Sons of Pioneers

Collaboration in a band context

Recently I returned to Tin Drum after a long break. I’m not sure why I neglected it, maybe because David Sylvian has often spoken of his work implying that ‘Ghosts’ was the one Japan song truly reflective of his musical journey. Maybe because the literature and websites tend to differentiate between Japan and the solo period as different eras, and lately I’d given much more of my attention to the latter. Continue reading “Sons of Pioneers”

Come Morning

A glimpse of the path ahead

Collaborations outside the context of a David Sylvian project have been a regular occurrence over the years and have produced some beautiful pieces. Working under conditions established by other musicians has at times brought out unknown or less developed aspects of Sylvian’s craft, and some of these recordings have given indications of his artistic direction in both music and lyrics – a glimpse of the path ahead. Continue reading “Come Morning”

Brilliant Trees

Music and lyrics in perfect harmony

‘Without wishing to embarrass you, I think that’s probably the finest piece of music that you have recorded to date.’ David ‘Kid’ Jensen made this comment interviewing David Sylvian on his UK Radio One show, having just played the title track from Sylvian’s new album two weeks ahead of its release, mid-June 1984. It was the first time that I – and I’m sure many others – had heard this piece. Continue reading “Brilliant Trees”

A Certain Slant of Light

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”

Plight

‘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”