‘harmony between you and your environment’
A double album comprising a disc of vocal tracks accompanied by another of instrumental cuts was certainly an unusual proposition for a mid-’80s release from a pop artist with chart potential. Early in the genesis of the follow-up album to Brilliant Trees, Sylvian had toyed with releasing the first three vocal tracks he had written backed with ‘Steel Cathedrals’, or perhaps as part of a package with Words with the Shaman. Ultimately those instrumentals would see standalone release in video and EP form respectively, but when Gone to Earth eventually reached us it was in anything but a conventional format.
‘I was really just going to do a vocal album,’ said Sylvian on his press tour for the release, ‘but as I was writing, these instrumental pieces started coming, and there’s a kind of formula to the writing. And every morning I was getting up and I was writing, you know, maybe two of these, three of these pieces a day. And I ended up with such a large amount of material.’ Sylvian knew he wanted to pursue the recording of these instrumentals alongside the songs that would complete the vocal album, so Virgin were approached with the idea. It’s fair to say that the label was reluctant.
Continue reading “Sunlight Seen Through Towering Trees”
It was on 18 February 2003 that Derek Bailey entered the Moat recording studios in London’s North Kensington to record a session of solo acoustic and electric guitar at the invitation of David Sylvian. ‘I spoke to him for about fifteen minutes on the phone after which he was onboard,’ remembered Sylvian. ‘I told him I wanted to be challenged as a vocalist and he said, “that I can do for you”.’ (2011)
Continue reading “The Good Son – She is Not”
It seems that Masami Tsuchiya heard the music of Japan before the band discovered his. ‘I was very touched by Japan’s music from the very first album,’ he told Bamboo magazine, ‘and I told everyone about them – what great musicians they were. The word got around and Japan got to know about it’. Tsuchiya was a founder member of Ippu-Do, an outfit with an openness to European influences. Some sessions for their 1980 LP Real even took place at Hansa studios in Berlin, originating titles such as ‘German Road’, ‘Heidelburg Symphony’ and ‘Neu! (Changing the History)’ – tracks that boast a new wave sound with synthesisers, sequencers and vocoder vox accompanying driving guitar, bass and drums.
Continue reading “The Art of Parties – Methods of Dance – live”
‘standing on the edge of a world where you can’t find the centre’
The history of the La Biennale di Venezia dates as far back as 1895 when the first International Art Exhibition was organised. During the 20th century this celebration of the creative arts expanded with the Venice Film Festival in 1932 being the first such festival in history and dedicated programmes launched for music, theatre, dance and architecture. Over time more and more nations have chosen to participate in the art exhibition by staging their own events in national ‘pavilions’. Some are rented spaces across Venice but there are also 29 permanent pavilions in the Giardini area adjacent to the central exhibition building.
Continue reading “Dumb Type – 2022”
‘life is the art of encounters’
When Sadistic Mika Band broke up, Yukihiro Takahashi had a very clear vision of the musical direction he wanted to take as he launched a solo career that would span the coming decades. ‘I wanted to do something completely new,’ he confided in a radio interview in 2020 on the occasion of the re-release of his debut album Saravah! ‘I wanted to combine elements from new and old music from abroad as well as from Japan and create something unique.’
Continue reading “Le Pollen – Demain”