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David Sylvian
there’s a light that enters houses with no other house in sight

David Sylvian — there’s a light that enters houses with no other house in sight (Oct. 20, 2014)

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 NOMINATED ALBUM: David Sylvian — there’s a light that enters houses with no other house in sight
ψ   Front man for Japan whose striking image and ethereal vocals made him a prominent figure in the New Romantic movement.
ψ   David Sylvian's new long form composition (with a running time of over 60 minutes).  A unique collaboration with American Pulitzer Prize winning poet Franz Wright (reading a selection of his works) featuring contributions from Christian Fennesz and John Tilbury.
ψ   CD A 6 panel digipak showcasing photographic artwork by Nicholas Hughes and with art direction by David Sylvian, and designed by Chris Bigg.
Born: February 23, 1958 in Lewisham, London, England
Location: Catford, South London ~ Beckenham, Kent, England
Album release: November 24th, 2014
Record Label: Samadhisound
Duration:     64:20
Tracks:
01. The God Of Single Cell Organisms
02. The God Of Sleeplessness
03. The God Of Silence
04. The God Of Smaller Gods
05. The God Of Small Caresses — Erik Honore
06. The God Of Black Holes
07. The God Of Adverbs
08. The Ruminative Gap
09. The God Of Crossroads
10. The God Of Tiny Islands
11. The God Of Gradual Abdication
12. I Swallowed Earth For This
ψ   All tracks  (Feat. Sidsel Endresen & Arve Henriksen)
ψ   Samadhisound presents (November 24th 2014) the release of David Sylvian’s new long form composition; there’s a light that enters houses with no other house in sight.  A unique collaboration with American Pulitzer Prize winning poet Franz Wright, featuring contributions from Christian Fennesz and John Tilbury.
ψ   The release will be available in three editions: A limited deluxe edition in an embossed cloth bound book featuring selected poems from Kindertotenwald as read by Franz Wright with contributions from three renowned photographers assembled by Sylvian to illustrate the edition. The second edition is a digipak showcasing photographic artwork by Nicholas Hughes. The third is a digital download with extensive digital booklet. All art directed by Sylvian and designed by Chris Bigg.
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ψ   The release will be available in three editions: A limited deluxe edition in an embossed cloth bound book featuring selected poems from Kindertotenwald as read by Franz Wright with contributions from three renowned photographers assembled by Sylvian to illustrate the edition. The second edition is a digipak showcasing photographic artwork by Nicholas Hughes. The third is a digital download with extensive digital booklet. All art directed by Sylvian and designed by Chris Bigg.
ψ   “In September 2011, at the time of its publication, I read Franz Wright's Kindertotenwald. I was familiar with Franz’s earlier work but something about the subject matter of this collection resonated with me as if my psyche had momentarily found an echo in tune with, but more eloquent than, its own internal voice. There’s a knowledge of the world in Wright’s work (not world weary but wary of the false note, pulsing with a current that comes from bearing witness to what's ‘real’ whilst remaining vigilant of the tide of delusion and vanity that threatens to engulf us) that omits neither light nor dark but embraces both. Here’s a man who’s been to the other side and returned or remained to tell of what he’d seen, not without sacrifice, nor a wonderfully dark vein of wry humour… On agreeing to take part in a brief tour with Stephan Mathieu and Christian Fennesz I came to the conclusion that it was better to find a focus for the work prior to touring than to attempt a form of free improvisation. The starting point in my mind was Franz and Kindertotenwald…
ψ   “There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide. Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy.” The myth of Sisyphus, Albert Camus
ψ   In September 2011, at the time of its publication, I read Franz Wright's Kindertotenwald. I was familiar with Franz’s earlier work but something about the subject matter of this collection resonated with me as if my psyche had momentarily found an echo in tune with, but more eloquent than, its own internal voice. There’s a knowledge of the world in Wright’s work (not world weary but wary of the false note, pulsing with a current that comes from bearing witness to what's ‘real’ whilst remaining vigilant of the tide of delusion and vanity that threatens to engulf us) that omits neither light nor dark but embraces both. Here’s a man who’s been to the other side and returned or remained to tell of what he’d seen, not without sacrifice, nor a wonderfully dark vein of wry humour.
ψ   On agreeing to take part in a brief tour with Stephan Mathieu and Christian Fennesz I came to the conclusion that it was better to find a focus for the work prior to touring than to attempt a form of free improvisation, not something I've personally explored or am experienced in. The starting point in my mind was Franz and Kindertotenwald. I was to meet Franz in his hometown of Waltham, Massachusetts, an hour or so from my own home at that time, and spent all too few hours in his company recording his readings. Franz, it has to be said, was gravely ill and stoically riding a considerable wave of heavy medication. That he took the time out to make the recording was remarkable and it turned out to be uplifting for the both of us and although Franz’s stamina, due to his condition, was limited, we managed to get enough of the readings onto disc before our time was up.
ψ   I composed the bulk of the material in transit on a laptop with no additional hardware. I thought of the piece more as a remix of many sampled soundbites, granulated and looped, carefully distilled elements drawn together to form ‘movements’ which worked in support of and/or complimented Wright’s readings. Christian, Stephan, and I took a rough form of this composition on tour with us in Sept–Oct 2013 working under the name The Kilowatt Hour. Once I’d spent enough time away from the blueprint I returned with the intention of elaborating upon the initial composition for future release. Christian recorded some of the beautiful additions he’d refined on the tour, John Tilbury brought his superior talents to compliment my own piano contributions and, with the addition of some samples from prior sessions with Otomo (Yoshihide) and Toshimaru (Nakamura), as well as some electronics of my own, the work was mixed, again, in transit as my life continued, indeed continues, to take unforeseen twists and turns.
ψ   Franz Wright has defied expectations and all prior prognoses and has returned from the precipice that is terminal cancer to a precarious, but passionately lived and thoroughly exploited, state of grace. He has been treated for lung cancer for four years now, and both he and his wife, Beth, have been through some incredibly trying times “… (which) I can only describe as like nothing I could ever previously have imagined, not even in dreams. Is death the mother of beauty? How one loves such huge sayings when young, and how oddly self–conscious they seem, logic dressed up in poetry’s clothing and thus ultimately shallow, like discussions about the unconscious which naturally cause it to flee. I cannot depict in any way the appearance of things in light of death’s imminence — With regard to writing itself, never have I felt such a wildly enthusiastic freedom , a willingness to try anything, a surefooted confidence that there is a perfectly simple and clear way, in a very small space, for a language conscious of its limitations and — I think of Orwell’s remark comparing good prose — I would add poetry, in many cases, ought to be like a window, one I suppose of crystalline spotlessness — the way it renders other things visible, beyond itself, not just itself…” — David Sylvian, June 24 2014
Artist Biography by Jason Ankeny
ψ   Following the 1982 dissolution of Japan, the group's onetime frontman David Sylvian staked out a far–ranging and esoteric career that encompassed not only solo projects but also a series of fascinating collaborative efforts and forays into filmmaking, photography, and modern art. Born David Batt in Kent, England, on February 23, 1958, Sylvian formed Japan in 1974 and served as primary singer/songwriter throughout the group's eight–year existence. Just prior to Japan's breakup, Sylvian began working with composer Ryuichi Sakamoto, with whom he released the single "Bamboo Houses" in 1982, marking the beginning of a longstanding musical relationship.


ψ   After 1983's "Forbidden Colours," another joint effort with Sakamoto composed for the film Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence, Sylvian released his 1984 solo debut, Brilliant Trees. The first step in his music's evolution from Japan's post–glam synth pop into richly textured, poetic ambience, the album featured contributions from Sakamoto as well as Jon Hassell and Can alumnus Holger Czukay. That year, Sylvian also published his first book of photographs, Perspectives: Polaroids 82/84; in 1985, he released Preparations for the Journey, a documentary filmed in and around Tokyo, as well as the EP Words with the Shaman.
ψ   Gone to Earth, an ambitious double LP recorded with assistance from Robert Fripp and Bill Nelson, followed in 1986, while 1987 marked the release not only of the beautiful Secrets of the Beehive album but also the book collection Trophies: The Lyrics of David Sylvian. At the same time, he began composing the score for modern dancer Gaby Abis' Kin, which premiered at London's Almeida Theater that September; another collaboration with Abis, Don't Trash My Altar, Don't Alter My Trash, bowed in November 1988. Also in 1988, Sylvian reunited with Holger Czukay for the instrumental LP Plight and Premonition; the duo re–teamed in 1989 for Flux + Mutability. Ember Glance: The Permanence of Memory, an installation of sculpture, sound, and light created by Sylvian and Russell Mills, was staged in Tokyo Bay, Shinagawa, in 1990; a year later, he and the other members of Japan, who had briefly reunited under the name Rain Tree Crow, issued a self–titled album.
ψ   In 1994, Sylvian emerged in tandem with Robert Fripp for both an album, The First Day, and Redemption, another sound–and–image installation exhibited in Japan. ψ   The superb Dead Bees on a Cake followed in 1999; Approaching Silence, a collection of instrumental material, appeared later that fall. In fall 2000 Sylvian returned with the double–disc Everything and Nothing, which made for an excellent introduction to some of Sylvian's projects that had finally taken shape after the composition completion, financial settlements, and time constraints throughout his solo career. He reappeared in 2003 with Blemish, an unsettling disc of new material featuring appearances by avant guitar legend Derek Bailey and electronica experimentalist Christian Fennesz. It took six long years for Sylvian to record a follow–up to Blemish, but he did so with Manafon in 2009. Fennesz appeared on the set, as did vanguard musicians Evan Parker, John Tilbury, Otomo Yoshihide, Polwechsel, and Keith Rowe.
ψ   In 2010, Sylvian's Samadhisound imprint released Sleepwalkers, a 16–track compilation of his collaborations from the 2000s, including his Nine Horses project and World Citizen with Sakamoto. It also included one new song, "Five Lines," a collaboration with Dai Fujikura. In 2011, Sylvian released Died in the Wool (MANAFON Variations). It featured reworkings — more than remixes — of some tracks from Manafon, and included six new cuts. The work was done in collaboration with Fujikura, Fennesz, and producers Jan Bang and Erik Honoré, among others. Two tracks were actually musical versions of two poems by Emily Dickinson, "I Should Not Dare" and “A Certain Slant of Light.” The double digipack also included the CD for Sylvian's audio installation, when we return you won’t recognise us.
Website: http://davidsylvian.com/
David Sylvian: https://www.facebook.com/DavidSylvianBiography
The Workout: http://theworkout.wordpress.com/
FRANZ WRIGHT
ψ   Born in 1953, Franz Wright’s collections of poetry include The Beforelife (2001), God’s Silence (2006), and Walking to Martha’s Vineyard, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 2004. He has received a Whiting Fellowship and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts for his poetry. Wright has translated poetry by Rainer Maria Rilke and Rene Char; in 2008 he and his wife, Elizabeth Oehlkers Wright, co–translated a collection by the Belarusian poet Valzhyna Mort, Factory of Tears.
ψ   In his precisely crafted, lyrical poems, Wright addresses the subjects of isolation, illness, spirituality, and gratitude. Of his work, he has commented, “I think ideally, I would like, in a poem, to operate by way of suggestion.” Langdon Hammer, in the New York Times Book Review, wrote of God’s Silence: “In his best poems, Wright grasps at the ‘radiantly obvious thing’ in short-lined short lyrics that turn and twist down the page. The urgency and calculated unsteadiness of the utterances, with their abrupt shifts of direction, jump–cuts and quips, mime the wounded openness of a speaker struggling to find faith.”
ψ   Novelist Denis Johnson has said Wright's poems “are like tiny jewels shaped by blunt, ruined fingers — miraculous gifts.”
ψ   Poet Jordan Davis suggested that Wright .. was so accomplished (his work) would have to be kept “out of the reach of impulse kleptomaniacs.” He added, “deader than deadpan, any particular Wright poem may not seem like much, until, that is, you read a few of them. Once the context kicks in, you may find yourself trying to track down every word he’s written.”
ψ   And finally, on the subject of Kindertotenwald, poet and critic, Grace Cavalieri has written: Experts say the title translates to children + the dead + woods/forest; perhaps, “Forest of Dead Children.” This haunting title presages a haunting reading experience. Wright is a philosopher poet. Perhaps all poets who present new thoughts about our humanity are philosophers. Certainly, the way Wright studies the human condition and its illusions qualifies.
ψ   This book is a departure from the best known poems of Wright. I love to see established poets try forms that go beyond their previous work. I like those who meddle with success. These prose poems are intriguing thought patterns that show poetry as mental process. This is original material, and if a great poet cannot continue to be original, then he is really not all that great. “Prose poetry” is not what we expected. Wright is known for his elegant verticality, the terse phrase and a zinger ending. However, prose, to be poetry, must also have a springiness within the long line or it’s just margin to margin. Some call this springiness “music” or “lyricism.” It depends on tension and release, both which must be done as carefully as with any line of poetry. Paul Valery and Arthur Rimbaud told us that.
ψ   The utility of the horizontal poem is that it allows a stream of connectedness to lead us by the hand through the poet’s thought process. The danger is that it goes into auto drift. The trick, it seems, is to manage and control with the aid of momentum and tone. Much of this probably cannot be done consciously as it depends on the intrinsic language humming inside the poet. Tone comes as a result of diction that comes from word choice. Put all together and we have beautiful glue so that the center will hold and we don’t get bored. With Franz Wright this all works to the good.
ψ   A secret I know about readers is that a terrific job makes everyone feel “I want to do this.” Instead of “How did he do this?” It inspires. Bad art depletes and makes the reader think “I could not possibly say this, or tell that.” In this text there is a joyfulness that energizes and makes us feel the writing as a purposeful surge. It is a life force. This is a good indicator of literary art. And if the poet chooses a form close to stream of consciousness at times, the consciousness better be a very rich one. No one could accuse of Wright of less. Poetry is an illusion of an imagined life, biography filtered through intuition.
ψ   There are many wonderful poems assuming autobiography in Kindertotenwald. Memory and the past, mortality, longing, childhood, time, space, geography and loneliness are all the poet’s playthings. In these conversations with himself, Franz Wright shows how the mind works with his feelings and his brain’s agility in its struggle with the heart. Sometimes the poems are very funny…. Sometimes the poems are very sad.
ψ   What I applaud most is the courage that is evident. His poetry is written as if there is nothing to lose. And so it wins everything. These careful cadences are one man’s bitter love. They are also what Joseph Brodsky calls “the highest locution.”
[washingtonindependentreviewofbooks.com]
ψ   Franz Wright’s father was the Pulitzer Prize–winning poet James Wright. He has taught at Emerson College and other universities, has worked in mental health clinics, and has volunteered at a center for grieving children.
Selected works include:
ψ   F 2013
ψ   Kindertotenwald 2011
ψ   Wheeling Motel 2009
ψ   Earlier Poems 2009
ψ   God’s Silence 2006
ψ   Walking to Martha’s Vineyard 2003
ψ   The Beforelife 2001
:: http://www.washingtonindependentreviewofbooks.com/bookreview/kindertotenwald-prose-poems
CHRISTIAN FENNESZ
Born: 25 December 1962, Vienna, Austria
Website: http://www.fennesz.com/
Pitchfork: http://pitchfork.com/artists/1477-fennesz/
OTHER COLLABORATIONS:
ψ   with Ryuichi Sakamoto: Bamboo Houses (Single) (Virgin, 1982)
ψ   with Ryuichi Sakamoto: Forbidden Colours (Single/EP) (Virgin, 1983)
ψ   with Holger Czukay: Plight & Premonition (Virgin, 1988)
ψ   with Holger Czukay: Flux and Mutability (Virgin, 1989)
ψ   with Russell Mills: Ember Glance: The Permanence of Memory (Virgin, 1991)
ψ   with Robert Fripp: The First Day (Virgin, 1993)
ψ   with Robert Fripp: Damage (Virgin, 1994)
ψ   with Ryuichi Sakamoto: World Citizen (EP) (Samadhisound, 2003)
ψ   Nine Horses (with Steve Jansen and Burnt Friedman): Snow Borne Sorrow (Samadhisound, 2005)
ψ   Nine Horses: Money for All (EP) (Samadhisound, 2007)
ψ   with Jan Bang, Erik Honoré, Arve Henriksen and Sidsel Endresen: Uncommon Deities (Samadhisound, 2012)
ψ   with Stephan Mathieu: Wandermüde (album) (Samadhisound, 2013)
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David Sylvian
there’s a light that enters houses with no other house in sight

 

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