I don’t remember how I became aware of David Toop, he’s not what you’d call a main stream artist. Actually, he’s not even fringe… or the fringe of the fringe but his career has variously intersected with, amongst others, people like Brian Eno and the British free improv scene that includes people like Derek Bailey, Evan Parker and co. Unlike Bailey and co Toop came via art school.

In addition to performing experimental sound shows over the years he has also written a number of highly influential books on music, the most well known of which is Ocean of Sound. Some of his books I’ve read, some I’ve partly read, and others I’ve yet to read. He’s certainly an interesting individual.

Having also watched a lot of youtube about/involving him he’s definitely an interesting person with a unique take on ‘music’ and so I pre-ordered a copy of his autobiography that was recently published.

It’s not a self-indulgent book coming in at only 199 pages, and it certainly gives you an appreciation for what he has done over the last 40 years, and what he has been trying to achieve. It’s not really about success or failure although I got the impression at various points in the book that it would have been nice to have earned some regular income in the early years. He really seems to have lived a life of penury through the 60/70/80s to enable him to pursue his art.

It’s a fascinating read, especially in these times of [insert nationality here] Idol and the obsession with fame and money. There’s something reassuring about artists with conviction.

You might not care for experimental/art sound/music but the book’s a fascinating read of one man’s singular dedication to an art form through good times and bad.

It was published through Wire Magazine so I ordered it from them, rather than Amazon and was sent a signed copy… nice!

@matthewlang recently posted a link to a tweet referring to the closure of the Microsoft ebook store and the fact that it meant that DRM’d books would no longer work. A book working… that in itself is a sentence that causes a double take.

Personally, I never got in to the whole ebook thing. I will read PDFs if that’s all I can get but I don’t have a Kindle, don’t use iBooks, or any other technology of this type. It’s not a philosophical stance, just a preference. I like a physical book or magazine, it’s as simple as that.

BUT… there is another aspect that is important and that is the control over the content that you have purchased. I have plenty of books and they don’t rely on someone else continuing to grant me access so that I can enjoy them. That, to me, is worth the price.

The same applies to music. Continue reading