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Work and life of music icon Scott Walker to be explored at Kingston University in first academic symposium to focus on star's late period output

Posted Friday 1 November 2019

Work and life of music icon Scott Walker to be explored at Kingston University in first academic symposium to focus on star's late period output The late period musical output of Scott Walker will be the focus of the symposium - picture credit David Evans and 4AD records

The life, philosophy and late period output of internationally revered singer and composer Scott Walker is set to be examined at a special day-long symposium at Kingston University on 23 November. Walker's long-time producer and collaborator Peter Walsh will speak about their creative collaboration in an on stage interview with music critic Pete Paphides.

The event will include talks and papers by writers and academics including Rob Young of Wire, Eimear McBride and Kingston University's Professor Scott Wilson, author of Scott Walker and the Song of the One-All-Alone. Other elements include a screening of Stephen Kijak's documentary 30th Century Man and an exclusive playback of the score for the ROH2 production of Jean Cocteau's 1932 play ‘Duet for One' on a special surround sound system in the University's Visconti Studio.

Event organiser and senior lecturer in music Dr Leah Kardos said the symposium would centre on Walker's late-period output from 1985's Climate of Hunter to his final solo album Bish Bosch and collaborations with other artists, including experimental drone metal duo Sunn0))) and filmmaker Brady Corbet. "Scott is an avant-garde pop-cultural icon, hugely influential on totemic figures such as David Bowie, Brian Eno, Alison Goldfrapp, Jarvis Cocker and Radiohead," she said. "He started in the 60s as a teen idol and ended his career as one of the most original and uncompromising artists, pushing the boundaries of what pop music can be, as well as branching out to film, dance and noise art."

Dr Kardos lists Walker's trilogy of masterpieces Tilt, The Drift and Bish Bosch as the most transformative works and credits his use of immersive sound and stark melody as an influence in her own productions. An air of mystery still remains around his creative process and there was an enormous amount that could yet be learned from Walker's approach to music, she added.

Walker's producer and collaborator Peter Walsh will be in attendance at the symposium.Walker's producer and collaborator Peter Walsh will be in attendance at the symposium."Long-time collaborator Peter Walsh was there for pretty much the entirety of his late career," she explained. "From the point in 1984 when, with Climate of Hunter, Scott's music first turned towards the strange and experimental until the very end. Hearing his invaluable insights on creative processes during the symposium will be fascinating to anyone moved by Scott's enigmatic work."

Listening spaces and a pop-up shop run by Walker's record label, 4AD, will be available to give eager fans an opportunity to pick up vinyl editions of his work. Limited tickets are available, with the event also offering an opportunity to experience the atmosphere at Kingston University's Visconti Studio and its specialist collection of analogue recording equipment.

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