SummaryIt comes as no surprise that the singer-songwriter Eric Andersen can hear the blues in the paintings of the artist Oliver Jordan. Paths that cross. And it was the music in the paintings of Oliver Jordan which moved Eric Andersen to rekindle his interest in the works of Albert Camus. This gave him the inspiration to write the songs which he performed at the inauguration of the exhibition to mark the centennial anniversary of Albert Camus' birthday in the Grand Théâtre de Provence, and which were subsequently recorded and pressed onto vinyl.
Eric Andersen is not just anybody. He is part of the great American folk family. His songs seek neither to illustrate nor conceal, but to signify. For Camus, a sign of genuine artistry. Evocatively drawn exterior scenes juxtapose with interior perspectives. And in the tension between the interior and exterior, a small gap opens – redolent with meaning and the inexpressible. The gliding of his fingers over the fretboard and the grain of his voice meld into an idiom of their own. A few chords and the truth: "She asked me for a symphony, I only gave her songs", runs the plaintive line from the track "Time run like a freight train."
Amidst such porous simplicity, Camus' texts morphs into songs. Songs about truth. In allusion to "The Stranger", "The Rebel" and "The Fall", Eric Andersen reaches into the heart of Camus' philosophy on life: Revealing the truth about oneself. The songs "THE PLAGUE (Song of Dental)", "THE STRANGER (Song of Revenue)", "THE REBEL (Song of Revolt)", "THE FALL (Song of Gravity)" and "THE PENITENT (The Scream)" sharpen our consciousness to the falsehoods we strive to obscure within ourselves, mercilessly exposing our carefully woven web of lies and self-deception. "I have to create a new truth – after having lived my whole life in a lie", remarked Camus a year before his death in the early drafts of his next novel "The First Man", whose publication he never lived to see. A disillusioned Camus sets out on his quest for a new truth, known to the ancient Greeks as "parrhesia": to speak openly and candidly about oneself. The internal revolt. Laying bare the uncomfortable truth over our own complicity with society at large. Facing these facts, too! Yet criticising these high-priests of cold reason only feeds them with the pabulum they require to refine their controlling mechanisms. For only change from within can effect change from without.