As a child growing up in a working-class tenement in Scotland, Ms. Lennox took refuge at the Aberdeen Art Gallery. But the musician, who now divides her time between London and Los Angeles, has no pretensions about starting a new career late in life and credits much of the success of the installation to MASS MoCA’s director, Joseph Thompson, who took her proposal for the mound seriously, and the curatorial and technical staff who made it a reality. “It is my dream,” she said, “and they’ve helped me realize it.”
Dreams came up frequently during our conversation. Ms. Lennox says she’s become increasingly attuned to life’s dreamlike quality, but as a songwriter, she has deftly captured it all along — it’s there in the synth pop of 1982’s “Sweet Dreams,” the 2007 power ballad “Dark Road, ” and in many other songs in between. Now she’s given that sensibility a physical form that is, ultimately, more fleeting than her music.
“If you had met me in the ’80s, I was in my youth,” she said. “I was experimenting and trying to figure it all out. I’m not saying I’ve figured anything much out, but one thing I’m starting to realize more and more is that life is but a dream, and we carry it in memory.”
She noted that in the hours after we finished our conversation, it, too, would start to fade.
Later, as if on cue, I realize I’ve already forgotten the color of her pants. And though the substance of her words stays with me, the particular lilt of her voice is gone.
‘Now I Let You Go …’
Through Spring 2020, MASS MoCA, North Adams, Mass., massmoca.org.