Van Dyke Parks on His New Album ‘Songs Cycled’ and Reuniting With Joanna Newsom

Van Dyke Parks. Photo courtesy of Fort William Management

It’s been 24 years since American composer and songwriter Van Dyke Parks released a proper solo album. But he’s hardly been dormant: in 1998, he released a live album called Moonlighting: Live at the Ash Grove, he’s worked on numerous films and TV shows and written arrangements for musicians like Joanna Newsom, Brian Wilson and Inara George. Parks, who is playing “an evening of songs from my horrifically long life that I’ve either written or arranged” with the Adelaide Arts Orchestra and Silverchair frontman Daniel Johns on March 8 in Australia, called Hive on his way to the airport and discussed why his new album Songs Cycled is like a bitter pill, possibly writing for Joanna Newsom again and why music is like “a sexual conquest on a four-poster bed.”

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