In January 2018, David Sylvian contacted Jon Abbey and Yuko Zama in New York to gauge their interest in releasing some music by the Berlin-based musicians Biliana Voutchkova and Michael Thieke. Jon’s Erstwhile Records is home to recordings by some of the foremost innovators and improvisers in the contemporary scene with his wife Yuko involved in production and taking a lead in design. The label’s output had been one of the resources that Sylvian had explored whilst preparing for the Manafon project, and the AMPLIFY 2004: addition festival in Germany – co-curated by Abbey and Keith Rowe – was where he met some of the musicians who would feature on that record for the very first time (see ‘Snow White in Appalachia‘).
Sylvian had designed a cover featuring his own photographs for violinist Voutchkova and clarinetist Thieke’s release the previous year, As Found, where the pair were accompanied by the electro-acoustic sound-layering of Roy Carroll. The new proposal was quite a different proposition, being a three-disc set of live concerts from Voutchkova & Thieke’s Blurred Music project, where pre-recorded material mingles with live improvisations which respond to the specific moods and environments encountered on the day of performance.Continue reading “Yin – Yang”