Scott Walker - Tribute by David Sylvian in The Guardian

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Scott Walker - Tribute by David Sylvian in The Guardian

Postby Halloway on Mon Mar 25, 2019 1:24 pm

Quite a nice little tribute to Scott Walker by Sylvian in today's Guardian:

Those of us who spent time with Scott clearly encountered the same man, but came away with different interpretations or impressions of him, as he only gave away so much. He appeared to me to be highly complex, neurotic and uncomfortable in his own skin, which created the image of an antisocial man who might have longed to be anything but under different circumstances – he’d sometimes surprise me, turning up in a crowded backstage environment, seemingly at ease, commenting playfully on the performance. He was vulnerable in many respects, but not a pushover. He liked a joke, but wasn’t into small talk. Guarded but intellectually and artistically rigorous, and entirely authentic.

He was in a contractual bind when I met him, and we’d come up with a plan that’d put an end to the predicament. I never truly believed we’d see it through, not that it was unrealistic, but I hadn’t anticipated this might be the outcome of our first meeting and it would’ve meant a good deal of commitment on both our parts. Then there was procrastination on Scott’s part, which meant that at the end of every phone call, letter, or meeting, there was no clearer indication of the content of the proposed album other than a few chord sheets taken from Messiaen along with some requested literary references. About a year after we first met, I was in the midst of recording another album, and Scott called the studio. He was laughing, kidding me: “So you got tired of waiting, huh?” But the good news was that a company had bought him out of his contract with Virgin, and he was now free to pursue his vision unhindered by CEO oversight. That was a blessing for us all due to the quality, the unfettered originality, of the resulting work.

As a vocalist, at the height of his popularity, he was unsurpassable and influenced multiple generations as a result. His later work impacted many of the same artists whilst reaching newly receptive listeners who’d not hold him to the same standards of his earlier work. It was a real rebirthing of the artist that only a few manage to achieve in the world of popular music. The work Scott produced as a young man, and particularly that of his later years, will endure, as it is authentic, heartfelt, and visionary, produced in an environment, a genre of the arts, where such qualities are rarely encouraged or embraced.

Musically and lyrically, he ultimately charted a path that was entirely his own, beyond imitation; a singular path created by a visionary artist. His influence, should others wish to follow, might encourage the path of no compromise, allowing oneself to mature as artist, and trusting the resulting work will find an appreciative audience. “To be an artist is to fail, as no other dare fail,” as Beckett wrote.
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Re: Scott Walker - Tribute by David Sylvian in The Guardian

Postby Blemished on Thu Mar 28, 2019 7:24 am

Thanks for posting this - didn't see it at the time. A nice tribute and very interesting detail about their proposed collaboration. It's hard to know how much Scott Walker influenced David - you can certainly see that he blazed a trail that David has followed in terms of his musical trajectory and SOTB could have been a Scott Walker album.

We seem to be losing musical greats at a scary rate this year.
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