INTERVIEW: Peter Murphy
Talks About His Latest Album, Dust (Peter Murphy's Web Site)
By: Jett Black
Sonya Brown and I have this over-sized chihuahua named Os (short for Osiris, as we think that chihuahuas were once Egyptian pets). When a package delivery arrived at the most in-opportune moment, Os interrupted a telephone interview with Peter Murphy today. An attempt to arrest and compensate for the noise resulted in a dead phone line when I returned. Peter Murphy and I might have had another ten minutes on the phone, otherwise. In which time, I might have ventured beyond the philosophical inquiries pressing upon my soul, and side-stepped to the practical inquiries with which readers might be more interested.
I prefaced our brief conversation in stating to Peter Murphy that any such practical questions that I might have developed seemed incidental in that the album itself seemed to clearly convey all one needs to know in order to resume a journey into the Human exprierence. To which he jovially quipped that then perhaps he should simply wish me well and say good-bye?
Beyond the crackling of the phone cord (which turns out to be the fault of an attachment which allows the cord to swivel w/o tangling upon itself. Once removed, the phone line ceases to crackle.), I managed to keep Peter Murphy on the line just long enough to collect a few interesting comments on "the beauty of the human experience" in relation to "Dust" Peter's latest release via Metropolis Records.
And, let me be the first, or perhaps NOT the first, person to tell you that all the positive responses to Peter Murphy's new music are entirely true... Dust is magical. Try it for yourself when you are home, alone, sans distractions from the message within the music. Dust is beautiful. Dust is enchanting, and indeed reflective upon the many beauties of this human experience. A portal ever-changing as is the reflective glass-like pool of a pond.
Peter describes Dust by asking me do I recall the waste bag floating in the pool in the film American Beauty? It takes me a moment to remember this film and that scene clearly, but after a pause, I say that yes, I do remember. Peter then continues to tell me that this moment in that film basically illustrates the gist or premise behind the messages recorded upon his latest release: Dust.
I see the album as a journey into the metaphysical, mystical realm of personal relationships which shatters and deepens all that I might have preconceived about Mr. Murphy... with loved ones I never imagined that he had, with significant others, and with the self. Dust provides a most intimate portrait of what it must be to reflect upon life so rich with many memories and such diversity in experiences.
Furthermore, I see Dust as a retrospective of lucid 20/20 hindsight, and a desire to savour more the minutia of experiences shared with significant others.
In examining, perhaps too closely, Peter Murphy's current online biography, I've noted a string of random words which seem inter-related, connected, thematic, and significant.
Remember, relevance, respect,
Reminded, relationship, reminiscing,
revisions, redefined, re-interpreted,
reflect, reveal, renewal, regeneration.
These words above are listed in the order in which they appear in Peter's online biography www.petermurphy.org
3 selected words spliced together:
"Remember (with) relevance (my) relationships"
Peter Murphy... a name which, among those who know it and use it, is indicative of legendary influence and revolution within the unleashing of innovative music, and also fashionable styles of a new music culture which his influence helped to engender. Peter Murphy presents a distinctive voice upon each music recording, an unmistable voice, easily recognisable across a discography of at least a dozen recordings, including the Bauhaus releases. 2 decades of imprinting music genre construction, emphasis, maintenance, and re-definition... not just of the genres of music which capture and claim the music of Peter Murphy and Bauhaus, but also a personal perspective which appears to re-define what this human experience may be encompassing.
I asked Peter Murphy to comment on these aspects of Dust....
The following comments ae loosely paraphrased and fitted together to remove my own distractive commentaries.
"...it's one long piece of music that is very beautiful. It is also question of being cautious about that beauty. The music is not a fixed statement. It is designed to let the listener, and me too, to be able to ... or let's say that the music has no particular attachment to a fixed moment, but instead it is something that can be re-invented, or re-experienced on every listen appropriate to the given time. A kind of exercise in the idea that the factor, or creative action that has a connection with the imaginal world; the sense, or degree of connectedness that that music achieves basically shows you yourself, or facets of the self in the imaginal realm which is rarely exercised in the more practical world of practical needs, and the more pre-conditioned world of practicality.
There's kind the Macro and the Micro, and the macrocosm is just an iffy reflection of the microcosm. So, there is no IN or OUT. There's just the expanse of the evident and the unseen, the hidden, or the subtle. And when we use words like Mystical Realm, or Metaphysical Realm, yes, definitely, as a rationalistic sort of deception... Meta-physical as a word was engendered to try and define that which is reality, which is just not accessible with the rational mind. The rational mind is surely just mystique, or the voicing of the whole existence of the person, instead of creating an intelligence elsewhere. So, that's what, from the rational mind, we tend to label that as the metaphysical world, but that is the world we live in, actually."
It was at this point in our conversation that we were interrupted by a knocking at my front door and the immediate incessant barking of Osiris, the family pet chihuahua. I opened the bedroom door and received a flooding of Peter Murphy vocals pouring forth from Dust playing upon the living room stereo. When I received this phone call, I simply shut that door, not expecting to be interrupted by the delivery of a remote control back-ordered months ago for the DVD player, which, ironically, still refuses to communicate with the replacement remote control device.
Of course, many more questions about lyrical developments for Dust, both practical and philosphical, remain in my hands waiting to be asked.
When opportunity knocks, sometimes it's best to just ignore it, and hope that it goes away.