Silkworms Ink Mixtape 1 Berry Men

Mixtape I ,Berry Men




Music As Reading: Mixtape I, Berry Men

Bukowski was a jerk! Berryman was bester! He wrote like wet papier-mâché, went the Heming-way, weirdly on wings and with maximum pain – we call upon the author to explain.

This mixtape represents the coming together of songs drawing upon the imagery slash message slash romanticism of a poet’s life and career, musical literary criticism, work with very similar creative specifications to the same poet’s best pieces, and combination’s thereof – the focus being that writer most beloved by contemporary American guitar bands, John Berryman. And more specifically, his 385 Dream Songs. In order to pose the following questions: can music about literature bring with it new understandings of literature? If not, does it have a right to essentially then leech off this literature – even if the result is a compelling new piece of work? What happens when a song like Okkervil River’s John Allyn Smith Sails reflects upon both literature and music (i.e. the Beach Boys) simultaneously? Do certain of these songs bring something new to the real-time experience of reading Berryman (have a look at Dream Song 4 with Gainsbourg on in the background and you’ll see what I’m getting at)? Is a musical thematic project (say, write a ‘Dream Song’) the same as – or at the very least, related to – a similar literary thematic project? And what happens in the spaces in between these questions – is the existence of a composition for a brass quintet entitled Fancies, Toyes and Dreams: His Rest pure coincidence?

Part one, Biography

Intoxicated Man – Serge Gainsbourg
Stuck Between Stations – The Hold Steady
John Allyn Smith Sails – Okkervil River

Part two, Literary criticism

We Call upon the Author – Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds
Mama, Won’t You Keep Them Castles in the Air and Burning? – Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
Softly and Gently (Angel), the Dream of Gerontius Op. 38, part 2 – Edward Elgar

Part three, Other people’s Dream Songs

Dream Song – Matthew’s Southern Comfort
Coat Check Dream Song – Bright Eyes
Dream Song – Scott Matthews

Part four, Combinations thereof

Papa Won’t Leave You Henry – Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds
We Live As We Dream, Alone – Gang of Four
Fancies, Toyes and Dreams: His Rest – Giles Farnaby