A real book is a book of melodies and chord changes for popular jazz songs used by student, amateur, and professional musicians. As a musician and artist with a background in improvisation, jazz made its mark on my artistic practice early on. This project represents an exciting expansion in my practice to include the textual process of erasure, and the book. It will allow me to expand my work’s audience to include readers and book-buyers in addition to music-lovers. At the same time, I am interested in revisiting the influence that jazz music has had on me in a different way.
I have taken THE NEW REAL BOOK, by Chuck Sher, as source material, and composed a new collection of Jazz Standard Erasures.
“THE NEW REAL BOOK has been the standard in jazz fake books since 1988. Endorsed by McCoy Tyner, Ron Carter, Dave Liebman, and many more…”
I first copied out a selection of the pieces in the real book by hand. Then, I erased much of the material, leaving islands of melodic fragments. Finally, I returned to the original text, whiting out all the material I erased from my own copy. Traces of the harmonic patterns and melodies remain, audibly in the music, and in the white out on the page. However, the context and sound of the new compositions is drastically different.
Now, I want to publish my new REAL BOOK. Using the appearance of the original as a model, I will have the new “tunes” printed and bound. Then, either hiring a distributor or collaborating with a small press as co-publisher, the new REAL BOOK will be available for the same use as the original. Funds donated over the $4165 minimum goal will allow me to produce an even more beautiful, finely-made book. The more money I raise, the higher quality printing, binding, and distribution I can use for this project.
The compositions in REAL BOOK are ‘simple’ enough (technically speaking) that anyone with a basic capacity for reading musical notation can play them. In addition to its visual/ textual appeal, the new REAL BOOK may be utilized similarly to how the 'old' real book is used. Those with a general interest in music, or erasure, as well as those engaged at the student, amateur or professional level with jazz, composition, or any other area of music, will find the book surprising, unique, and compelling.
Erasure is a process well known and utilized in 20th century and contemporary poetry and visual art. The application of this process to a new discipline, and an area of that discipline that is not currently thought of as ‘experimental’ (jazz), is an exciting prospect. I hope you will help me meet and exceed my fundraising goal to make the REAL BOOK.