The Books - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: The Lemon of Pink was released to critical acclaim on October 7, 2003. It is similar in style to Thought for Food, but oriented more around vocals performed mostly by Anne Doerner.
Thought for Food was released on October 22, 2002. Praised by critics for its distinctive sound, it featured extensive sampling from obscure sources coupled with mostly acoustic instrumentation.
In 2000, The Books started work on what would become their début album Thought for Food. Zammuto and de Jong moved locations constantly during this time, recording in New York, Los Angeles, Boston, and finally in the basement of a hostel in North Carolina where Zammuto worked for a while after hiking the Appalachian Trail.
Zammuto and de Jong first met in New York City in 1999 as they shared the same apartment building. De Jong invited Zammuto to dinner at his apartment, where he played him some of his collection of audio and video samples, including a Shooby Taylor record. Zammuto said of their meeting that "we both kind of knew at that moment that we listened (to music) in interesting ways and had similar approaches to music." Soon after, they began playing what they considered to be pop music, in comparison to their own works, under the name The Books.
The Books were an American duo, formed in New York City in 1999, consisting of guitarist and vocalist Nick Zammuto and cellist Paul de Jong. Their releases typically incorporated samples of obscure sounds and speech. They released three critically acclaimed albums on the German label Tomlab, and released their fourth studio album, The Way Out, on Temporary Residence Limited in July 2010.
Before starting a three-month tour of North America in April 2006, The Books had played only one concert, in October 2003 at a festival in Chicago, Illinois.
The Books are commonly cited by critics to be of a genre of their own. Zammuto has described it as collage music. Paul de Jong described it as "the new folk music...[w]e make our own instruments, use our own libraries of sound bites while trying to create something universally human." Although they have said that their influences include Nirvana, David Bowie, Roxy Music as well as new wave and classical music, these do not show prominently in their music, though Zammuto was directly influenced by electronic musicians Squarepusher, Aphex Twin and Boards of Canada. The Books' music usually consists of acoustic instrumentation of folk melodies usually played on guitar, cello, banjo and more, combined with a diverse range of samples obtained from cassettes found in thrift stores, which are digitally processed and edited. They also rarely use a drum kit in recordings and performances, instead favouring inanimate objects like children's toys and filing cabinets, which are sampled and looped. Some observers contend that their music is aleatoric, but Zammuto has disagreed, saying the music is very tightly controlled.
Aleatoricism is the incorporation of chance into the process of creation, especially the creation of art or media. The word derives from the Latin word alea, the rolling of dice. It should not be confused with either improvisation or indeterminacy.
Improvisation is a state of being and creating action without pre-planning.
The classic definition of indeterminacy derives from John Cage, according to which indeterminacy "refers to the ability of a piece to be performed in substantially different ways". "Any part of a musical work is indeterminate if it is chosen by chance, or if its performance is not precisely specified. The former case is called 'indeterminacy of composition'; the latter is called "indeterminacy of performance".
In January 2012, Nick Zammuto announced in an interview via Pitchfork Media that The Books were splitting up to focus on other projects.
On April 3, 2012, Nick Zammuto released Zammuto, under the moniker Zammuto.