The Books make music for people with machines. Their approach resonates with modern life, an existence that is often segmented into text messages, Facebook status updates, and 30-second audio samples. It has become an uncommon occurrence to sit back and silently listen, so it’s a real treat to have the Books come to Cornell Cinema’s Willard Straight Hall Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 30.
Tickets are $18 in advance and $20 at the door; visit www.dansmallspresents.com or cinema.cornell.edu for more information
Comprising Nick Zammuto on guitar and vocals and Paul de Jong on cello, The Books started working together in 2000 while living in Manhattan, and after some moving around have settled into a rural studio in North Adams, Massachusetts. They do not perform live often, but when they do their music is punctuated with video images of their own making.
Though the Books may be seen as either electronic folk or folky electronic music depending on your point of view, the band unquestionably applies the principle of collage to sound. In this way they are similar to Tuung or Caribou, and they share forefather Brian Eno and Charles Ives, and an approach that might be called Fluxus.
But folk music has always been about piecing together stories and narratives, and many artists that preceded John Cage worked on the foundation the Books has built its sound. The very fact that the Books employ found sounds invokes a history of field recordings, musical diffusion, and non-narrative appoaches.
“We do all of our own sample collecting, composing, writing, recording, mixing, and mastering in our home studios using PCs running cheap software and the ragtag equipment that we’ve pieced together over the years,” The Books wrote. “What you hear on our records is exactly how it left our hands, with no producer, engineers, or sweetening in between.” For more about the duo, visit www.thebooksmusic.com.