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Baker's Dozen

The Pleasure Of Discomfort: Siavash Amini's Favourite Music
Jennifer Lucy Allan , August 26th, 2020 09:07

Siavash Amini discusses his 13 favourite albums with Jennifer Lucy Allan, including the power of romanticism, weeping over the death of Leonard Cohen, and why Nils Frahm has a lot to answer for. Photo by Selma Pour-Amin


Franz Schubert – Die schöne Müllerin (performed by Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau)

Schubert, Schoenberg and Liszt are three true romantics. The spirit of that era runs through them. He was trying to make an opera and get big and get rich, but in the meantime, he did this. There was this poet who, jokingly, made a poem, where a miller falls in love with a maid, and she falls in love with the hunter – it's a very simple rustic story, amazingly boring, from the 19th century. Your crush doesn't love you, big deal, who's does? But what Schubert does here is that he takes away a lot of the poem, and what you have is the psychological state of that guy in love. It's not even love – it's an obsession. The obsession shows itself through the colour green. Schubert tells that story, brings that psychological aspect in, and makes it about nature – his only dialogues are with the brook, and he dies in the brook. It's about your relationship with your psyche and nature.

Is your love for these romantics about your own personality or the music you make, or do you see those things as separate?

I love going into extreme psychological states and making a world out of it like Schubert does. It's a world that makes sense in itself.