John McGrath is a lecturer in Music at University of Surrey. He works in many styles of music including improvisation, noise, blues, avantfolk, scratch, rockabilly and avantrock and has collaborated on various performance, TV and art projects. His solo fingerstyle compositions have been featured in The Wire magazine and on numerous international radio stations. John is a lecturer at ICMP, having previously taught at University of Liverpool and LIPA.
Samuel Beckett's experiments at the intersection of music and literature are among the most unique and interesting of their kind. McGrath's study contributes new elements to our understanding of Beckett's work in this area, particularly in its potential to enrich the thinking of musicians and composers. Not just a book on Beckett, it makes Beckett the starting point for a number of fruitful meditations on repetition, representation, improvisation, and structural experimentation in the arts. The chapters on Morton Feldman and Scott Fields are especially welcome in this regard. Erci Prieto, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA John McGrath's Samuel Beckett, Repetition and Modern Music is the newest scholarly entry on this subject and a valuable addition for the critical insights it provides through meticulous analyses. The fundamental idea underlying McGrath's research is his concept of Beckett's semantic fluidity, a writing style that accommodates and encourages readers to bring their own ideas and perspectives into the work. Michael Palmese, Louisiana State University, USA McGrath's volume provides a valuable contribution to Beckettian scholarship and drama academics, as well as offering a new framework theorizing repetition, which may be of interest to a wide range of music scholars working in the analysis of 20th and 21st century genres from the avant-garde, minimalism, jazz, pop and hip-hop. Monica Esslin-Peard, University of Liverpool, UK ...John McGrath packs a great deal into a seemingly narrowly framed monograph...his analysis of repetition in the prose works of late Beckett shift into tight and revealing focus when he looks at the data...McGrath's book is salutary in flagging the deliberately jarring tactics of the avant garde, and getting the reader to grasp what remains permanently uncanny about our pleasure in Beckett and Feldman's exploration of both the playful humour and subtle queasiness to be found within their repetitive forms. Drew Daniel, The Wire