Sylvian in deluxxdigital

David's solo career interviews

Sylvian in deluxxdigital

Postby Simonp on Sun Dec 11, 2011 12:29 pm

Complete interview is now online
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Re: Sylvian in deluxxdigital

Postby baht habit on Sun Dec 11, 2011 6:33 pm

Thanks Simon.

Q How do you relate to people's expectations of a new David Sylvian tour? With admirers that may have very particular focuses, how do you approach the shows and to what extent do you confound expectation to move forward?

DS I try to cover material that sits together well as a body of work, in ways that are both complimentary and in contrast to one another. Material that I can personally connect with and that brings out the best in the musicians accompanying me. In other words, how can we give the audience the best of what we have to give within specific parameters? That's my only concern.
People come to the shows with their own expectations, which is understandable. But I'm someone that's covered a fair bit of musical terrain in my lifetime and the object isn't to give a comprehensive or even an eclectic overview, but present a cohesive evening of audio/visual entertainment/stimulation.
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Re: Sylvian in deluxxdigital

Postby Blemished on Wed Dec 14, 2011 9:00 am

A couple of things struck me from this - and thanks for posting details Simon:

The reference to the visual aspect of the tour. I wonder if there might be any projections / backdrops similar to those used in the Blemish tour? I thought they added a huge amount to the atmosphere of those concerts.

Also, his mention of the physical and psychological toll of Manafon. I'm not sure I'd ever considered this, given that the lyrics appear impersonal and improvised and that the music was edited from improvs.

But the more I think about this it makes me appreciate just how hard it must have been to marshall so many elements of often unpitched sound and noises into the framework of song and melody. I've been listening a lot to various Erstwhile CDs recently and, while I find that sound world increasingly essential, translating it to song is a daunting prospect.

*** Ramble alert! ***

It also led to me think about how 'Manafon' is in some ways a distant, but related, cousin of Tin Drum. For the latter, there were song frameworks that were then deconstructed into sound phrases. Ghosts was the most radical attempt as it didn't have the foundations of Steve and Mick's rhythm section to rest on. That deconstruction of arrangements, along with the beautiful texture of the sound itself is why that album remains a classic.

Manafon is an even more radical, reverse version of that process; the work of a mature artist at his peak. It starts with deconstructed, improvised sound and then works forward to a point where there is just enough song structure for the material to be heard as such. The mental effort involved is frightening. Tin Drum was almost impossibly fragile in its structure, but it did have chords and lyrics to build from. Manafon didn't even have that. It was creating a building without plans and with random pieces and yet still, somehow, managing to take shape and bear the weight of song.
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