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Random House/Broadway Books press release
An Intimate, Eye-Opening Look Inside the Life of One of the Most Unique and Adored Performers of Contemporary Rock
TORI AMOS: Piece by Piece
By TORI AMOS and ANN POWERS
"Each song that Amos generates becomes its own environment, sustaining elements of myth and legend, of her musical forebears and her own innovations, of autobiography and fiction, wildness and precision. Asked the secrets of her trade, she shares not merely a handful of tips but a spirit of adventure, the exhilarating sensation of diving in." -Ann Powers, from Chapter Three, "Saraswati: The Art of Composition"
Tori Amos is a writer of song. But in order to understand the lyrics and music this remarkable composer has woven into our collective musical tapestry, one must understand the woman--her personal history, her joys and struggles, her creative process. From the multi-platinum recording star whose seven albums have earned her eight Grammy nominations and album sales of more than 12 million copies worldwide comes TORI AMOS: Piece by Piece (Broadway Books; Hardcover; February 8, 2005; $23.95), a rare meditation on an artist's life and creativity.
In collaboration with Ann Powers, one of the most respected music journalists of today, Amos shares her self and her passion with readers through a series of face-to-face dialogues with Powers, e-mail exchanges, and the context and perspective of those in her inner circle. Complemented by twenty-five exclusive photos and "song canvases" that trace the evolution of particular songs, TORI AMOS: Piece by Piece reveals a rare window into the artistry of one of the most prolific women in contemporary female music.
Beginning, appropriately, at the beginning, Amos describes how growing up as the daughter of a Methodist minister and an Eastern Cherokee mother influenced not only her spirituality but her music, forcing her to examine what role the gospel of God and the oral tradition of Native Americans would play in her life. Her grandfather, Poppa, played a pivotal role in shaping the woman Amos would become, instilling in her a love of the earth and an awareness that her talents were a blessing not to be taken for granted. Her mother played an integral role as well, handing down her love of books, a passion that Amos would share and that would ultimately become the backbone of her creative process.
Amos describes eloquently the evolution of her music, which goes hand in hand with her spirituality. From the musical influences of the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and Elton John to that of Mary Magdalene, the sacred prostitute whom she claims as her erotic muse, Amos details lovingly how she came into her own as a musician and developed her creative process. Amos describes in detail why she evokes the myths and archetypes of pioneering women throughout history--the Native American Corn Maiden, Demeter and Persephone, Aphrodite and Venus--in her music and chooses them as guides in her life.
TORI AMOS: Piece by Piece delves deeply into the personal life of Amos, chronicling the progression of her relationship with her husband, Mark. Amos writes powerfully of the miscarriages she suffered in her journey to motherhood and the process of channeling that grief into her music. Reemerging from this deeply introspective experience and the grieving process, Amos became pregnant again and in 2000 gave birth to her daughter, Natashya. Amos speaks openly of her life as a mother, the joys and difficulties, how it has changed her life both personally and musically, and how she reconciles being on the road with being a mother to a four-year-old.
Readers are given a firsthand account of the most intricate and intimate details of Amos's life as a performing artist, from how she chooses her public persona and how her diet impacts her energy and ability to perform to her battles with the powers that be in the music industry. Much more than a backstage pass, Amos shares her process in choosing which songs to play for each show, and the transformation she must go through to perform these songs for audiences of hundreds of thousands time and time again.
Being published to coincide with the release of Amos's eighth album, The Beekeeper, TORI AMOS: Piece by Piece gives readers a portal into the inspiration of a truly great woman and her connection to the world around her. As Ann Powers says in the Introduction, "In her songs, [Amos] draws the thread between her own life and the stories she draws from the underground river of myth; through her voice and her piano, she connects with the music, celebrates." TORI AMOS: Piece by Piece is a powerfully honest and deeply insightful look at the personal history of one of the goddesses of contemporary female music and will cause her fans to celebrate her life and music for years to come.
Tori Amos: Piece by Piece
By Tori Amos and Ann Powers
Publication Date: February 8, 2005
Format: Hardcover Price: $23.95, 240 Pages ISBN: 0-7679-1676-X
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Tori Amos is foremost among the artists who have redefined the role of women in pop in the last decade. Her piano-based music revived that instrument in rock and roll, and her complex yet accessible songs have pushed the parameters of pop writing. Since the double-platinum success of her solo debut, Little Earthquakes, in 1992, Amos's albums and tours have reached millions of listeners worldwide. She is the cofounder of the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN). Her ninth recording, The Beekeeper, was released in February 2005.
Ann Powers has been writing about popular music and society since the early 1980s. She is the author of Weird Like Us: My Bohemian America and coeditor of Rock She Wrote: Women Write About Rock, Pop, and Rap. She was a pop critic for the New York Times from 1997 until 2001 and an editor for the Village Voice from 1993 until 1996. She has written for most music publications, and her work has been widely anthologized. She is currently a curator at the Experience Music Project, an interactive music museum in Seattle, Washington.
[See also: Photos from the Piece by Piece book-signing tour]
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