Read the Music is a collection of essays, written in the late 1990s and early 2000s, about some of Beth Winegarner's favorite albums. The book kicks off with a ride through the post-9/11 landscape alongside Tori Amos and 12 cover songs she calls "girls," and concludes with a treatise on Zoon, the album by British death-metal outfit Nefilim that retells an ancient Apocryphal text.
In between, there's dialogue with Russian duchess Anastasia Romanov on surviving trauma, a collection of songs that might be sung by a robotic girl in love with the world, and a trip to the deepest part of the Scandinavian winter. If you've ever loved music, if you've ever found it seeping into every aspect of your life, then you will understand Read the Music. Even if you've never heard these songs before.
Praise for Read the Music:
"With an original perspective on musical analysis, Winegarner does an excellent job of penning her love of music and those who craft it, as well as elucidates the power of music itself. Through her personal connections to song and years of journalistic experience, Winegarner skillfully pulls together histories of the writing of artists such as The Doors, Tori Amos, and Live, shedding light on each artist's creative process. Beyond merely setting the inspiration of the muse to meter, Winegarner explores how each artist then bring the songs to life in a live medium, revealing a higher awareness evoked to intentionally create sonic energetic shifts. Her commentary on this process and how it works on audiences in interesting cultural times is unique and insightful." –S.K. Harrell