Leonard Cohen’s “Going Home”
In a recent public conversation with fellow rock bard Jarvis Cocker about the new recording Old Ideas, Leonard Cohen answered the younger man’s suggestion that his songs are “penitential hymns” (a phrase Cohen himself employs in his new song “Come Healing”) with jocular humility. “I’m not sure what that means, to be honest,” Cohen reportedly replied. He continued, “Who’s to blame in this catastrophe? I never figured that out.”
The catastrophe he mentions is life itself — a description Cohen probably picked up from a fictional character he admires, Zorba the Greek, who embraced the “full catastrophe” of a well-connected, joyfully physical existence. The Buddhist teacher Jon Kabat-Zinn has also borrowed it for a book title, which is relevant, since Cohen’s writing is famously philosophical, connecting his Jewish heritage to years of Zen meditation and an enduring existentialist bent.
Leonard Cohen Gearing Up for First Album of New Material in Seven Years-Rolling Stone
‘Old Ideas’ to be released on January 31st
Leonard Cohen has been working on a new album for years, but it’s finally hitting shelves on January 31st. Speaking to the press in Oviedo, Spain while in town to accept an award, Cohen said that the disc will be called Old Ideas. “I’ve played it for a few people and they seem to like it,” Cohen said, adding that he still struggles with songwriting. “When you’re writing, you’re always an absolute beginner. Each time you take up your guitar or sit by a blank page, you start from scratch. It’s a struggle.”
Cohen hasn’t released an album of new material since 2004′s Dear Heather, but he went an epic world tour between 2008 and 2010 where previewed new material onstage, including “Darkness,” “Lullaby,” “Born In Chains” and “Feels So Good.” According to a post on his official online forum, only “Darkness” made the final cut for the disc. (Watch a video of Cohen performing “Darkness” at a 2009 concert below.)
In June of 2010, Cohen spoke with Rolling Stone about his new album. “I’m producing it,” he said. ”One song was written on tour, the rest were written before.” He also said that the disc will contain 10 or 11 songs, and some of them were written with his longtime collaborator Sharon Robinson and his companion Anjani.
The last tour was far and away the longest of Cohen’s career, but the 77-year-old singer said he may hit the road yet again. “God willing,” he said. “I never quite know whether there’s going to be a tour or not.”
READ MORE: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/leonard-cohen-gearing-up-for-first-album-of-new-material-in-seven-years-20111025#ixzz1kP82OrgN