Mental music and aural moiré

Highly recommended: this episode of the UK’s South Bank Show on composer Steve Reich. Reich talks about the development of his work and process in the most casual but fascinating way, it’s well worth a look. Also interviewed are composers like Michael Nyman and Brian Eno. Eno describes Reich’s tape pieces (like “It’s Gonna Rain”) as “aural moiré patterns.” He goes on, “[The pieces] take advantage of the fact that your brain is very creative. [Reich’s] tranferring the job of being the composer into the brain of the listener, saying to the listener, ‘Your brain is actually making this piece of music,’ because you knew what ingredients were, there’s nothing mysterious about how the piece works.” Perhaps that explains my love for Bruno Munari’s Original Xerographies.


The new Penguin on Design series looks smart and sounds promising. A great lineup of titles, including the reedition of Bruno Munari’s classic Design as Art in print. John Berger’s brilliant Ways of Seeing, which began as a TV show, is also included in the series. In addition to Penguin on Design, I’m also looking forward to Penguin’s edition of Deyan Sudjic’s new book The Language of Things, coming soon to the U.S. For two different perspectives on Sudjic’s book, these reviews from The Guardian (pro) and Frieze (con) are each worth a look.


A great selection of books and prints from the Italian publisher Corraini, including many by my favorite, Bruno Munari.


At Kid-O and other discriminating children’s stores around town, I keep seeing this glorious boxed set of Bruno Munari’s children’s books, "I Prelibri." Pick one up and see how much we are indebted to this Italian innovator. One of the first books I remember, Pat the Bunny, was 100% Munari in its emphatic tactility.