cultural history, Humanities, Music, Popular Culture, Sound Studies

Ex:Centrics Series: Scott Walker and the Song of the One-All-Alone

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Submission by: Prof. Greg Hainge

Released earlier this month is the newest book in Bloomsbury’s Ex:Centric seriesScott Walker and the Song of the One-All-Alone by Prof. Scott Wilson.

This work focuses on Scott Walker, a prolific composer and lyricist, formerly of “The Walker Brothers”. Prof. Wilson’s text offers his readers a detailed interpretative commentaries of Walker’s best songs, as well as a sustained assessment of the work and career of Scott Walker. The publisher notes that Walker is “one of the most significant and perplexing artists of the late 20th and 21st century”, making this work important not only for those in the fields of music and sound study, but for those in popular culture studies, or simply for devotees of Scott Walker’s music and work. “Looking closely at [Walker’s] songs, this book also considers the wider political implications of his approach in its rejection of external authorities and common or consensual ideals” (Bloomsbury).

Prof. Greg Hainge of The University of Queensland’s School of Languages and Cultures is the editor of the series. Prof. Hainge notes that the Ex:Centrics book series “sets out to provide a space to explore contemporary art and music with three separate strands examining people, practices and movements that are neither mainstream nor underground. It struck my co-editor, Paul Hegarty (University of Nottingham) and I that this was a space often left out of academic studies, but a really interesting space to examine with some work that really has a major influence on much cultural production in the mainstream, but oftentimes only after such work’s own time.”

Bloomsbury notes that “The Ex:Centrics series examines artistic figures, subgenres, movements, or practices that sit neither at the extreme margins of cultural production, nor in the mainstream, either in terms of the cultural expression itself or its reception – and are therefore often overlooked. The series discusses key figures in music, film, literature, dance and other forms of artistic expressions”.

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Photo by Hendrik B on

In addition to Scott Wilson’s book Scott Walker and the Song of the One-All-Alone, other works in the Ex:Centrics series include:

Prof. Greg Hainge‘s book Philippe Grandrieux: Sonic Cinema; on French film maker Philippe Grandrieux. The text was given the subtitle “Sonic Cinema” precisely because it examines the work of Grandrieux and uses that analysis as a means to propose a different mode of engagement with the cinema that would be conceptualised more according to the auditory realm than the visual one or, indeed, the haptic realm as has become common in much film philosophy;

Dr. Caleb Kelly’s book Gallery Sound that looks at the ways in which sound and music have been deployed in the space of the art gallery, which has predominantly been conceptualised according to a visual regime but in which sound is playing an increasingly important role.

Forthcoming volumes include:

  • Dr. D Ferrett‘s book called Dark Sound which is due for release in May 2020. Ferrett’s work is a feminist critique of our contemporary times that launches its reflections of a complex series of analyses of figures such as Chelsea Wolfe, Björk and Diamanda Gálas.
  • Dr. Michael Goddard‘s book on the British queer underground group entitled Black Sun, Lunar Dreams: The Music of Coil which is due for release in July 2021.


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