The alternative rock giant/enigma Beck Hansen is no stranger to being a little…different. His eclectic mixture of albums spans over genre after genre, and his live shows contain everything from puppets to projection shows.
Apparently everything that he has done already isn’t enough, because Beck’s new album, Beck Hansen’s Song Reader. set for a December release, isn’t actually a recorded album at all. Instead, it is sheet music mean for musicians to play along with and record if they have the appropriate resources.
The package will not be as simple as just sheet music, but as The Guardian and others report, Song Reader, will also feature twenty color booklets that provide a sort of contextual backdrop for each of the new songs.
The collection (can’t quite call it “album”) will be published by Faber and Faber, a publishing company based in London. Another publisher, McSweeney’s, will assume American publishing responsibilities. In order to make things a little more interested, McSweeney’s will be inviting fans to share their renditions of the music on their website.
While many might see this as an unheard of practice, fact is, Beck is going retro before retro. Recordings have not existed forever, so what Beck is doing is having his fans bring his own songs to life – reminiscent of pre-20th century music performance. How the music is going to be made depends on the fans themselves.
Song Reader is the first collection of songs by Beck in almost four years since his rather quiet 2008 release, Modern Guilt. He experienced an ample amount of exposure in 2006 with, Guero, which features widely played songs like “E-Pro” and “Girl.” To this day, he is most remembered for the 1996 masterpiece, Odelay.
Mike Lamardo is a new contributor to Indie Media Mag, and has written extensively on various subjects within the music industry. He also makes additional contributions in entertainment for DX3.net and others.