Vista blog

Talk about anything David Sylvian related.

Re: Vista blog

Postby javier on Sat Dec 01, 2018 5:41 am

As always, a very good article. Thanks, Silentwings.

I always felt the Masakatsu Takagi thing didn't gel. Probably because Masakatsu, as you mention in the article, had no knowledge of Sylvian nor his work before the collaboration. It was destined to be an experiment which IMHO failed.

I remember watching the concert, thinking that the visuals were really mismatched to the music. Whenever there were any thematic matches, they seemed forced/obvious/thin.

Not to slag off Masakatsu, as he certainly has a distinctive style which has attracted many fans, but to me throwing a naive Japanese 23 year-old in with the likes of Sylvian was really a long shot. Perhaps it was an attempt to bring opposites together: opposite culture, opposite musical style, opposite depth of life experience etc.

But to me it just seemed terribly random and unsuccessful.
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Re: Vista blog

Postby silentwings on Fri Dec 14, 2018 6:42 am

Thanks for reading, javier, and for sharing your response to that tour.

I didn't have those negative reactions to Takagi's visuals on the 'Fire in the Forest' tour, but you raise an interesting point about vivid recollections of what was going through my mind during David's live performances. I remember, for instance, not being at all sure about the reinvention of 'Steel Cathedrals' on the Shamans tour.. ..albeit I've grown to appreciate it more over time; I remember the irritation at folks in front of me talking during the song 'Damage' at the Royal Albert Hall (they left straight after the song); and I remember wishing that David wouldn't vary quite so much from the familiar vocal melodies on the 'World is Everything' tour.. ..although again those changes sound quite attractive to me now. 'Slow Fire' and 'A Fire in the Forest' were ones where I was just thinking, 'I love this, hope it gets released on cd!'
Last edited by silentwings on Tue Dec 18, 2018 11:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Vista blog

Postby javier on Tue Dec 18, 2018 9:52 am

Oh, yes - the Royal Albert Hall show was one to be remembered. I was mesmerised throughout (other than Jean The Birdman, of course), Fripp was absolutely on fire, and I had no talking neighbours so was able to bathe completely in the beauty of Damage and The First Day. Those two never-before-heard songs haunted me until the live album was released, and to this day are some of the most powerful Sylvian memories I have.

As many on these forums have said over the years, it seems unfathomable why a Slow Fire performance has never been officially released. Some of the bootlegs are great, but not anywhere near the purity of a well-mastered official release.

Ah, memories...
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Re: Vista blog

Postby silentwings on Thu Dec 20, 2018 12:48 pm

The latest article features 'Forbidden Colours' and specifically the re-imagined version recorded during the sessions for 'Brilliant Trees'.

It's been enjoyable pulling together the strands to write about this piece, a favourite version for me. Sylvian, Jansen and Sakamoto, accompanied by a string arrangement for which Ryuichi shares the credits with Ann O'Dell who contributed so beautifully to Japan's 'The Other Side of Life' and 'Nightporter'.

Do take a look, and thanks again for reading.

Link: https://sylvianvista.com/2018/12/20/for ... s-version/
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Re: Vista blog

Postby silentwings on Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:43 pm

The first article of 2019 is about 'Victim of Stars', one of David Sylvian's two lead vocal tracks on the first edition of Hector Zazou's album 'Sahara Blue'. These were replaced when the album was re-pressed, and I'd not been aware of the story of the creation of the music until now. Renaud-Gabriel Pion was involved throughout and shared his recollections for the blog.

It's also been interesting to explore the influence of Arthur Rimbaud's poetry on Sylvian's lyric.

I hope you enjoy it.

Link here: https://sylvianvista.com/2019/01/11/victim-of-stars/
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Re: Vista blog

Postby silentwings on Fri Feb 01, 2019 12:07 pm

It took me a while to write about 'Secrets of the Beehive'.. ..such a wonderful record.. ..but I've just published a piece on 'Let the Happiness In'. How I love that song...

It was great to look back with Mark Isham on the creation of the piece, the reference points for his part, and the guidance that David Sylvian gave him on the arrangement.

Thanks as always for reading. Here's the link: https://sylvianvista.com/2019/02/01/let ... piness-in/
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Re: Vista blog

Postby Blemished on Tue Feb 05, 2019 2:24 pm

You've really hit your stride with these. Really enjoyed this one (and the other recent ones) and having a bit of inside colour from those who worked with DS really helps. Maybe you could collaborate with Mr Reynolds on a third book and make it a trilogy?! :D
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Re: Vista blog

Postby silentwings on Fri Feb 08, 2019 3:50 am

Thanks Blemished for the kind words. I hope to continue posting articles every 2 or 3 weeks and to incorporate some thoughts from those involved from time to time, when it's possible to do that. A book is another discipline, I think.. ..no plans for now!
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Re: Vista blog

Postby silentwings on Thu Feb 21, 2019 8:08 am

I recently had a wonderful opportunity to ask Russell Mills in detail about his approach to art and music making. As someone who was introduced to his work in the visual arts through the 'Exorcising Ghosts' sleeve all those years ago, and who has appreciated his many inputs to David Sylvian's work, this was truly fascinating.

The latest article covers Russell's first album as Undark and the track 'How Safe is Deep?' featuring lyrics and vocals by Sylvian.

I can wholeheartedly recommend the 'Still Moves' series of releases by Russell Mills and Mike Fearon, featuring their installation soundworks. I mention 'Looming' from volume 1 in the article, but all three volumes so far released are constant companions to me. Links to Russell's bandcamp are in the article.

Here's the blog link - https://sylvianvista.com/2019/02/21/how-safe-is-deep/
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Re: Vista blog

Postby silentwings on Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:38 pm

I just posted a new article on 'There is No Love', David Sylvian's 2017 collaboration with Rhodri Davies and Mark Wastell on which he narrates an excerpt from Bernard-Marie Koltes' 'In the Solitude of Cotton Fields'.

Spoken word has featured in Sylvian's work stretching back to 'Tallow Moon', the Sylvian/Fripp b-side, and he gives one of his most nuanced and assured performances here.

I was at the 2016 live performance of this at Cafe OTO where Mark and Rhodri played to a pre-recorded vocal from DS. I recently interviewed Mark Wastell for the article and he gives insights into the origins of the piece and the collaboration.

'There is No Love' is being re-released on white vinyl for Record Store Day 2019, remixed and remastered, and with new cover artwork photography by David Sylvian.

Here is the link to the article - https://sylvianvista.com/2019/03/14/there-is-no-love/

Here is the link to details on the UK 2019 Record Store Day site - https://recordstoreday.co.uk/releases/r ... k-wastell/
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Re: Vista blog

Postby silentwings on Fri Apr 05, 2019 12:22 pm

The latest article on Vista features 'Darkest Dreaming' from Dead Bees on a Cake.

I love the way that this album closes with 'Praise' and 'Darkest Dreaming'. After all the musicians involved in earlier tracks, we are drawn in - firstly to a piece with Sylvian and Shree Maa, and finally just DS with a sample of Djivan Gasparyan.

I'm so glad that sample was there, it fits the composition beautifully and introduced me to the pure tones of Gasparyan's duduk playing.

Here's the link to the article - https://sylvianvista.com/2019/04/05/darkest-dreaming/

Lastly, I can see that a steady flow of readers access the articles from this site - thanks so much for your interest, I really appreciate it.
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Re: Vista blog

Postby silentwings on Fri Apr 26, 2019 11:38 am

For the latest article on Vista I interviewed Pat Mastelotto, drummer with Sylvian/Fripp on their 'The Road to Graceland Tour' which was captured on the live album 'Damage'.

Pat told me the extraordinary story of how he came to audition for the band, his experience on the road with Messrs Sylvian & Fripp, and unpicks his drum & percussion part for '20th Century Dreaming (a shaman's song)'.

Being on that tour over 25 years ago linked Pat up with Fripp for the first time, leading to him becoming a member of King Crimson to this day.

I hope you enjoy the article and Pat's enthusiasm for this collaboration.

Here's the link:

https://sylvianvista.com/2019/04/26/20t ... ming-live/
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Re: Vista blog

Postby silentwings on Fri May 17, 2019 12:54 pm

I wrote an article on 'Taking Islands in Africa', tracing the musical relationship with Ryuichi Sakamoto right back to its roots.

This music is so entwined with the creation of Ryuichi's album 'B-2 Unit', it's great that Japan and Ryuichi found themselves in Air Studios at the same time.

It never occurred to me that perhaps the track didn't belong on 'Gentlemen Take Polaroids'.

Here's the link: https://sylvianvista.com/2019/05/17/tak ... in-africa/

Thanks for reading.
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Re: Vista blog

Postby silentwings on Fri Jun 07, 2019 11:33 am

The latest article focusses on the title track of 'Manafon'. A deep dive into the lyrics and their inspiration in the life and poetry of R.S. Thomas.

This song was the catalyst for me to discover Thomas' poems about rural Wales, the unremitting march of time and machine and struggles with faith and doubt. Such a wonderful poet, it's great to hear the recordings that exist of him reading his own verse.

Here's the link: https://sylvianvista.com/2019/06/07/manafon/

Thank you, as always, for reading.
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Re: Vista blog

Postby javier on Sat Jun 08, 2019 4:48 am

Another really great read.

It hasn't changed the way I feel about Manafon, but has certainly given me a far greater insight of why Sylvian felt it was relevant enough to make the album.

Thanks again for your continued insighful articles.
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