Saturday, January 07, 2006
Coming out for Rufus Wainwright
Colleagues, this is my first post to this group. I’ve read a fair amount on the website and am thrilled that this forum exists and am embarrassed that I didn’t know about it before. I’d like your help with a project I’m working on. If you don’t like popular music, or tonal music, or Rufus Wainwright, no need to read any further.
I am writing a book about the music of RW. For me, Rufus is the best thing in music since the Beatles. I’m not going to compare him to anyone in Classical music, as his music is not really “classical” at this point. He is primarily a singer-songwriter who has feet in popular music, opera, cabaret and jazz, but he’s hard to categorize. He claims to listen mostly to “classical” music, and his great chord progressions and unparalleled sense of melody testify to that. I doubt he listens to Schoenberg or Boulez, but he does listen to Philip Glass. If I had to try to describe him as a songwriter, I’d compare him to Cole Porter, although his lyrics are not at Porter’s level at this stage. He sang for the opening concert of the New York City Opera this past September, and is, I hear through the grapevine, working on something [an opera?] for the Metropolitan Opera.
I’m interested in bringing his music to the attention of the classical music community (sorry, I don’t know what else to call us), as well as help the millions of Rufus fans understand how his music works, and ultimately teach them how phrase structure and form work in music in general. In my book, I will be including analytic essays of selected songs, mostly for voice and piano, that will analyze lyric and musical structure. My challenge is addressing musicians, as well as non-musicians.
To this end, I have created a blog to get help from interested people in writing this book: Rufus fans, musicians, teachers, and, with this posting, composers. If you are so inclined, I’d like to urge you to register and participate. As composers, your comments and suggestions will be invaluable to me.
Blog on THE MUSIC OF RUFUS WAINWRIGHT
Roger Bourland's website
Rufus Wainwright's Dreamworks website
Thanks for your help.