Saturday, 7 September 2013

Stanley Donwood- Wood as a Temple, through Baudelaire

La Nature est un temple où de vivants piliers

Laissent parfois sortir de confuses paroles ;
L’homme y passe à travers des forêts de symboles
Qui l’observent avec des regards familiers.
Comme de longs échos qui de loin se confondent
Dans une ténébreuse et profonde unité,
Vaste comme la nuit et comme la clarté,
Les parfums, les couleurs et les sons se répondent.
Il est des parfums frais comme des chairs d’enfants,
Doux comme les hautbois, verts comme les prairies,
— Et d’autres, corrompus, riches et triomphants,
Ayant l’expansion des choses infinies,
Comme l’ambre, le musc, le benjoin et l’encens,
Qui chantent les transports de l’esprit et des sens.
BaudelaireLes Fleurs du Mal, IV


Nature's a temple where each living column,
At times, gives forth vague words. There Man advances
Through forest-groves of symbols, strange and solemn,
Who follow him with their familiar glances.
As long-drawn echoes mingle and transfuse
Till in a deep, dark unison they swoon,
Vast as the night or as the vault of noon —
So are commingled perfumes, sounds, and hues.
There can be perfumes cool as children's flesh,
Like fiddIes, sweet, like meadows greenly fresh.
Rich, complex, and triumphant, others roll
With the vast range of all non-finite things —
Amber, musk, incense, benjamin, each sings
The transports of the senses and the soul.
— Roy Campbell, Poems of Baudelaire (New York: Pantheon Books, 1952)


Da I fiori del male, Les Fleurs Du Mal, 1857

La Natura è un tempio dove incerte parole 
mormorano pilastri che sono vivi,una foresta di simboli 
che l'uomo attraversa nei raggi dei loro sguardi familiari.
Come echi che a lungo e da lontano tendono a un'unità

 profonda e buia grande come le tenebre o la luce 
i suoni rispondono ai colori, i colori ai profumi.
Profumi freschi come la pelle d'un bambino 
vellutati come l'oboe e verdi come i prati,
altri d'una corrotta, trionfante ricchezza
che tende a propagarsi senza fine- 

cosìl'ambra e il muschio, l'incenso 
e il benzoino a commentare le dolcezze
 estreme dello spirito e dei sensi.

“In the lead up to making these pieces I became fascinated with the idea of a cathedral of sound,” says the

artist, “I was working with Radiohead on the record that was to become The King of Limbs, and my early

hearings of the music seemed to suggest an overarching canopy of detail.”

The band’s ambitious compositions triggered a synaesthetic vision in Stanley. “I had a kind of memory that the
fluted columns and ceiling tracery of medieval churches owed its inspiration to the northern forests of Europe;
the tall tree trunks, the interlaced branches above, the majesty of the woods. I wanted to take this caged spirit of
the trees back into the forests, where sounds were free and un-tethered by religion, where the spreading
branches supported the sky, not the roof of a church. I began to paint trees, bright, coloured trees, through
which dark mists could percolate.”

(Stanley Donwood; Press Release- Far Away is Close at Hand in Images of Elsewhere;

thanks prof. Billo Livio, University of Padua.