Beck’s latest album, Beck Hansen’s Song Reader, may not come out till December, but fans can read the artist’s introduction to the album at The New Yorker’s website. Beck Hansen’s Song Reader is a different kind of album. Released as sheet music, listeners are expected to bring the songs to life themselves.
In the preface, Beck discusses how the album came to be.
He writes, “I met with Dave Eggers in 2004 to talk about doing a songbook project with McSweeney’s. Initially I was going to write the songs the same way I’d write one of my albums, only in notated form, leaving the interpretation and performance to the player. But after a few discussions, the approach broadened. We started collecting old sheet music, and becoming acquainted with the art work, the ads, the tone of the copy, and the songs themselves. They were all from a world that had been cast so deeply into the shadow of contemporary music that only the faintest idea of it seemed to exist anymore. I wondered if there was a way to explore that world that would be more than an exercise in nostalgia—a way to represent how people felt about music back then, and to speak to what was left, in our nature, of that instinct to play popular music ourselves.”
Check out the introduction in its entirety here.