Atom and Cell

‘a small seed that burrowed its way into my mind’

Manhattan, 10th September 2001. ‘That’s where the story starts,’ David Sylvian confirmed to the host of BBC Radio 3’s Mixing It programme. ‘That’s because I was in New York the night before the attack took place. I was there with my wife and family, and Ingrid turned around to me and said, “There’s a really ominous feel in the city tonight, you know, that something awful is going to happen.”’

A premonition? ‘Yes, something like that. And the skies opened, the rain poured down on this very warm day in September.

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The Banality of Evil

‘a more unpredictable approach’

Robert Fripp’s online diary, 20th October 2004:
‘Today’s work in London is a recording session for David Sylvian’s new solo album. Eden Studios is conveniently just around the corner from the bijou Chateau de Petite Chevalle [an affectionate reference to the Willcox/Fripp residence in Chiswick, just north of the Thames in London].

Today’s session: for me, a treat. David & his brother Steve were both waiting when I arrived…’

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The Day the Earth Stole Heaven

a ‘kind of playful love song’

The first fruits of David Sylvian’s collaboration with Burnt Friedman were heard on a 2005 three track vinyl ep entitled Out in The Sticks, in a line-up that also headlined ex-CAN drummer and past collaborator, Jaki Liebezeit. Sylvian appeared on only one of the cuts, contributing vocals to the original version of ‘The Librarian’ (see here for a discussion with Burnt themed around that track). Continue reading “The Day the Earth Stole Heaven”

A History of Holes

The stories we create to tell ourselves

Snow Borne Sorrow by Nine Horses is an album that emerged from a strange origin of creative alchemy. Two projects were underway: collaborations between David Sylvian and Steve Jansen, and between Sylvian and the German composer/programmer Burnt Friedman (initially featuring Jaki Liebezeit). Nine Horses arrived in 2005 but the Jansen/Sylvian collaboration began much earlier, indeed some pieces pre-dated Sylvian’s startling 2003 solo album Blemish. The latter exhibited a quite different approach to the material under development with Jansen, displaying a pared back approach to instrumentation and with improvisation at its heart in both music and lyrics.

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