William Eggleston: Musik
October 20, 2017

Released in Fall 2017, Musik is William Eggleston’s debut album. Drawn from synthesizer recordings the artist has been making since the 1980s which have been newly digitized, the album’s thirteen tracks include improvised symphonic pieces and two covers.

Best known for his influential photography, Eggleston began playing the piano as a child in Sumner, Mississippi, long before he started taking photographs. As he explained to Rachel Felder in The New York Times, "People know my photographs because they’re published in books and shown in galleries and museums and so forth, and yet I don’t perform music in public, ever—only in front of good friends who really want to hear it and who really listen."

The compositions in Musik have been brought to light from a collection of recordings stored on more than sixty digital audiotapes, digital compact cassettes, and floppy disks by the producer Tom Lunt, who first learned about the artist’s music from the 2005 documentary William Eggleston in the Real World. Describing the music in The Observer, Sean O’Hagan writes, "The great washes of synthetic sound, sometimes seductively symphonic, sometimes ominous, certainly add a new resonance to the photographer’s most famous quotation about being ‘at war with the obvious.’"

"I think there’s absolutely a link between music in general and what I do in photography,” Eggleston told The New York Times; “I don’t know what it really is, but it’s there."

Image: photo by Stefan Ruiz