Scott Walker: The Childhood of a Leader (4AD)

 |   |  <1 min read

Third Tantrum
Scott Walker: The Childhood of a Leader (4AD)

And here Elsewhere performs a readers' service for those few who still follow Scott Walker's idiosyncratic and often brilliant (if demanding) career.

The master of disturbing music and disruptive arrangements here presents his soundtrack to the film of the same name. It is set in Paris 1919 and the “leader” of the title refers to the cute-faced young boy whose manipulations of people foreshadow the fascism to come in Europe. (Or so on-line information tells us.)

Given that disturbing theme, Walker would seem the right man for the job and he brings in piercing and disconcerting strings (sometimes in the manner of Bernard Herrmann), unnerving passages for orchestra which can swell with stentorian enormity (Hans Zimmer-meets-Stravinsky) or cut right back, or uneasy and queasy synth passages to evoke nightmarish scenarios in the Dream Sequence early on.

Even the more "pleasant" pieces sound pretty unsettling in the greater context.

And that is Scott's particular gift.

By its very nature this music is frequently short and episodic as it parallels scenes on screen, but here it is . . . a little night music for you, if you really want to stay awake.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

SHORT CUTS: A round-up of recent New Zealand releases

SHORT CUTS: A round-up of recent New Zealand releases

Facing down an avalanche of releases, requests for coverage, the occasional demand that we be interested in their new album (sometimes with that absurd comment "but don't write about it if you... > Read more

Dodson and Fogg: Follow The Path (wisdomtwins)

Dodson and Fogg: Follow The Path (wisdomtwins)

In which Elsewhere once again hopes to draw your attention to the very prolific Dodson and Fogg – aka Chris Wade – from Leeds (music, books, artwork, articles, film, see here!) whose... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

UB40: Just another labour of love

UB40: Just another labour of love

It was a few years ago now, but UB40 were back for another New Zealand tour. Well pardon my lack of enthusiasm. It's not that, like most critics, I don't have much time for their MOR reggae. I... > Read more

Odetta: A legend ignored

Odetta: A legend ignored

To be honest, I had largely forgotten about Odetta until she died in 2008 at the age of 77. I imagined her as much older actually as she seemed to have been around since Biblical times, or at least... > Read more