A four-week exploration of the music, writing and creativity of Nick Cave, examining his inspirations, preoccupations and creative trajectories. Cave is one of rock music’s most literary and provocative artists whose live performances with his band the Bad Seeds are prime examples of the transcendent power of music.
From a malign and whacked out God wreaking havoc to a domesticated Savior stripped of his anger and passion by the church, Cave has long explored the religious and the theological in his creative exploits. The perverse and the the pure, the holy and the transgressive live side by side in a rich creative and deeply theological stew.
Over the arc of a long career encompassing over seventeen studio albums, plus film soundtracks, screenplays, novels and lectures, Cave has created a canon of work that is filled with poetic ruminations on humanity’s high and lows-the depraved and the divine, the sacred and the profane, the lust and the love.
He has used his creativity to examine the depths of human despair and mine its transcendent potentials, and has become touchstone for his fans loved for his humor, honesty, and willingness to turn over any and every stone in the quest to express, explore and own what it means to be human.
“I remember sitting there and feeling physically the sound going though me…”
Every story has a beginning, Cave’s is no different. Youthful disaffection finds its outlet in aberrant behavior and its footing in punk. From the Birthday Party to the Bad Seeds, the ‘most violent live band in the world,’ we will look at the roots and inspirations behind Cave’s musical life and career.
“You searched through all my poets, from Sappho through to Auden, I saw the book fall from your hands, as you slowly died of boredom.”
Cave’s way with words has long been a benchmark of his music. A lifelong fascination with literature and language, perhaps gifted to him by his English-teacher father, has made Cave one of rock’s most compelling and provocative lyricists. A deep dive into his lyrics, poems and books.
“And she moves among the sparrows. And she floats upon the breeze. She moves among the flowers. She moves something deep inside of me.”
Sex. Women. Cave has a lot to say about both. We will examine his musical offerings on love, lust, sex and romance.
“And Satan sighed and shook his head, played harp amongst the flames. It’s Hell up here in heaven too, for all that that is worth. Heaven is just a lie of mine to make it hell on Earth.”
Religion has long been a fascination and an integral ingredient of Cave’s musical offerings. His often elusive references point both towards and away from faith. We will look at Cave’s theology and the role that imagination and transgression play in his perspectives on the sacred.
“My life is dominated by the notion of God, whether it is His presence or His absence. I am a believer – in both God’s presence and His absence. I am a believer in the inquiry itself, more so than the result of that inquiry. As an extension of this belief, my songs are questions, rarely answers.”