Wednesday, January 5, 2011


 This post has nothing and everything to do with film. I was deeply saddened to learn that musician Mick Karn succumbed to cancer yesterday at his London home. Karn, born Andonis Michaelides, remains my all-time favorite bassist, from his early years with the legendary art-rock/New Wave band Japan to his solo and collaborative efforts with Peter Murphy and David Torn. Karn's primarily instrumental compositions possess a distinct cinematic majesty, unfolding like scores to imaginary movies. My favorite of his many creations remains "The Sound of Waves," the B-side to his 1982 solo single, "Sensitive." (Almost unbelievably, this sweeping, exquisitely-textured masterpiece did not appear on the vinyl version of Karn's first solo album, Titles, but was eventually released as a bonus track on the CD reissue.) The tidal synthesizer washes and African flute effects are a prelude to the gathering storm of Karn's fretless bass, which, which finally unleashed, progresses with acrobatic grace, like some magnificent creature penetrating the oceanic depths towards its destiny and delighting in its own existence. The scope of this piece is positively Herzogian.

Farewell, Maestro! You were a magician of my youth, and you will be much missed.