Vista blog

Talk about anything David Sylvian related.

Re: Vista blog

Postby silentwings on Sat Jun 08, 2019 3:58 pm

Thanks for reading and for the feedback, javier.
“Great things are not accomplished by those who yield to trends and fads and popular opinion.” Jack Kerouac
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Re: Vista blog

Postby silentwings on Fri Jun 28, 2019 12:08 pm

I've published a new article on 'Red Guitar'.. ..how in the world can it be 35 years since this was released?

Looking back it was such a well-crafted package of music, lyrics, sleeve art and video to launch David Sylvian's solo career.

I found an archive interview recording at the British Library of Angus McBean talking about his involvement and have included some insights from that. The interview was recorded in 1989, just a few months before his death - but he sounded so full of fun and joy for life.

Here's the link: https://sylvianvista.com/2019/06/28/red-guitar/
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Re: Vista blog

Postby silentwings on Fri Jul 19, 2019 12:58 pm

The latest article features Stephan Mathieu's work with David Sylvian. This includes his live remix of 'Plight & Promonition' immediately following its only live performance at the Punkt festival in 2011, and the album 'Wandermüde' released under both their names in 2013.

I'm grateful again to have direct input to the blog - Stephan took the time to describe to me his sound processing techniques which were fundamental to both of the projects.

When 'Wandermüde' was announced I wondered if we really needed another reworking of the 'Blemish' material, but for me it's a beautifully crafted album and I hope it doesn't slip into obscurity through lack of promotion.

Here's the link: https://sylvianvista.com/2019/07/19/saffron-laudanum/
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Re: Vista blog

Postby kitaj on Mon Jul 22, 2019 6:10 am

Thank you, David - excellent research and writeup as always. So cool to get to know something more about a release so little advertised and, in retrospect, known.
I do suspect it's a tricky question, but I wonder if you could divulge anything as to what the ultimate reason for Stephan getting out of the picture was?
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Re: Vista blog

Postby silentwings on Mon Jul 22, 2019 4:30 pm

Hi kitaj, thanks for reading - I’m glad you enjoyed it. There were certainly disagreements after The Kilowatt Hour project. I don’t know the details. I was pleased that Stephan agreed to share something about his unique processing techniques and how they developed up to and including the Punkt remix and Wandermüde album. Whatever happened subsequently, these musical creations (including The Kilowatt Hour) are worthy of attention and not disappearing into obscurity.
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Re: Vista blog

Postby silentwings on Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:53 pm

I've always been fascinated by the Nine Horses album and its roots in the Secret Rhythms project by Burnt Friedman & Jaki Liebezeit. Unusually, we have two versions of 'The Librarian' - one with Jaki Liebezeit on drums and one with Steve Jansen. It's fascinating to listen to their different performances, which (incredibly to me) are in two different time signatures.

I was thrilled to ask Burnt Friedman about the links between the projects. He and Jaki - who sadly died in 2017 - were deep thinkers on rhythm and its link with culture, and long-time experimenters. Chatting to Burnt gave me insight into their philosophy and now I can listen to this music with new perspective.

I hope you enjoy the article: https://sylvianvista.com/2019/08/09/the-librarian/
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Re: Vista blog

Postby Blemished on Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:44 pm

These are all great, but particularly enjoyed this one - sheds so much light on the 9H work and the intersection with Bernd and Jaki's work. Really fascinating ideas about rhythm. The Secret Rhythms albums are really enjoyable and Bernd's production skills are quite exquisite.
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Re: Vista blog

Postby silentwings on Mon Sep 02, 2019 2:54 pm

Thanks Blemished for your feedback on my article with Burnt Friedman - and for keeping this portal open for us.

I've now published a piece on the glorious 'Wave' from Gone to Earth. I knew that Robert Fripp had been on a record shop tour (doing solo performance and Q&A) at the time of the studio session. Remarkably, 30+ years on from that day, whilst I was writing this piece a recording of the Q&A on the very day of the recording was posted by DGM - providing more detail on the story.

It was a song that struggled to find the right form, but Fripp ultimately mentioned it in the same breath as Bowie's 'Heroes'.

As always, I hope you enjoy reading.

Here's the link: https://sylvianvista.com/2019/08/30/wave/
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Re: Vista blog

Postby Blemished on Tue Sep 03, 2019 8:00 am

Another great post! Really enjoyed reading about how that track evolved, the original versions etc. Really fascinating.

I have a hit and miss relationship with GTE, now 30+ years have passed since first being wrapped up in it - some times I find it overblown and overproduced and other times I just love the incredible atmosphere of the record. It's like a unique place that you can visit for a particular ambience. In the right mood there is nothing like it. And you can understand aspects of the creation of mood technically - the Lexicon reverbs, the Prophet VS synth lines, Robert's guitar, the drum sound - and yet it goes way beyond that with its mood of religious/mystical exploration. It's something I've always loved about David's work - each record usually has a distinct atmosphere that's over and above a collection of songs - sometimes that links with your own memories of listening to it the first time and other times it just exists in its own right.

Wave really is incredible and one of his best, most powerful songs as you say. But oddly I love the instrumental version on Camphor almost as much and sometimes more these days. I suppose it's because the original is so deeply in my head that having this instrumental extract that both adds those wonderful strings (which give it a whole new depth sonically) but also has what feels like the essence of Robert's guitar lines and the reversing, pulsing sounds...it gives me the feeling of the song but in a different, distilled way and I just love it.
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Re: Vista blog

Postby silentwings on Fri Sep 20, 2019 11:36 am

Thanks Blemished for sharing your reflections on GTE and 'Wave', both vocal and instrumental version. As you say, the Camphor version really is a gem and it's easy to overlook these - but great to rediscover them!!

I was lucky enough to be in Norway for Punkt 2019 and the latest article is focussed on Yuka Fujii's film of 'Like Planets' which was premiered at the Festival. Whilst anyone who has the book will be familiar with the content, viewing the film was a different experience to browsing the book for me, not least because of the soundtrack by Mark Wastell and featuring field recordings and poetry fragments from David Sylvian.

Here's the link: https://sylvianvista.com/2019/09/20/lik ... -nagarkot/

There is still the chance to grab a ticket for the UK premiere of the film at Cafe OTO on 3 October. Link for details - https://www.cafeoto.co.uk/events/yuka-f ... -premiere/

Yuka's London exhibition of photographs based on 'Like Planets' launches the same day at the nearby POCKO gallery. Details here - https://www.pocko.com/like-planets-by-y ... xhibition/
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Re: Vista blog

Postby silentwings on Fri Oct 11, 2019 12:31 pm

The latest article published features 'Some Small Hope', the duet between Virginia Astley and David Sylvian which was produced by Ryuichi Sakamoto. I spoke to Masaki Sekijima who was Ryuichi's instruments assistant at the time and for whom the recording was both a challenge and a life experience!

Whilst this is no more than an interesting side-project in Sylvian's catalogue, to me it's a delightful piece of pop music with contrasting voices and intriguing instrumentation.

Here's the link: https://sylvianvista.com/2019/10/11/some-small-hope/

Thanks for the ongoing interest in the blog, and just a reminder that you can find Vista on twitter here: https://twitter.com/Vistablogger
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Re: Vista blog

Postby Quiet Visitor on Sat Oct 12, 2019 10:13 am

Thanks for this. I always loved this LP, although I had to get used to Virginia's somewhat childish sounding voice. I'm also glad I found a Japanese CD-edition a couple of years plus a CD Astley released a few years later.
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Re: Vista blog

Postby silentwings on Fri Nov 01, 2019 12:57 pm

I've written an article on 'Maria' from Secrets of the Beehive. It's performed by a trio of Sylvian, Sakamoto and Torn, and breaks the mould of the acoustic-driven musical arrangements on the album.

The article explores the inspiration for the piece in Andrei Tarkovsky's final film, 'The Sacrifice', and also how Tarkovsky's cinematography has fascinated Ryuichi Sakamoto and impacted his life and work.

I hope you enjoy it.

Here's the link: https://sylvianvista.com/2019/11/01/maria/
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