Scott August Takes the Desert Southwest into Space
You can hear an audio podcast of this blog with Scott August’s music
In the 1980s, Scott August was looking for an outlet for his instrumental music when he got advice from another musician.
Scott August: I happened to meet Brian Eno. And he had heard some of my music, and he said I think your music is really cinematic and you should go into movies or television. So that’s what sort of detoured me into that avenue for 10 or 15 years.
Scott August went on to score car commercials and Discovery channel documentaries, but he considers it a detour because he believes his true voice didn’t emerge until 1996 when he heard the Native American flute.
Scott August: I was on vacation actually in Albuquerque, just outside of Albuquerque. When I heard it, what struck me was the sound of it, and how it seemed to be another component to the stuff that I was already doing, that was a mishmash of all sorts of ethnic musical instruments and styles that had been influencing me for years. So that’s what drew me to it.
Imagery of the desert southwest has always been part of Scott August’s work, and it remains that way on his latest album, Radiant Sky. But it’s taken on a more global sensibility
Scott August: Well in this sense, I was trying to get away from being overtly Southwest. I wanted this to be more of a personal journey for people. And then when I was in Peru, the Quechua people, that are the descendants of the Incas, they still believe that the stars, there’s a star for everybody on the planet, or a being, or a living thing, or an action. So to them, the river, the Urubamba River, that actually is the one that goes around Macchu Picchu, that’s reflected in the sky by the Milky Way, and they call it the River of Stars, which is where that title came from. And again, it’s this sort of dreamy, nebulous imagery that I really liked.
On Radiant Sky Scott August takes the imagery of the southwest and sends it into space. It’s on Cedar Mesa Music. I’ll have a full interview with Scott August this Monday 4/12, on Echoes. This has been an Echo Location, Soundings for New Music.
John Diliberto ((( echoes )))