The end of Samadhi Sound

From Brilliant Trees through Died In The Wool...

The end of Samadhi Sound

Postby ccfc1927 on Thu May 28, 2015 10:10 am

From facebook.

firstly, we raise a martini to the great franz wright who, after a long battle with cancer, passed on May 15th. A marvelously inspirational poet and extraordinary man.
secondly, we will shortly have news of samadhisound's final release before it closes its doors for good. It's a fairly comprehensive book of lyrics, poems, and artwork, in a sense, a summation of the work that david and designer, chris bigg, have created together over the past 12 or so years. The book's title is hypergraphia. More soon...
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Re: Hypergraphia

Postby Blemished on Thu May 28, 2015 10:39 am

Thanks for posting this. Sad to see Samadhisound is closing. Not quite sure what to make of it.

If David is to release more music at some point, it suggests at the very least a change of direction, although I suppose there are a number of small, similarly-minded labels out there that would be happy to release his material. It's not impossible that he might sign for a larger label, especially if he needs to fund time in a recording studio.

One crumb of comfort is that comment from Alex James of Blur in an interview on The Quietus that David had asked him if he could recommend a "writer's retreat".
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Re: Hypergraphia

Postby Simonp on Fri May 29, 2015 5:16 am

I'm not surprised Samadhi is being wound up to be honest. It doesn't make sense for Sylvian to continue it purely as a means to release his own work when he's clearly getting diminishing returns with every release. It's probably a financial decision more than anything but I certainly wouldn't say it was the end of Sylvian as a recording artist. Its a new chapter for him. The new book sounds lovely although I can't stand that awful title :)
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Re: The end of Samadhi Sound

Postby Blemished on Sat May 30, 2015 7:21 am

I've split this topic out to a new one, as this announcement really is the end of an era and worth talking about separately form the book with the ungainly title!
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Re: The end of Samadhi Sound

Postby inkinthewell on Mon Jun 01, 2015 5:55 am

From a 2003 interview on Barcode:
Q: I am presuming that the setting up of the Samadhi Sound label is a response to discarding the notion of working with a major label again? How is this likely to affect your future output, both in respect of the new freedom you are offered and the regularity of work you produce?
A: It isn't out of the question that I'd consider working with a major label again although at the present time it seems an unlikely choice to make. I can't place too much emphasis on the importance of freedom. I've been signed to a major label my entire adult life and while this afforded some sense of security, I was growing very tired of carrying the proverbial begging bowl which was so often met with indifference. As to the question regarding the frequency with which I'll produce work, this depends on numerous factors which are often times hard to predict. It's possible a pattern of sorts will emerge over the coming two or three years.

Q: What aspirations do you have for the label, will you be attempting to sign other recording artists?
A: The label is something of an experiment. I have no business aspirations as such, I simply wanted the freedom to choose which direction I should move in musically without concerns over 'selling' the idea of the work to company execs. Ironically, by choosing to start my own label I was choosing liberation from all business concerns that might even subconsciously influence the outcome of the sessions. By choosing to release the CD myself I felt all external pressures were off.
Time is an incredibly important resource in the world of the arts, something which the current climate often doesn't allow for. Time to allow ideas to develop, to grow, time to fail, to start over. Due to my overriding love of the process of exploration, improvisation, and discovery, this is what I want the label to offer, time to develop ideas outside of the pressures of commerce, freedom for artists to explore whatever avenue of inquiry fires them and to share in the excitement of helping that work find its audience.


Caption to the Samadhisound page on artist-shop.com:
Samadhi Sound came into being as one possible blueprint for the future, intuition taking precedence over business sense and game plan. I don't make long term plans as I surrender that part of my life to guru. But if I allow myself to dream, I dream of a label that gives freedom to artists and musicians, creating a 'safe house' for the nurturing of ideas. It will be home to much of my work and the work of my brother, Steve Jansen. We will also sit at the helm as producers to a small group of artists who, we hope, will find a home at Samadhi Sound. We'll encourage projects that break new ground and support those that bring a unique slant to an existing field of inquiry. Aesthetically that field is wide open as is the nature and diversity of the projects. ~ David Sylvian

At present, independent labels are "thriving"; artists can choose to release one record on this label and another on that one, and even make their work available only on vinyl or cassette in limited numbers; so maybe Sylvian's dream of a "safe house" offering "time to develop ideas outside of the pressure of commerce" is not so urgent now as it was in 2003.
Add to that the obligation that any label has of having to deal with "business concerns", whether they like it or not, and that other independent labels seem better equipped to deal with promotion, etc., and, as Simonp said, it really doesn't make sense to continue Samadhisound.
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Re: The end of Samadhi Sound

Postby Chad on Fri Jun 05, 2015 3:02 pm

ha ha... golfing with mark hollis is my bet. honestly tho, we've all been getting diminishing returns for a while now. but what a lame way to exit. frank wright and trophies 5. how unremarkable is that? maybe hyper is the epitaph. that would almost make sense.
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Re: The end of Samadhi Sound

Postby depeon on Fri Jun 05, 2015 5:11 pm

welcome back Chad, maybe Manafon and TIALTEAHWNOLSB are his swan songs, his road has ended, i hope not. Have you checked out the villagers darling arithmetic yet?
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Re: The end of Samadhi Sound

Postby Simonp on Sat Jun 06, 2015 4:25 am

Chad wrote:ha ha... golfing with mark hollis is my bet. honestly tho, we've all been getting diminishing returns for a while now. but what a lame way to exit. frank wright and trophies 5. how unremarkable is that? maybe hyper is the epitaph. that would almost make sense.


I presume you mean Trophies 4? Glad to see you have nothing positive to say in your latest post. We'd be disappointed if there was anything else from you
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Re: The end of Samadhi Sound

Postby Foales Arishes on Sat Jun 06, 2015 1:15 pm

This seems like a sad end... if it is an end, which no one knows but David. I hope he doesn't do a Hollis and just vanish, with only the odd sighting and the odd rumour... funny, I had a dream Hollis was re-forming Talk Talk and making a new album. I was really pissed off when I woke to find it was not actually happening :lol:

Samadi has been a very inspiring label, producing some interesting releases, in both musical content and design... I'll miss it for sure. I better grab some of the CD's I've missed before the prices become silly.

I'm really looking forward to the book... maybe the end of which might tell something of the future, even if it is just :smt006


RIP Franz.
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Re: The end of Samadhi Sound

Postby Chad on Mon Jun 08, 2015 9:13 am

I've given this a bit more thought. In the past when Dave has gone all vague on us he's usually working on a super secret project of some sort. Not wanting to tip his hand at all. That way if whatever it is sucks, or he has another falling out with a collaborator he can just bag the project. I just wish for once he would give up that total control mentality and just let it ride. Have some trust in others instincts and allow them to thrive too. In other words have true collaborations.

Deep down there's probably a personality disorder that needs to be dealt with, and that may explain all the misery found on records like manfon & blemish. We all have demons and the older we get the easier they are to see. But he should know that he has a lot of people pulling for him whatever he decides to do. I have to say tho, I miss his voice and words.

depeon thanks for the heads up on that Villagers record. I have a road trip coming up soon and I just added that to my playlist. I like what I've heard so far.
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Re: The end of Samadhi Sound

Postby baht habit on Sun Jul 12, 2015 8:41 am

Chad wrote: I just wish for once he would give up that total control mentality and just let it ride. Have some trust in others instincts and allow them to thrive too. In other words have true collaborations.


Total control mentality? I wonder if others here see it the same way.
As has been evident to me for years now, Sylvian had given much more freedom to the majority of his collaborators since the inception of Samadhi Sound....probably more freedom than at any other period of his artistic career.
Starting with the Derek Bailey collaborations found on blemish, Sylvian merely requested that the artists create and improvise, whereupon he would then work within their constructs and framework. This process continued with collaborators such as Fennesz, Martin Brandlmayr and the central contributors to Manafon. It surely was not as if Sylvian was lording over any of these collaborators by telling them what they should play - nor was he demanding that they conform to any style of music other than electro-acoustic improvisation. Dai Fujikura had obviously been given complete control while composing and arranging his contributions to Died In The Wool.
If Sylvian were untrusting of their talents to any degree, or demanding "total control", he would not have taken on the musical challenges he was seeking out by working with these artists --- while allowing them to rigidly define the parameters of his musical output. So I must contend that, in order to achieve his musical goals with many of these projects, Sylvian had relinquished a huge portion of creative control to his collaborators.
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Re: The end of Samadhi Sound

Postby svendutchmountains on Sun Jul 12, 2015 1:54 pm

I am with Chad on this one... Although David appears to have given a number of artists quite some freedom of interpretation, I do think he still tightly holds the reins - witness the recent and very sudden falling out with Stephan Mathieu after TKH and before the release of `Houses`.

There is no way I can judge how much artistic license he has given his collaborators in recent years - perhaps driven by his interests in Improv - which demands freedom for each contributor. Most of the falling out seems to have stemmed from a financial/business origin?
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Re: The end of Samadhi Sound

Postby Chad on Wed Jul 15, 2015 11:08 am

I guess you are saying that because he lets them play (improv) that he is giving up that control. But when you isolate these artists from each other and yourself, the improvisational possibilities become limited and often disconnected. D's last few efforts have been about collecting these unrelated random sound bites and then doing the cut-paste thing with unremarkable results. The artists remain isolated from the finished product and have no influence on the outcome whatsoever. To me thats absolute control. Financial, maybe. Boring, certainly. :)

I wish he hadn't blown up the Friedman/Jansen collab. That was a huge mistake.
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Re: The end of Samadhi Sound

Postby ob8 on Thu Jul 16, 2015 5:38 pm

I am glad he finished the 9H project. For me the songs on there lack a certain depth in comparison to some of his work. I think they are David writing in his purest pop song form. I do like the first 6 track on the SBS album but they would not make it into my favourite all time songs.

For me 3 of the Manafon tracks go straight up there with his best work. ED, SWIA and the title track are a coming together of all of the elements David has put together to try and produce a spark. Something magical. Like the BT sessions. Like anything in life, no matter how hard one tries, the outcome does not always match the input. Should we call him for trying, or should we support his efforts even if it's not our cup of tea.

Well we are all different on here.

I am genuinely worried that we may never hear that voice again. Or the beauty of his words. He elevates the form of the song on every level. We can only speculate about the situation with SamadhiSound.

I do wish that David would ease our worries a little and use all of the available modern mediums to maybe once in a while reassure us. Guess he wants to keeps us on our toes. As usual.

This period I hope is like after DBOAC.
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Re: The end of Samadhi Sound

Postby Tin Bird on Sat Jul 18, 2015 9:46 am

Why is everyone assuming that David is finished? Just because he closed down his label doesn't mean he isn't writing new music. I personally loved 9H and would love it if he worked with that outfit again, but I am sure that whatever David decides to pursue, it will be unique and heartfelt. I am not worried. :-)
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