In my mid-twenties a friend told me about this guy who had been huge in the ’60s then vanished but had just released a comeback album. It was strange and industrial and difficult, he said. He gave me a C90 with Tilt on side B.
Some people have that one band or artist who comes to them in adulthood and changes how they think about music, Scott Walker was mine.
Experimental music can be dry & academic, explorations of form, structure or production, it can be focused on noise, or methods, or on making you dance to unexpected sounds. While many of the ideas interested me, nothing seemed fully engaging until Tilt.
Scott Walker showed me that avant garde music, sonic art and engaging emotional content can be brought together to make satisfying and challenging songs that need only to make their own kind of internal sense. His work showed me that music can be made expressing how senseless, confusing and painful life is, while being satisfying, oddly affirming, funny, serious and, best of all, enjoyable.
I’ve continually returned to Scott’s work partly as a touchstone of personal freedom, but mainly just for the sheer satisfaction of it.
Thanks Scott. That there will be no more new music from you makes me very sad.