UP14 marks a change in format for the audio journal. Bloody Amateurs is a 64-page hardback book, designed by Marcus Ainley, with a 77-minute CD. Thirty tracks of creative music and eight thought-provoking essays (by Joanna MacGregor, Andrew Peggie, Peter Blegvad and others) explore, explain and explode the concepts of ‘amateur’ and ‘professional’.
‘We should celebrate rough music,’ writes composer Andrew Peggie, ‘where 1001 small celebrations … flashes of ephemeral entertainment and tiny moments of bonding or rejuvenation create “the music of what happens” in everyday life.’
‘Charles Ives led a quiet, domestic life but ranted and raged behind his music desk,’ writes pianist Joanna MacGregor. ‘The impression is of a wild amount of energy that the insurance business could never contain.’
‘Secretly I envy choir singers,’ writes (professional) musician Clive Bell. ‘One of my darker fantasies is to work in an anonymous office and slip off once a week for clandestine polyphony sessions.’
‘Many of the best musical experiences are accidental,’ writes author James Young. ‘You’ve got the window down and the sound system in the car in front is playing a track you don’t know … but it’s at that moment on Balham High Street that you’ve caught the best piece of acid-dub country-reggae you’ll ever hear.’
Plus essays by Janet Topp Fargion, composer / radio presenter Mark Russell, musician / illustrator Peter Blegvad and Unknown Public editor John L. Walters. © 2002 JLW