I’m still caught up in this notion about the work and its relationship with representations or descriptions of the work.
Suddenly strikes me that although there is no lyrical content – beyond the stolen sound clips of various voices – that to describe Pilgrim in terms of its underlying narrative is more successful than any attempt to describe the actual sounds or the real or imagined emotional impact (or lack thereof) of the arrangement of those sounds.
If, rather than “bleak”, “scary”, “for fans of coil” or “just like David Lynch” or whatever else has appeared in distributor one-sheets and reviews as attempted descriptions to define the work – we read something like “Pilgrim charts the progress of a galleon – burdened down with a crew of human detritus – on its doomed voyage from the old to the new world. During the voyage the crew come to understand that whatever they are trying to escape they have brought with them and that the new world will be polluted with the first foot on the sand – and so it comes to pass”
To me that is so much more instructive, and gives a listener a more than adequate indication of what to expect aurally.
Narrative is often not the most visible of factors present in work – think of the libretto in opera: often trite, overinflated nonsense – yet essential to the event, and, it now occurs, very commonly referenced within dialogue relating to the music. Narrative; the lure.