TABLE OF CONTENTS

PRINT February 2019

THE INVISIBLE VILLAGE

John Zorn, age nine, playing in a surf band, Camp Killooleet, Hancock, Vermont, 1963.


WRITING ABOUT JOHN ZORN and his music feels like an act of cartography as much as an opportunity for critique. Zorn’s recorded appearances in the past forty-odd years—as improviser, composer, or both—number somewhere near seven hundred. That hallucinatory number represents the constant creation of music, sure, but it also indicates the borders of a psychic space radiating out of and above New York’s East Village. Zorn’s work has helped sustain a cohort of artists and workers that has wound its way through the downtown experimental-theater circles of the 1960s, the loft jazz scene of the ’70s, and up and into a small but growing present-day circuit of alcohol-free venues that funnel 100 percent of the door to the musicians. Zorn’s work ethic is appropriately legendary; it is the force behind both his daily output as a composer and the community he’s built.

#slideshow

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW at the discounted holiday rate of $45 a year—70% off the newsstand price—and receive the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the February 2019 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.