David Grubbs: Good night the pleasure was ours
Book Presentation with David Grubbs
With Good night the pleasure was ours, David Grubbs melts down and recasts three decades of playing music on tour into a book-length poem, bringing to a close the trilogy that includes Now that the audience is assembled and The Voice in the Headphones. In Good night the pleasure was ours, the world outside the tour filters in with eccentric sparseness. From teenage punk bands to ensembles without fixed membership, and from solo performance to a group augmented by digital avatars, Grubbs presents touring as a series of daily dislocations that provides an education distinctly its own. These musicians’ job is to play that evening’s gig—whether to enthusiastic, hostile, or apathetic audiences—and then to do it again the next day. And yet, over the course of the book’s multidecade arc, Grubbs depicts music making as an irreversible process—one reason for loving it so.
David Grubbs is Professor of Music at Brooklyn College and The Graduate Center, CUNY. At Brooklyn College he also teaches in the MFA programs in Performance and Interactive Media Arts (PIMA) and Creative Writing. He is the author of Good night the pleasure was ours, The Voice in the Headphones, Now that the audience is assembled, and Records Ruin the Landscape: John Cage, the Sixties, and Sound Recording (all published by Duke University Press) as well as the collaborative artists’ books Simultaneous Soloists (with Anthony McCall, Pioneer Works Press) and Projectile (with Reto Geiser and John Sparagana, Drag City).