Saturday, January 15, 2011

Dreams of Reason

Mick Karn, one of my favorite musicians, passed away from cancer at the age of 52. For those of you who are unfamiliar with early 80's music or British New Wave, he was the bassist of Japan, a British band that crossed boundaries from alternative glam rock to synth pop and anything in between. Mick Karn played a signature fretless bass--a sound that's much more melodic than what you'd expect from a bass guitar. After the Japan years, he became as an acclaimed multi-instrumentalist who explored a variety of musical genres--he was especially fond of jazz--in his solo and collaborative work

He was also a sculptor. 

The night I heard news about his death, I listened to some of his solo work and felt positively gutted. Can you miss someone you've never met, whose talent you embrace and admire from a distance? In his hands, the guitar sounds so much more fluid and imaginative...Now he's gone, gone, gone. Is it possible to feel a part of your sensibility going adrift, when an artist you've liked since your teens passed away?

That very same night, someone I've known for years told me one simple thing: it looks like I'm no longer interested in writing narratives. That my heart and mind have taken another path and it's time that I discover something new. I had nothing to say. I slept over it, and then I started writing. 

This poem comes with two songs by Mick Karn: Dreams of Reason and The Forgotten Puppeteer. How can anyone play such sad music on the saxophone and clarinet?


  1. Japan have never aged in my head - can't believe he was 52 either...

  2. Love your poem and this post. Will def check him out.