David Amram Vibrations: A Memoir

ISBN 13: 9781560253082

Vibrations: A Memoir

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The Boston Globe has described David Amram as "the Renaissance man of American music." Amram and Jack Kerouac collaborated on the first-ever Jazz poetry reading in New York City in 1957 as well as the subsequent legendary film "Pull My Daisy" in 1959, which combined Amram's jazz and chamber music and Kerouac's narration. Not only part of what came to be known as the Beat generation, Amram has also composed over 100 orchestral and chamber works, written two operas, and has collaborated with such notables as Leonard Bernstein, Dizzy Gillespie, Lionel Hampton, Charles Mingus, Dustin Hoffman, Thelonius Monk, Willie Nelson, Betty Carter, Odetta, Elia Kazan, Arthur Miller, and Tito Puente. This edition includes a new introduction by the author and a new foreword by Douglas Brinkley

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About the Author:

David Amram has composed more than one hundred orchestral and chamber works; written many scores for Broadway theater and film, including the classic scores for the films Splendor in the Grass and The Manchurian Candidate; composed two operas, including the ground-breaking Holocaust opera The Final Ingredient; and composed the score for the landmark 1959 documentary Pull My Daisy, narrated by Jack Kerouac. He is the author of the books Vibrations, an autobiography, Offbeat: Collaborating with Kerouac, and Upbeat: Nine Lives of a Musical Cat." A pioneer of jazz French horn and World Music, he is also a virtuoso on piano, numerous flutes and whistles, percussion, and dozens of folkloric instruments from twenty-five countries. He is also an inventive, funny improvisational lyricist. He has collaborated with Leonard Bernstein, who chose him as the New York Philharmonic’s first composer-in-residence in 1966, Langston Hughes, Dizzy Gillespie, Willie Nelson, Thelonious Monk, Odetta, Elia Kazan, Arthur Miller, Charles Mingus, Wynton Marsalis, Lionel Hampton, Johnny Depp, Tito Puente, and many others. Amram’s most popular recent works are Giants of the Night, a flute concerto commissioned and premiered by Sir James Galway and dedicated to the memory of Charlie Parker, Jack Kerouac, and Dizzy Gillespie, and Symphonic Variations on a Song by Woody Guthrie. Today, Amram continues to compose music while traveling the world as a conductor, soloist, band leader, visiting scholar, and narrator in five languages. He is currently collaborating with author Frank McCourt on Missa Manhattan, for narrator, chorus, and orchestra, and composing a new piano concerto. All of his concert music is published by C. F. Peters Corporation.

Review:

“Vibrations was a revelation for me. I identified totally with Amram’s joie de vivre style, which illuminates the pages of Vibrations. ... One thing is certain: Amram remains the most indefatigable musician of our time.”
―From the Foreword by Douglas Brinkley

“It is a sad book and uproarious, naïve and knowledgeable, insane and finally as straight as the top of Amram’s piano. It is one man’s struggle for the kind of authenticity in life and in music which everything in our time seems designed to frustrate and destroy.”
―Arthur Miller

“An utterly refreshing and rollicking ramble through the world of contemporary music, under the wing of a rambunctious tour guide who is guileless yet informative, funny yet perceptive, exhilarated yet earnest. Every profession should have its Amram!”
―George Plimpton

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