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Praise for The Frequency of Magic:

“For Anthony Joseph, the frequency of magic is the place where creativity flourishes; that perfect balance of intellect and instinct that brings something refreshing into heightened perspective. It is clear from reading the riffing, ludic, chapters of this new volume that Joseph is able to reach that frequency often.” — Kayo Chingonyi

“If Mikhail Bulgakov and Ishmael Reed had a godson in Trinidad raised on Rapso and John Coltrane solos, then what you’d get is The Frequency of Magic. Here Anthony Joseph manages to push at the the outer edges of the novel form while holding the centre with the most intricate and significant of detail.” — Roger Robinson

“In The Frequency of Magic Anthony Joseph presents a world rarely if ever explored for British readers. Magical language, uplifting and down-digging meaning through a choir of image and voice. Beautiful.” — Tessa McWatt

“To read The Frequency of Magic is to enter several simultaneous worlds. By turns dark, fantastical, funny, hard, poignant and transformational, this novel’s magic and spirit propel it towards becoming a literary classic.” — Nicole Rachelle-Moore

 

Raphael earns his living as a butcher in a hillside village in rural Trinidad. He is also a would-be author, but there have been so many distractions to the novel he has been writing for forty-one years that many of the characters have lost patience and gone off to do their own thing. But somehow, miraculously, the novel, as Raphael has planned it in one hundred chapters of a thousand words, seems to write itself…

Innovative, ambitious, both poetic and gritty, Anthony Joseph’s novel The Frequency of Magic is simultaneously a portrait of Trinidad and a portrait of creative obsession, shot through with musical rhythms and cadences. Now the author has recorded the entire novel in one hundred audio chapters accompanied by his band, bringing this inventive text alive for the ear.

Speaking Volumes and the Bocas Lit Fest are proud to present The Frequency of Magic: an audio version in 100 chapters, read by Anthony Joseph with musical accompaniment by Denys Baptiste, Andrew John, Thibaut Remy, Colin Webster, Jason Yarde, and Rod Youngs. Starting on 25 October, 2022, each day we’ll release a new audio chapter of the novel, culminating one hundred days later — a gift for readers and listeners, taking you through the end of the year.

The Frequency of Magic is published by Peepal Tree Press — buy it here.

Anthony Joseph

Anthony Joseph is an award-winning Trinidad-born poet, novelist, academic, and musician. He is the author of five poetry collections and three novels. His 2018 novel Kitch: A Fictional Biography of a Calypso Icon was shortlisted for the Republic of Consciousness Prize and the Royal Society of Literature’s Encore Award, and longlisted for the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature. In 2019, he was awarded a Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellowship. As a musician, he has released eight critically acclaimed albums, and in 2020 received a Paul Hamlyn Foundation Composers Award. His most recent album, The Rich Are Only Defeated When Running For Their Lives, was released in May 2021. His latest poetry collection, Sonnets for Albert, is shortlisted for this years’ Forward Prize for Best Collection. He lectures in Creative Writing at Kings College, London. Photo courtesy Mirabelwhite

Anthony Joseph writes:

“In the summer of 2021, I went into Love Electric Studios in London with my regular band; musicians I’ve worked with for over a decade. For five days, we improvised and spontaneously created soundscapes and grooves which I read over. At the beginning of the week, the task of recording 100 chapters of 1,000 words each seemed daunting, especially when each chapter lasted around 10 minutes! But we found our flow and made it to the end around 5 pm on Friday evening. The improvisational but naturally accurate elements of the music — which moves from ambient textures to free jazz — echo both the free-spirited, surrealist mode in which I wrote and edited the text, and the novel’s narrative form, in which everything occurs simultaneously. The spaces where these two elements align is truly the frequency of magic.”

Anthony Joseph – vocals, percussion, flute
Denys Baptiste – tenor saxophone, bass clarinet
Andrew John – bass
Thibaut Remy – guitar, percussion, keyboards
Colin Webster – tenor and baritone saxophone, keyboards, flute
Jason Yarde – alto saxophone
Rod Youngs – drums

Recording, Engineering, Mixing — Andy Hughes
Recorded at Love Electric Studios, London
Produced by Anthony Joseph

Funded by the Arts Council England

Recordings copyright © 2021 Anthony Joseph. All rights reserved.

From left to right: Rod Youngs, Denys Baptiste, Thibaut Remy, Jason Yarde, Andrew John, Colin Webster, Anthony Joseph. Photo courtesy Bunny Bread