It’s official: my next book will be on the life and works of Robert Ashley, one of my favorite composers, and one of my favorite people on the planet. It’s for the University of Illinois Press’s series on American composers, the first two of which are excellent books on John Cage (by David Nicholls) and Lou Harrison (by Leta Miller). I’ve gotten sucked into the short-book industry. I’m still grinding away on that Music After Minimalism book, which is a huge project and keeps changing shape, but it has seemed professionally expedient for me to get a few books out quickly, so I’m reluctantly letting myself get sidetracked. But what an inviting sidetrack: every time I hang out with Bob Ashley (which I’ve been doing since 1979) I get a buzz off of his laidback enthusiasm. Great man, great composer, vastly misunderstood, so I’ll get to add a lot more new information to the world than I did in John Cage’s 4’33” (coming out in the fall).