“No Eden valid without serpent.“ Novelist Wallace Stegner wrote that pithy riff. I think it’s a good motto for you to use in the immediate future. How do you interpret it? Here’s what I think. As you nourish your robust vision of paradise-on-earth, and as you carry out the practical actions that enable you to manifest that vision, it’s wise to have some creative irritant in the midst of it. That bug, that question, that tantalizing mystery is the key to keeping you honest and discerning. It gives credibility and gravitas to your idealistic striving.
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.
So here it is, the final installment. The closing chapter of a year-long work. This album is the fourth phase, the Autumn section, from August to October 2016.
I’m quite satisfied with this collection; I came up with some songs that are amongst the strongest I’ve written but there’re also some experimental tracks that may not be easy listening.
Of the four albums in this cycle, this one has perhaps the fewest unsuccessful pieces and includes the project’s finale song Trenton, New Jersey, of which I’m very proud. Guest vocals on that track from Martin Byrne.
Bonus tracks galore!!
The 2018 re-record, remix & remaster of The Grunderhunter!! Experimental soundworlds The Skittering and Handmade Arpeggio! And from WeeklyBeats2016, the Lovecraft inspired They Return to Claim What is Theirs and instrumental guitar piece Loaded Dice!
Buried underneath a brick warehouse, and near another that had been into upscale shopping was an enormous spherical chamber made entirely of the heavy industrial steel of a bygone era. Two hemispherical sections were joined at their collars by giant bolts. Inside the five-story space was a structure of tanks and piping held aloft by four stone pillars which bore a vague resemblance to the legs and feet of an elephant, ten times normal size. The pillars disappeared into dark water at the bottom of the enormous tank while a cluster of four large pipes at the top bent at an L junction before running straight to the roof, where the steam they once carried fed an engine, long since absent.
I was inside the Dunvluddich Furnace, a kind of giant boiler. It was named for its creator, Abraham Dunvluddich, who was a Lithuanian American magician and scientist. He was…
Well friends I’ve finished compiling all the details and here it is, the second part of my Year of Songs project. This album covers the period from the 31st of January until the 24th of April 2016. It has some successes, like Blind (Instrumental) and Quenelles, a Trio (this is possibly my favourite from the whole year), but also has the first couple of proper failures where I was reaching for something that I genuinely could not achieve at the time. Still – it was a learning experience!
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): I’m about to say things that sound extraordinary. And it’s possible that they are in fact a bit overblown. But even if that’s the case, I trust that there is a core of truth in them. So rejoice in their oracular radiance. First, if you have been hoping for a miracle cure, the next four weeks will be a time when you’re more likely than usual to find it or generate it. Second, if you have fantasized about getting help to address a seemingly irremediable problem, asking aggressively for that help now will lead to at least a partial fix. Third, if you have wondered whether you could ever retrieve a lost or missing part of your soul, the odds are more in your favor than they’ve been in a long time.