Music: def.: any sequence of sounds perceived as pleasing or harmonious.
Beauty: def.: the combination of all the qualities of a person or thing (music) that delight the senses and please the mind
…so what if the above does not apply? I mean what if music is such that it can not be characterized as pleasing or harmonious or delightful, and still can be classified as music? Or what if one’s “pleasing” is another person’s “displeased“?What could be catalogued as difficult music and can you listen to it?
Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music is difficult, yet admired; certainly! Captain Beefheart’s Trout Mask Replica is difficult, but at the same time sublime, absolutely; and more recently Kanye West’s Yeezus is difficult but ultimately rewarding!
However beyond this select group there is the extreme ‘musical’ beauty of the artist born Noel Scott Engel (January 9, 1943), and known as Scott Walker of Walker Brother’s fame.
1995: ‘Tilt’; Fontana 526 859 -2 2006: ‘Drift’: 4AD: CAD 2603(CD) 2012: ‘Bish Bosh’: 4AD: CAD 3220(CD)
This obscure ‘musical’ odyssey started inadvertently through a Led Zeppelin/Robert Plant Uncut 2005 05B CD featuring on track 8: Farmer in the City by Scott Walker from an album called Tilt. I had only recently sold a ‘definitive’ Walker Brothers folio set which drove me mad with minutiae versions of similar songs – which made it hard to make it easy on oneself!
Even Farmer in the City, I found was a ‘boundary’ track, a track based upon the final moments of life of the Italian film director Pier Paolo Pasolini, who was repeatedly run over by his own car driven by a male prostitute.
However, the recorded audio space was different, it recalled that film with Debbie Harry being electrocuted against a wall of meat, Videodrome by David Cronenberg. This ‘sound’ takes you somewhere else, to a place far from a pleasant sense of comfort. Yet isn’t comfort a slow sort of death? Scott Walker, as an entity really ‘died’ with the demise of the Walker Brothers, and where does one go after international stardom;
Scott1: 1967 Scott2: 1969 Scott3: 1969 Scott4: 1969
and how can one escape one’s own public to reinvent oneself anew – and believe in it?
Scott Walker sends a clear message to the ‘unlistening’:
Tilt, Drift, Bish Bosh!