Jaki Liebezeit is remembered as the groove and power behind Can, but he
left another legacy – a complete practical theory of drumming.
This theory, often referred to as E-T after the Morse code symbols for dot
and dash, is based on natural principles of movement that Jaki observed
during his lifelong ethnological research into drumming. Producer Jono
Podmore and journalist John Payne had been pestering Jaki for a number of
years to write his theory down, but he always replied he’d do it when he
was too old to play the drums. That never happened – his last gig was just
weeks before his death on Jan 22nd 2017. Shortly after Jaki died
Jono and John contacted Jaki’s drum group Drums off Chaos and long-term
collaborator Burnt Friedman to see if the complete theory could be pieced
together before it was lost or corrupted. Fortunately the basic principles
had already been transcribed, and with the help of Jaki’s widow Birgit
Berger and discographer Bryan O’Connell, we’ve been able to amass a
comprehensive overview of not only the drum theory, but also Jaki’s
profound theoretical and practical vision as applied throughout his life.
Jaki Liebezeit: Life, Theory and Practice of a Master Drummer
· a full biography with exclusive, previously unpublished material,
identifying themes and trends in Jaki’s life that manifested in his
thinking and playing
· an explanation of Jaki’s E-T theory
· an in-depth discussion with Drums Off Chaos introducing the technical and
craft aspects that were the expression of the system
· an exploration of the philosophical aspects of Jaki’s work and outlook
· an overview of Jaki’s selection of drums and percussion, highlighting his
modified and hand-made equipment
· the first ever complete discography of Jaki’s recordings
· a selection of illustrations including previously unseen photos of Jaki
and reproductions of his own artwork.
Jaki was a scrupulously ego-less man and we are careful not to beatify him,
or worse promote ourselves on the back of his work. All proceeds from the
book will go to Jaki’s estate, to be used to fund future creative ventures
based on his thinking.
Jono Podmore (editor) Producer, composer, musician and professor of music, Jono (aka Kumo) has been at heart of the underground since the 80s. While working with artists from Jamiroquai to Can to Jose Padilla, Jono’s own music has explored more experimental areas, including the analogue electronic collective Metamono. He runs the label Psychomat and is a regular contributor to online music magazine Getintothis.
John Payne Los Angeles-based veteran journalist and former music editor of the L.A. Weekly, John’s writing on the vanguard of contemporary music has been seen in the L.A. Times, Mojo, EQ, Arthur, High Times, Drum! and many other publications.
Drums Off Chaos Jaki’s drum group and inner circle: performing, recording and studying together since 1982. Current members are:
Gero Sprafke Former member of Drums Off Chaos and first to transcribe the E-T system.
Burnt Friedman One of Germany’s leading electronic musicians with a career spanning almost 40 years, his 15 year partnership with Jaki resulted in pioneering electro-acoustic craft and a musical vocabulary that stands apart the formulas of Western European and Anglo-American music.
Bryan O’Connell Bryan is a drummer. Jaki’s music and E-T system have been essential in his own work for several years. He lives and works in Ireland.
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8th April 2020Extended Discography
I hope you are all keeping safe and well.
Although we’ve had to postpone our London event, we’ve been keeping busy elsewhere.
One of the items in the Collectable level pledge was an extended version of the discography from the book in .pdf format.
This has now been completed and sent out to the pledgers.
Bryan has done a wonderful job on this. He has…
12th March 2020Errata!
No matter how well proof read and pored over, all books end up with a few typos and errors when they hit the shelves and our book is no exception.
Since publication we've identified around 10 of these.
Policy at Unbound is to repair the errors with each reprint of the paperback (or trade run) and as one reprint has already taken place most of the issues listed here have now been…
We’ve managed to put together a star studded line-up for what will be a very special night,…
3rd January 2019Tribute Concert video
Happy New Year!
On January 22nd 2018, the first anniversary of Jaki Liebezeit’s death, musicians from many of the diverse avenues of Jaki’s musical life, including many of the contributors to the book, gathered to play a tribute concert to a sell-out audience at the Philharmonie in Cologne. Fortunately for those of you who missed it, the event was filmed, and a trailer, including interviews, is…
7th August 2018Manuscript received!
Just a quick note to let you know that the manuscript for the book has been submitted and received by Unbound; which means the painstaking but now irrevocable process of publishing now begins!
The book will slowly become a reality over the next 12 months and I'll keep you updated at various milestones along the way. It was a very exciting moment when we pieced a ll the chapters from…
17th May 2018Jaki's cassettes - audio!
We're 94% funded now - so hopefully we'll be able to go into production very soon.
One of the chapters in the book is an overview of Jaki's highly specialised collection of drums and other equipment - and an important piece was his cassette machine. Here's an extract from the text:
"The essential Jaki studio. Real low tech. A mono cassette recorder connected to a speaker Jaki had made…
27th April 2018celebrating 90% and a new chapter
We’re now on 90% funding so we’re nearly there!
Thanks to a generous pledge from the Jaki Liebezeit Foundation which is currently in the final throes of being established, we now have little more than £1000 to raise before going in to production. Thank you so much for the support so far.
Meanwhile the book itself is expanding! We’re going to add another chapter: JL notes by Manos Tsangaris.
19th October 2017Tribute Concert - new pledges
Thanks for your support so far!
We've just updated the site with 2 new pledges, both concerning a fabulous star-studded gig in Cologne...
On the first anniversary of Jaki's death next year there will be a Tribute Concert for Jaki featuring some of the many wonderful musicians he worked with over his long career, including
2nd October 2017Extract from Biography
To celebrate reaching 40% of our target funding, here's a further extract from the biography section of the book, covering the years of Phantom Band (78 to 84) aka Stunde Null. If you enjoyed this then please pass it on! Further extracts from other sections of the book will appear as we progress with the funding.
Alongside a burgeoning career as a session drummer (playing on…
This is a great idea. When is the book expected to be finished?
Hi Crave - thanks for your pledge and thanks for getting in touch! We are planning to get the final text together by the end of this month (Sept) but the final release date is dependent on the crowdfunding. If we get to 100% before Christmas there's a possibility we could see the book going out to pledgers in the summer 2018. So please share!! Cheers - Jono
Hi, I purchased the reward for the book + ticket to the show today. Sorry for the short notice. I’m in Berlin, and need time for travel to make it to Cologne in time. Could someone contact me at +491756275383 (call, iMessage, Sms or WhatsApp) to figure out the ticket situation?
Hi Bryan - we didn't see your message in time - Sorry! Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know what happened
Hello! Really excited about this, only just become aware that the book is being made (I had heard about the dot dash theory, but did not know it had ever been transcribed). I was just wondering on progress? as not much has been posted for a while and it is getting close now to the target! Thanks, Connor
Hi Connor - fully funded now so we deliver the manuscript by the end of July and then the process of layout, editing, proofing etc starts, which takes 8 - 12 months Cheers! Jono
Hi - when do you think the book might be ready now that you have 100% funding? Really looking forward to seeing it!
Hi Robin. I had a meeting with unbound on Friday. We deliver the final manuscript by the end of June - we had to wait for 100% funding before we could pay for translations etc. After that the production process takes 8 - 12 months. Cheers Jono
Hi, My address has changed since I made this pledge. I have updated it in my account settings. Just want to make sure you will use the new info. Thanks!
Hi Sheldon, If you've updated the address on your order then that should be fine, but we always double check we're sending to the correct address before posting books out too. More info on address changes here in case it's useful: http://help.unbound.com/unbound-for-readers/managing-your-subscriptions/how-do-i-change-the-delivery-address-for-a-specific-order Yours, Unbound Support
Have received long awaited book which is a huge relief after such a long wait. A couple of issues though. Between page 5 and page 7 is a minimal biography? Also putting this inbetween the conversation with Jaki meant for me that 5he piece didn't read well and had me a tad confused. Although I am only currently on page 23 there have been a couple of syntax issues, I'll the finding of those to whomever. Another concern is I can't locate where the e-book edition or the 40,000 pdf are situated, should that have come with the book? Pleasr advise. All best wishes. Hugo.
Hi Hugo. The short Bio on p 5 - p 7 is a bio I put together with Jaki years ago that I included to illustrate his brevity and the bio of the artist rather than the person. This is explained on p.7. Please contact Unbound as to the whereabouts of the other sections of your reward. I hope you enjoy the rest of the book! Cheers Jono
Hallo Jono. Appreciate your reply. The book is superb. As both a drummer and drum teacher the depth of information thus far read has already given me insight into the world of Jaki and has led me to alter my approach to the kit. Thank you for making it happen. All best wishes. Hugo
Wow! That's great to hear Hugo - enjoy exploring further and pass it on to your students Cheers Jono
Seriously Jono much gratitude to you, and, of course Jaki, for expanding both my horizons and technique. I have seen this as a general recalibrating of how I approach orchestration and phrasing around the kit. I am learning this only through your amazing book on Jaki and his awesome organic technique. Honestly Jono, sincere thanks. I'm not sure I'll allow my students access to the book... just yet...:-)All best wishes. Hugo
That's fabulous Hugo! Let us know how you get on. Cheers Jono