The Secret Life Of The Love Song & The Flesh Made Word: Two Lectures By Nick Cave
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The Secret Life of the Love Song is Nick Cave's highly original take on his personal artistic muse, and on the genre as a whole. Originally conceived for the Vienna Poetry Festival (1998) and performed to great success and a capacity audience at The Royal Festival Hall, London earlier in 1999, this is a special studio recording. It includes five new and unique recordings of his songs 'West Country Girl', 'People Ain't no Good', 'Sad Waters', 'Love Letter', and 'Far From Me'. The Word Made Flesh is a wholly spoken-word piece, re-recorded, originally conceived and executed for the BBC Religious Services Department in 1996.
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In Cave's first lecture, he explains the concepts of "saudade" and "duende" and puts forth the proposition that a love song is not a true love song unless it contains elements of these concepts. Then he goes on to explain why this is so. His lecture is interspersed with his playing of five examples of love songs he has written that are steeped in saudade and duende.
In the course of his talk, he also mentions other musicians like Van Morrison, Bob Dylan, Tom Waits and others whose writings betray a deep understanding of those concepts.
In the second lecture, Cave speaks of how the Bible came to influence his writing after the death of his father who had inspired him to write. Songs from his earlier band Birthday Party and early Bad Seeds are informed by the Old Testament and filled with "bile and puke", but also with the beauty of the Psalms. Later Cave songs have been inspired by the Gospels and show a new and brighter view of life and love. He talks a bit about God and his view of humanity's connection to the divine. Lest this scare anyone off, I should add that his talk is exploratory and explanatory, not preachy in a Jesus freak sort of way.
I learned quite a bit by listening to this fine CD and have come to understand the music of Nick Cave to the point to where I can explain it to others. Cave has a good speaking voice and a manner which makes interesting what he has to say. I find The Secret Life of the Love Song & The Flesh Made Word to be thoroughly edifying and enjoyable. I recommend it highly not just to hard-core Nick Cave fans, but to anyone who has an interest in writing.
Cave's second lecture, The Flesh Made Word, provides an interesting look at the Bible and how it helps to shape the imagination. For Cave followers, this lecture also provides listeners with reasoning for Cave's tortured bout with divinity.