Science Fiction

‘comprehending our scale within the universe’

Early in the 2000s, Charles Lindsay hit upon an innovative approach to the creation of photographic images that would transform his artistic work, and, without exaggeration, alter the course of his life. The techniques he used were grounded equally in his scientific education and aesthetic sensibilities as an artist. He created pictures that captured the imagination both of academics and fellow artists, leading him into collaborations with individuals from both disciplines – including David Sylvian and Steve Jansen.

Lindsay trained as a geologist, visiting the Arctic as a student to obtain relevant work experience which would also help to fund his studies. Living in Canada from a young age he grew up immersed in the grandeur of the natural world – but the Arctic was unlike anything else. The environment he encountered there made a lasting impression on the young man. ‘It was my first exposure to vast, tree-less, human-less landscapes. And that was really exciting to me. It was also the beginnings of photography for me, and the camera became the lens through which I experienced the world.’

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Taking the Veil

‘capturing moments in time’

The collection of songs that came together to form disc one of Gone to Earth was created in two distinct phases. David Sylvian first spent time developing a trio of tracks that he anticipated would form part of a release alongside ‘Steel Cathedrals’ or ‘Words with the Shaman’. These were ‘Laughter and Forgetting’, ‘Before the Bullfight’ and the track first known as ‘Saints and Sheep’ which ultimately found life as ‘Wave’.

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Ghosts – live

‘some sense of nostalgia’

Sometimes it’s difficult to remember why you made a particular decision. Especially one that you wish you could change afterwards… It was late 1982 and I was in the final year at school. Important exams were looming the following year which would determine whether I would achieve my ambition of going to university, and if so, which one I might attend. My fascination with Japan had developed in the preceding months as the singles ‘Ghosts’ and ‘Cantonese Boy’ had been lifted from Tin Drum, catching my attention and drawing me to the album. The plethora of Hansa singles had got me exploring the back catalogue, and I was guided through by an enthusiastic friend.

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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”

World Citizen – Chain Music

‘Duality is an illusion’

The terrorist attack that took place on 9/11 in 2001 shook the world to its core. I’m certain we all remember where we were when we heard the news and saw the pictures from New York on TV. For Ryuichi Sakamoto the events were literally “close to home”. Just days after that devastating event he wrote a column in the Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun entitled ‘My Viewpoint’, which began: Continue reading “World Citizen – Chain Music”