A new catalyst for composition
The vocal disc of David Sylvian’s 2011 album Died in the Wool comprises pieces that fall into three categories: variations on tracks from Sylvian’s Manafon album created by Japanese composer Dai Fujikura, Manafon variations led by Punkt festival founders Jan Bang and Erik Honoré, and six compositions appearing here for the first time. Continue reading “A Certain Slant of Light”
‘the spiralling of winter ghosts’
1988. Home with the vinyl in my hand. Plight & Premonition. First play. A quiet start – turn it up. Then jump out of my skin, startled by that vibrating, loud percussive alarm! Senses heightened now, like exploring unfamiliar territory, unsure of what will be discovered.. ..dark, with occasional glimpses of light.. ‘the spiralling of winter ghosts’ indeed. Continue reading “Plight”
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.
Continue reading “A History of Holes”
The joy of love, human and divine
‘I Surrender’. The track that broke a long silence. In the previous five years only a handful of collaborative tracks had been released and indeed David Sylvian admitted that at times the happy circumstances of his life may have resulted in him leaving music behind altogether.
Continue reading “I Surrender”
Many years ago, in the sixth form at school, I was introduced to the music of the band Japan. I was captured. This was the time of the album Tin Drum, and that most weird of singles – ‘Ghosts’. I listened to the music of the band intently, loving the craft of it – music and lyrics. Continue reading “The soundtrack of discovery”