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L. Kardos “Blackstar Theory. The Last Works of David Bowie”
Blackstar Theory takes a close look at David Bowie’s ambitious last works: his surprise ‘comeback’ project The Next Day (2013), the off-Broadway musical Lazarus (2015) and the album that preceded the artist’s death in 2016 by two days, Blackstar. The book explores the swirl of themes that orbit and entangle these projects from a starting point in musical analysis and features new interviews with key collaborators from the period: producer Tony Visconti, graphic designer Jonathan Barnbrook, musical director Henry Hey, saxophonist Donny McCaslin and assistant sound engineer Erin Tonkon.
These works tackle the biggest of ideas: identity, creativity, chaos, transience and immortality. They enact a process of individuation for the Bowie meta-persona and invite us to consider what happens when a star dies. In our universe, dying stars do not disappear – they transform into new stellar objects, remnants and gravitational forces. The radical potential of the Blackstar is demonstrated in the rock star supernova that creates a singularity resulting in cultural iconicity. It is how a man approaching his own death can create art that illuminates the immortal potential of all matter in the known universe.
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