Sunday, August 04, 2013

Scott Walker: Farmer in the City

Julian Cope once put together an album with the subtitle The Godlike Genius of Scott Walker. This track shows why.

Tony Cornwell tried to account for its appeal on the World Socialist Web Site:
The opening track on Tilt - “Farmer in the City (Remembering Pasolini)” - is the most accessible song on the album. Against a backdrop of grim horrors, wry humour, beauty and grief, it lights the last hours of Pasolini’s life with musical and lyrical strobe. 
The lyrics are fragmentary and presented as images on a moving pathway. You barely focus and the next lot of images close in: fragments of voices, Pasolini’s and his killers; neighbourhood cries and noise. Pasolini is seen from a distance - geographically and biographically - but the overall effect is a portrait that words alone can’t sufficiently express. Walker’s disquieting and restless tenor sobs and surges, bringing colour and movement to the scene but without offering any explanation. A high point is where Walker cries: 
And I used to be a citizen
I never felt the pressure
I knew nothing of the horses
nothing of the thresher.
And the string section of the London Sinfonia heaves upward in a monstrous crescendo to echo and cradle the lyric. It is a most moving and unsettling moment.

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