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The World Got Away: A Memoir (Music in American Life)

The World Got Away: A Memoir (Music in American Life)

Current price: $110.00
Publication Date: May 21st, 2024
University of Illinois Press
Available for Preorder


One of the most innovative composers of his generation, Mikel Rouse is known for a trilogy of operas that includes Dennis Cleveland and a gift for superimposing pop vernaculars onto avant-garde music. This memoir channels Rouse’s high energy personality into an exuberant account of the precarity and pleasures of artistic creation. Raconteur and starving artist, witty observer and acclaimed musician, Rouse emerged from the legendary art world of 1980s New York to build a forty-year career defined by stage and musical successes, inexhaustible creativity, and a support network of famous faces, loyal allies, and high art hustlers. Rouse guides readers through a working artists’ hardscrabble life while illuminating the unromantic truth that a project’s reception may depend on a talented cast and crew but can depend on reliable air conditioning.

Candid and hilarious, The World Got Away is a one-of-a-kind account of a creative life fueled by talent, work, and luck.

About the Author

Mikel Rouse is an American composer and director.

Praise for The World Got Away: A Memoir (Music in American Life)

“Mikel Rouse is a composer, songwriter and performer of tireless inspiration, a true maestro. He is also an unpretentious expert at life and how to live it. This delightful book is engaging, funny, a great reflection of and meditation on Mikel’s many passions. But above all, it’s refreshingly candid and specific about how a maverick artist manages a creative life. Where other musicians serve up a lot of ‘look into your heart’ gobbledygook, Rouse gets down to the nitty gritty about putting together his various ambitious projects. It isn’t always pretty. But the work itself--and this book is of course a part of it--is always beautiful.”--Glenn Kenny, author of Made Men: The Story of Goodfellas