‘Cover versions are for the most part daunting propositions, but doubly so when it is Scott Walker’ There’s a fascinating new collection out on Soundcloud under the name All Souls Music – Songs From Montague Terrace (A Tribute To Scott Walker), which features Sondre Lerche, Nightlands, The Entrance Band, and others tipping their hats to the
‘Cover versions are for the most part daunting propositions, but doubly so when it is Scott Walker’
There’s a fascinating new collection out on Soundcloud under the name All Souls Music – Songs From Montague Terrace (A Tribute To Scott Walker), which features Sondre Lerche, Nightlands, The Entrance Band, and others tipping their hats to the pop and experimental icon.
Of particular interest is SA-born experimental composer and performer Ella Joyce Buckley, whose eight-minute take on “Farmer in the City” will thrill the avant-garde, noise and drone fans too.
Parts of Ella’s recording and mixing were assisted by Dirk Hugo, who also tracked and mixed Andy Lund and the Mission Men’s Faster We Run (2013) and Soundtracks for Muted Heart (2010), amongst other notable independent projects.
Of “Farmer in the City” he says: “It was a privilege to work with Ella Joyce Buckley on the recording of this track. Cover versions are for the most part daunting propositions, but doubly so when it is Scott Walker and quadrupally when it is one of his most iconic songs. Ella’s version is singular in its vision and uncompromising in its approach…”
Buckley jokes that it may seem that she over-intellectualises things, but her approach to the song – and her work in general – is multi-staged to say the least:
“I recorded this song, my tribute to Scott Walker, mostly from memory,” she says. “This is why the structure and chords are a bit different from the original. I wanted to capture my love for the song and how I would sing it to myself as I walked through my life since the first time I listened to it and thought it was one of the most moving and evocative pieces I’d ever heard.
“I recorded it, chronologically, in segments. The first half in New York and the second half in South Africa. Concentrating on the effect each section of the song had on me. This song has always been very vital to me during existential periods. I used some recordings I tracked in Zimbabwe last year too.
“I used very rudimentary recording methods for the most part and recorded a lot of organ drones and vocal doubling, my dog barking, the sound of the night outside etc… until I went on to finish the song with Dirk Hugo in South Africa).
“I walked through the song very carefully and circled it like a bag of bombs. I was mostly concerned with the emotional temperatures of the varying vocal deliveries. There is no set tempo at all and the chord drops are what, for me personally, give the song its devastating gravity, so the emotional timing there was important to me. How they enter, where they run over each other and where they don’t.
“I love working with Dirk because he knows me so well, I go off and record very roughly, like a teenage boy… And then we sit with it all, and he helps me give everything a place at the table. And we will then record larger elements that need his engineering finesse. My approach to recording is usually schematic and visual. I like pushing cautious and devoted parts up against envelopes of chaos.
“So it’s as if you are walking through a moving train where some carriages have a soporific effect and then you arrive at a carriage that is loud and wakes you up. So you are constantly alive to the music and it has an appetite of its own. “