Vista blog

Talk about anything David Sylvian related.

Re: Vista blog

Postby javier on Mon Nov 08, 2021 1:15 am

silentwings wrote:the In Praise of Shamans tour of 1988. Sylvian has seldom spoken warmly about this tour but it remains a cherished memory for me. It was my first time seeing these musicians live and it really was a stellar line-up with Steve Jansen/Richard Barbieri/David Torn/Mark Isham/Robbie Aceto and Ian Maidman.

Maybe it didn't reach the heights that Sylvian aspired to, but hearing this material played was nothing short of a thrill for me.


I wasn't living in a country where this tour went, so I didn't get to see it live. I'm sure it would have been a great experience.
Having listened to bootlegs though, I do understand why Sylvian might not be very positive about the tour. From a purely musical perspective, many of the live arrangements of tracks didn't measure up to their studio versions. As you mention in the article, without Jon Hassell and others, their atmospheric quality was bound to be absent.

This stands in stark comparison to The Road To Graceland tour with Fripp, where I think many of the tracks from The First Day sound far more powerful in their live versions. Perhaps that's why the Damage album exists, whereas there has never been an In Praise Of Shamans album.
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Re: Vista blog

Postby silentwings on Fri Nov 26, 2021 3:02 pm

I've just published a new article about David Sylvian's sound installation held on Gran Canaria in 2009.

This slipped by un-publicised at the time; I don't remember hearing anything about it until the piece was released as part of Died in the Wool two years later.

Sylvian visited the Canary Islands in preparation for the commission, his research into the island communities informing the directions he provided for the musicians involved.

The sessions themselves were interesting in that a string sextet and a group of improvising musicians were recorded all together at London's Air studios. John Butcher, the saxophone player, and Ros Stephen, who was in the string ensemble, told me about their experiences recording the track.

Here's the link: https://sylvianvista.com/2021/11/26/whe ... ognise-us/
“Great things are not accomplished by those who yield to trends and fads and popular opinion.” att to Jack Kerouac
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Re: Vista blog

Postby silentwings on Fri Dec 17, 2021 1:25 pm

For the final article of 2021 I have returned to Japan's Tin Drum album which, incredibly, has just passed the 40th anniversary of its release.

Exploring the influence of Karlheinz Stockhausen on the arrangement of 'Ghosts', and why this song marked such a watershed moment. Deconstructing the pop song would be something that Sylvian would return to again and again throughout his career.

I hope you enjoy. Thank you for visiting the site this year and I send everyone season's greetings and best wishes for 2022.

Here's the link: https://sylvianvista.com/2021/12/17/ghosts/
“Great things are not accomplished by those who yield to trends and fads and popular opinion.” att to Jack Kerouac
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Re: Vista blog

Postby silentwings on Fri Jan 07, 2022 1:04 pm

The latest article is all about 'Before the Bullfight'.

It seems to me that the song has the perfect line-up of musicians to bring out the best in the composition, Sylvian being joined by Steve Jansen with a structural drum part, Richard Barbieri enhancing the atmospherics, Kenny Wheeler bringing shades of Sketches of Spain in his flugelhorn playing, and exquisite lead guitar from Bill Nelson. It was the first time Nelson and Sylvian had worked together.

What a truly wonderful song.

Here's the link: https://sylvianvista.com/2022/01/07/bef ... bullfight/
“Great things are not accomplished by those who yield to trends and fads and popular opinion.” att to Jack Kerouac
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