Home Entertainment Bob Dylan offers, in his new book, a master class on the art of composing, singing and recording songs

Bob Dylan offers, in his new book, a master class on the art of composing, singing and recording songs

Bob Dylan offers, in his new book, a master class on the art of composing, singing and recording songs

This Tuesday (November 2) will see the light The philosophy of modern song, the new book by Bob Dylan. There the musician – and how can we forget him here, since 2016 also the Nobel Prize for Literature – reflects on the art of composing, interpreting and recording songs. I mean: a master class in print.

They are 66 essays devoted to his favorite topics, in such a wide range that goes from Bing Crosby, Dean Martin to Domenico Modugno, passing through Sinatra, The Clash, The Who, Elvis Costello or Nina Simoneto name some of their preferences.

Not content with hearing – and trying to decode – his music, in 2004 Dylanites around the world celebrated the news that Dylan had signed with Simon & Schuster for three books. And not much else. Faithful to Dylan’s world, the rest was a mystery …

It is well known: “rock star” plus “book” equals biography. And so it was: in 2004 it appeared Chronicles, actually a memoir but with a very original approach. Having more than 1000 titles on the shelves dedicated to rock –yes, there are more than 1,000 books dedicated to Dylan-Bob has decided to only remember some very specific moments from his long career.

And not exactly the peak moments: for example, he doesn’t say a word its Himalayathe electro-mercurial trilogy which he recorded in just 14 months between January 1965 and March 1966 (to prove it, listen to a song Bringing It All Back Home, State road 61 revisited Y blonde on blonde).

In Chronicles is dedicated to remembrance, with an evocative power worthy of the great writers – even dylanologists wondered if there was a ghost writer– the landing in New York of his small fee in Minnesota and the back of two of his albums, the (unjustly) forgotten New morning and the (celebrated unanimously) Oh Mercy, but not much else. Again Dylan, again the mystery …

So here’s the second volume and what he did: he reflects on his art, but with a curious twist. Being responsible for over 500 songs from 1961 to today, He decided to talk about others to – obviously – talk about himself.

This is basically what it is The philosophy..., for now only in English. With the plus, for those who prefer to listen to it inside audiobook, to invite Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Helen Mirren and Renée Zellweger so they can read it to you with their movie voices.

Doing a review on the web of the main world media, it immediately emerges that the the commendable reviews are unanimous and range from four to five stars.

With the pen and the songs

In the book, second Ultimate classic rock, The Sunday Times, Mojo, Uncut Y rolling stone (among other means), Dylan helps readers understand because a song lands emotionally and offers an idea of ​​his background, although he warns that the two fields are not to be confused.

“Knowing a singer’s life story isn’t particularly helpful in understanding a song,” writes Dylan, of inflate it, by Elvis Costello. “It’s what a song makes you feel about your life that’s important.”

The always enigmatic image of Dylan is clearly reflected in the work of his chosen ones when he states: “Like many men who reinvent themselves, the details become a bit dubious”, in the chapter dedicated to There is the glasssung by Webb Pierce.

Dylan also alludes to that feeling of inevitable disappointment where every first-time fan comes to see him live only to find (oops!) That that version he just made of … Blowing in the wind, like a Rolling Stone -or …… complete with the classic you want- It’s (almost) nothing like the original version on the disc.

“People confuse tradition with calcification,” says Bob speaking Ruby (Are you mad at your man) by the Osbourne brothers. “The recording is just a snapshot of those musicians at the time.”

That means: for Dylan, the song is a living thing that changes according to the mood of the singer when he plays him. From there on stage, many times he is disconcerting and far from his records.

Another way to understand it so as not to be disappointed: live, Dylan covers Dylan. (For those who love recorded reruns, you can always go and see McCartney or the Stones: in this sense they never disappoint).

Do you hear or understand?

A question that runs through the Spanish-speaking Dylanites is: how can I like a guy who sings so much in English – a language I don’t understand -, whose main value, moreover, lies in his lyrics rather than in the music – a misunderstanding accepted but very questionable, of course-?

The answer in this case is no blows in the wind nor is it in sight. The answer is in the ears: that sound alchemy between voice, music and words.

In his book, Dylan represents it like this: “In the same way that Velcro was invented – after the Swiss engineer George de Mestral became curious about the thousands of spikes that were attached to his wool coat -, the music lingers persistently in countless points of memory and emotion“, He says.

“People can keep trying to make music a science, but in science one plus one always equals two. Music, like all art, tells us over and over that one plus one, under the best of circumstances, equals three.“.

Let’s imagine, now, Bob Dylan on schedule DJand what he is reflecting on the songs that marked him:

Tutti Frutti (1955), Little Richard

Towards the end of high school, there in Hibbobg, Minnesota, young Robert Zimmerman was asked what he aspired to be when he grew up, a classic in the United States, which is recorded in school yearbooks.

“Join Little Richard”, he answered. You didn’t say “doctor” or “lawyer” or “austranauta”. He said he wanted to “play with Little Richard”. It is therefore no coincidence that he chose from among his favorites Tutti Fruttimilestone of rock and roll recorded in 1955.

Dylan writes: “He took the language of the street and brought it to the radio. She is saying that something is happening, that the world will fall apart. Riccardo is a preacher. Y Tutti Frutti the alarm is sounding. “

I have a woman (1954), Ray Charles

Classic of gospel, jazz and blues, brother Ray sings to a woman “high above the city that’s good for me”. It’s based on It must be Jesus, of the southern tones e Living on Easy Street, by Big Bill Broonzy, and a well-deserved cover of Elvis Presley of the Beatles.

Dylan writes: “Traffic was already intermittent even without the opposite road signs. It would take three hours of this step. I probably could have stopped and had dinner after getting out of work and arriving at the same time. But she was waiting for him. “

Flying in the blue painted blue) (1958), Domenico Modugno

Domenico Modugno?!, More than one will exclaim. Dylan’s choices are so varied in terms of eras and styles – nothing new for dylanitas, that he shared their broad musical palate when Bob started playing his favorite songs on the radio cycle. Themed radio hourbetween 2006 and 2009, available on YouTube, reflecting on this popular song here.

Dylan writes: “Presumably it’s about a man who wants to paint himself blue and then fly. i will fly means ‘Let us fly to the infinite sky’. Obviously, the infinite sky. The whole world can disappear, but I’m in my head. “

blue bayou (1963), Roy Orbison

More than once, Dylan has expressed his admiration and respect for the unmistakable phrasing we all hear when he sings. Oh beautiful woman. Additionally, they were bandmates in Traveling Wilburys, Orbison’s latest musical project.

Dylan writes: “A song that takes you back to happier times. Where you can put both oars in the water and balance yourself. Go back where you can hook the hook, cast the net, sail your boat and be a sea dog. “

Don’t let me be misunderstood (1964) Nina Simone

The song has bluesy versions like The Animals or disco-music like Santa Esmeralda, but Simone, with that trembling voice, took it to a slow tempo, added an orchestral arrangement, and turned it into an anthem (! Another !) in the midst of the struggle for civil rights in the tumultuous 1960s.

Dylan writes: “This is a song of crossed threads and misconceptions. Wrong quotes and things out of context: things that get lost in translation, people who get the wrong impression of who you are. You don’t want to be taken for granted, especially by someone you love. The fact of being misunderstood is that it diminishes your enjoyment of life.

Call to London (1979), The clash

During the Second World War, in England, the BBC announced its radio parts with a “London calls” (“London calls”). A little over 30 years later, and with the punk revolution that led to post-punk, London calls is the same as The Clash and their huge double album from 1979.

Dylan writes: “Punk rock is the music of frustration and anger, but The Clash are different. His is the music of despair. Many of his songs are exaggerated, overwritten, well-intentioned. But it isn’t. All hell is breaking loose, but the boy still lives by the river, which gives him some hope. “

My generation (1965), The Who

Here there is rock and power, as befits the Who (who?), And an inevitable theme when it comes to anthems of youth rebellion. And that already classic quote in rock history: “I hope I die before I get old”all with the distorted signature of Pete Townshend’s guitar, of course.

Dylan writes: “Townshend expects to die before being replaced as if they were being replaced. That fear is perhaps the most honest thing in the song. We all criticize the older generation, but somehow we know it’s only a matter of time before we become them. “

Good reflection for a man who – you remember – comes from blowing out 81 candles.


Source: Clarin


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