If you tend to enjoy “litterchur” as well as classical music, you also tend to become aware that authors such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Ezra Pound, and Paul Bowles were intermittently serious about composing music.

One I did not know about, but was brought to our attention in an email received today, was Anthony Burgess. Always to be known best for his — by no means favorite — novel A Clockwork Orange, Burgess composed more than 175 works, as well as a few opera libretti.

Which brings us to the Harry Ransom Center, an artistic and cultural archive at the University of Texas in Austin, where this Friday evening (the 26th) there’s a concert featuring Burgess’ music, interspersed with readings from his own “litterchur”. Even if you’re not in the Austin area, never fear: it’s also being webcast live. Full information on both the concert and webcast can be had at this page.

Feel free to remind us in the comments, of any other musical authors that slipped our minds.

4 Responses to “Who Knew? (beside the droogs, of course)”
  1. David Salvage says:

    Interestingly, Burgess lamented the disproportionate attention “A Clockwork Orange” drew; he was more proud of other works. And he didn’t like Kubrick’s film. If you’ve read the original “British” version, you probably know why: the ending’s completely different.

  2. I like Paul Bowles’s music. Paul Sperry introduced me to his songs. While I’m glad he favored writing over composing, they’re quite serviceable.


  3. Eric Shanfield says:

    When I briefly worked at Tower Records a decade ago, I found a CD in the budget bin of Burgess’s music. Curious, we put it on. It was not good. His novels may have often been experimental and fascinating (although he wrote very straightforward narrative works as well), but as I recall his music was fairly traditional, early-20th-century British-sounding, even boring. I didn’t buy it, but at least one recording does exist, probably on some long-gone label.