The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website

Baker's Dozen

Thirteen Masks: Jarboe's Favourite Music
Spyros Stasis , August 28th, 2019 08:28

Jarboe guides Spyros Stasis through 13 favourites in this week's Baker's Dozen, taking in the likes of Arvo Pärt, Kendrick Lamar, Janis Joplin and her relationship with Swans

Bartok_1566919800_resize_460x400

Bartók - Bluebeard’s Castle (London Symphony Orchestra)
Now this particular choice is controversial, because some critics have not liked this particular recording, but I love it! I think that the London Symphony Orchestra does an incredible job and the conducting is incredible, and to me the sense of tension is documented there. If you listen to the entire album and you know the story, it is really a horror show. This is Bartok’s only opera and this story never fails to put me on edge, making me hyper alert of my environment. It terrifies me way more than a lot of people’s attempt to create terror through their music, this is a work that organically achieves that.

Some people say that the story is a metaphor and Bartok is actually Bluebeard, but I think it is a psychological story rather than a literal story and I do not think it is misogynistic in any way. That is not the point, it is not what he was thinking of at the time. Both this story and recording inspired me very much when I was working on Primal Baroque Experiment, which has my own take on the story of Bluebeard’s castle.

If you listen to the Arvo Pärt record and this one back to back, there is a real yin yang for me. There is this balance and they put you to completely different states and it is a real good dose, a good dose to char your cellular level.


If you love our features, news and reviews, please support what we do with a one-off or regular donation. Year-on-year, our corporate advertising is down by around 90% - a figure that threatens to sink The Quietus. Hit this link to find out more and keep on Black Sky Thinking.