The controlling idea, I think, is not supposed to be about the performer, but the listener. The performer is always going to dominate and control the whole experience, but as much as you drain expression out of the performance, it’s still going to be completely dominated by the performer. You can get people to sand off those portions of the performance that maybe allow the individual more access and the listening experience to have more to it. If it’s all about the performer’s idiosyncrasies and emotions, then there is no room for the audience. Some audience members might like that kind of music, but take something hyper-emotive, like Janis Joplin, and I’ll think, Ok, Janis, there is no room for me in these songs, so I’ll just turn this off and listen to something else.
From an interview with Will Oldham (Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy) in the new issue of BOMB.
And Oldham’s latest video, which I would probably totally hate if I didn’t love it so goddamn much:
Clarice Lispector interviewed Antônio Carlos Jobim in 1968. Lovely, even through the strange wonderful estranging filter of Google translate.