It's out! Matthew Ingram's new book The "S" Word: spirituality in alternative music, is ready to order.
Self-deprecatingly, Matt describes the tome as "very geeky" and "for music geeks only". But in fact anyone who is interested in music's capacity to engender higher states of consciousness and its association with the devotional, the transcendent, the sacred, enlightenment, mysticism, magic, trance, etc, will find this a fascinating read.
I was pleased to offer up this morsel of endorsement:
“Intensely researched, latticed with surprising connections and correspondences, these essays expand and deepen our awareness of the links between music and the numinous. The "S" Word is an illuminating book about illumination.”
Contents-wise, there's several epic essays already aired on Matt's blog but now only to be found within these covers (meditations on Eastern Philosophy and The Cosmic Sound, Psychic Pop Relics, Dub... paeans to Neil Young and Mark E. Smith) plus a previously published profile of Chris Blackwell. But more than half the book consists of new writing: a staggering 18,000-word exploration of New Age music (very expansively understood here), a paean to Prince, a whole chapter dedicated to Roedelius of Cluster / Harmonia renown, and a treatise on Tibetan recordings.
The "S" Word is available universally as an eBook but residents of the United Kingdom can also purchase it in the gorgeous solid form of a 255-page book copiously illustrated with colour photographs. Terms, conditions, and prices are be found here at the Woebot site long with more information about the contents.