Simply because he idealized northerliness and mused normally on solitude, Gould after 1964 is figured as a recluse. But he was hidden away only if you really don’t count telephones, photography, recorded sound, recorded video clip, and speedy distribution networks. For his two digital many years, Gould managed to be nowhere and in all places. Although normally sequestered, he suffused tens of thousands and thousands of television sets, motion picture theaters, car or truck radios, and finally outer area, when, in 1977, his spectacular interpretation of Bach’s Properly-Tempered Clavier was launched out of Earth’s environment on the phonographic time capsule aboard the Voyager spacecraft. Gould might be most effective seasoned by curious extraterrestrials, types with decent turntables or at least doing the job ESP.
Gould experienced a sweet tooth for some pop audio, including Petula Clark he called Barbra Streisand’s voice “an instrument of infinite diversity and timbral resource.” And although he himself had fantastic pitch, he was captivated by uncommon talking voices, off-critical or normally. He invented a sort of documentary film recognized as contrapuntal, in tribute (perhaps) to Bach, in which speaking voices are made to overlap with unusual results. The most evocative example is Gould’s movie about the bleak Canadian tundra, The Thought of North, which sits simply between the most avant-garde fare on YouTube.
Even though he hummed compulsively whilst he performed, averted shaking palms for concern of ailment, designed an addiction to prescription pills, and dressed for a winter season storm whichever the weather, Gould managed to remain in the flicker of electric eccentricity, under no circumstances pretty slipping into the monotony of insanity. This fragile psychic harmony is palpable in the erudite stem-winders he shipped straight to the camera. It arrives via in his experimental acoustic collages and the innumerable radio broadcasts he recorded. Gould also spoke for hours on conclude to good friends and unwitting acquaintances on landlines and pay telephones, at times placing his companions to sleep as he reeled off theories of every thing, a a person-man soundscape whose changeable cadences of speech have been uncannily like his piano playing. “No supreme pianist has ever supplied of his coronary heart and brain so overwhelmingly though exhibiting himself so sparingly,” mentioned Gould’s close close friend, the violinist Yehudi Menuhin.
Gould became what may be acknowledged now as a pandemic musician. Tim Page, the tunes critic and a near Gould confidant, was requested past calendar year what his friend could have manufactured of quarantine residing. “Glenn would have beloved the net,” Website page replied. “He was a germophobe and failed to like substantially actual physical speak to. But he would have appreciated matters like Skype and Fb [so he could] even now love his friendships when maintaining his length.” Without a doubt, Gould was at his ideal at a length—far from the baroque chamber and the modern day stage, holed up wherever he could ship a signal to just one other person, lonely, like him, worried of contact, across the really exact untenanted Canadian expanses that impressed the media philosopher Marshall McLuhan, a recurrent interlocutor of Gould.