top of page

Farmer in the City (Remembering Pasolini) - Scott Walker

We leave our current thread to remember the great Scott Walker who died today at the age of 76. He's already featured on these pages (see entries for last December 3rd and 6th). Ever since his first solo album in 1967 he has been moving further and further away from the commercial brightness of the Walker Brothers into a luminous darkness, and, now that he's died, everyone's going to suddenly appreciate him.

This is from his dark, brooding album "Tilt", released in 1995, over a decade after his previous LP, Climate of Hunter. It's another great first track, announcing that this record isn't going to be an easy journey, is making no concessions to glib consumerism. The words refer in part to Pier Paulo Pasolini, the Italian neorealist film director who often eschewed using professional actors in his films in favour of "ordinary people", particularly members of the rural peasant Italian working classes and also to Pasolini's great love and life companion actor Ninetto Davoli. As a self-professed communist, Pasolini idealised the commune that worked the land. It's all here, presented as a musical canto, as a modernist Dante or Boccaccio might have written it.

As with much of Scott's later work, the music is rich, the lyrics suffused with enigmatic images and references that together with his transcendent voice create a unique poetry of their own.

"This night you are mistaken

I'm a farmer in the city......"

Maybe now his music will get the attention it so richly deserves.

bottom of page