27 gennaio 2015

Uno studio sull'interazione tra suono, significato, linguaggio verbale ed eredità letterarie nel lavoro di Robert Wyatt è quello condotto da Richard Elliott in una sua pubblicazione per la University of Sussex, dal titolo You can't just say “words”: literature and nonsense in the work of Robert Wyatt. Se ne legge liberamente una versione preparatoria accedendo al sito della facoltà di Falmer (Regno Unito), una tra le dieci migliori università inglesi. Nella sua versione definitiva il saggio è pubblicato, sempre in ambito accademico, in Litpop: Writing and Popular Music, a cura di Rachel Carroll e Adam Hansen (Ashgate, dicembre 2014).

Throughout his musical career, British musician Robert Wyatt has explored the interaction of words, language, sound and sense. His lyrical and musical delivery, by turns absurdist, infantile, angry and melancholic, deconstructs everyday phrases and invites listeners to question the borders of sense and nonsense. This chapter examines connections between Wyatt’s work and a range of literary voices, particularly those associated with nursery rhyme, nonsense verse and absurdism. A further aim is to explore the role of sense and nonsense in popular music. If one of the ways in which music differs from literature is through its ability to communicate without words, can there be a relationship between sense and nonsense in musical language that correlates with that found in literature? In what ways can musical language be said to make or not make sense? Exposure to Wyatt’s work emphasises the extent to which, as a musician, he has made use of words and vocables, even as he has occasionally distanced himself from the importance of lyrics in his music. By focussing on the literary-textual nature of Wyatt’s work, the text highlights the different demands and expectations placed on the ‘popular’ and the ‘literary’.