RICHARDS is a composer, pianist, writer and broadcaster.
In the 1960s he attended classes in improvisation with the
composer Alfred Nieman and became involved in the musical
experiments of Cornelius Cardew and others. After moving
to Devon he began documenting local traditions of song and
music. He has written radio plays with music, published
articles on folklore in various journals and contributed
a study of Gypsy songs to the Open University course book
Everyday Culture. His original music for dance companies
and theatre groups includes Fool's Holiday for
Pete Kiddle's Theatre of Public Works. In 1991 he was funded
by the Gulbenkian Foundation to pioneer a new music project
entitled ‘Sonic Harvest', involving many musicians,
new musical scores, improvisation and music in the landscape.
This became the title of a 50-minute documentary film about
Sam Richards and his music in 1995, and also his book: Sonic
Harvest - Towards Musical Democracy.
Hardback, 194 pages
John Cage as ...
a biography of John Cage (1912-1992) in the conventional sense,
but rather an assessment of the development of Cage’s oeuvre
in the context of his interests and passions. Sam Richards examines
all the strands that shaped Cage’s work, from the early experimental
percussion music and pieces for the prepared piano in the 1930s
and ‘40s before he started composing music by chance methods
based on the Chinese Book of Changes, the I Ching (including the
famous silent piece, 4'33" of 1952) through to the number of
pieces he was still adding to shortly before his death in 1992.
With a bibliography and complete list of John Cage’s published
Sonic Harvest - Towards Musical Democracy
25 years author and musician Sam Richards was on a quest - a musical
quest: how does music assimilate or express the concepts of democracy,
equality and community?
the traditions of the musical academy as he found them as a student,
he explores the relationship between music and people, and explodes
a few myths along the way.
takes us into the formative childhood experiences of popular music;
into the experimental world of John Cage, Cornelius Cardew and free
improvisation; into the arena of political song in the footsteps
of Ewan McColl; into the Irish landscape in the footsteps of Sean
O Riada; into folk clubs and festivals all over Britain; into Devon
villages where local singers and squeezebox players entertain themselves
in pubs, village halls and farm kitchens.
can buy Sam Richards' books via this site at
Lane Press, 80 Hill Rise, Richmond-Upon-Thames, Surrey, TW10 6UB
:- +44(0)208 948 1427