the book.

The contributors are listed below, with a link to their personal websites or pages:

©2023 Janet Oates. All rights reserved.

By Projonix