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SOUND

Scott Walker

LAST YEAR IN VISUAL ART could have been a good one for Scott Walker. The atmosphere in his songs would, superficially at least, have been appropriate for the various melancholy biennials in New York, Berlin, and elsewhere. The Francesca Woodman installation in the former Jewish girls’ school at the Berlin Biennial might have been inspired by Walker’s music: yawning abysses, multiple light sources, peeling wall paint, and disappearing bodies. Then there were all the debates about “romantic conceptualism,” and the ongoing and seemingly never-ending rediscovery of Yves Klein and Bas Jan Ader, both artists who thematized the idea of falling. Walker’s songwriting aesthetic may be seen as sharing common ground, his songs, too, enacting a long-drawn-out fall—from the securities of conventional musical forms, as well as from the securities of subjective existence—though it is a fall

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