Unquestionably one of the titanic figures of 20th century music, Thelonious Monk composed and performed mountains of material that now has classic status, but during his initial heyday in the 40’s, it was often dismissed as too quirky, too dissonant, too…weird. Well, Monk’s work is indeed all of those things, but in just the right amount. There is an uncanny air of ineffable mystery that permeates his playing that is striking. His style is angular, uses silence beautifully, and is deeply personal and idiosyncratic. Although hugely influential, no one has ever sounded remotely like him.
Let ∰ = “The High Priest of quasi-androgynous Synth-Pop/Electronica, the Impassive Alien Deity, The Gary Numan.” What heretofore had been used to calculate Flux Densities, and whatnot, now is more—much more—much, much more.
He created aural landscapes which allowed access to the unfathomable. His performances have been described in so many ways. Strikingly “robotic”. Otherworldly. Mesmerizing. And moreover, there’s an unease, a disquiet, accompanying his trenchant intelligence; a wariness. Aware of a certain danger we cannot grasp. The ritual held out in the open, hauntingly obvious, yet impenetrable. A language we’ve forgotten; mind-argot beyond our ken.
Go ahead. Choose a realm, any realm. Ian’s not from there; he’s never taken up residence there, and, for that matter, spends precious little—if any—time there. Yes. It’s been proven.