Playing the Schoolhouse
What is this space, and how is it fixed? This space is filled with sound, recordings of other spaces. The performance of this space returns to the studio, both imagined and real (headphones and speakers) and is fixed to this disc. These particles…
Playing the Schoolhouse is a new piece from David Sylvian, created specially for the Confront label, pulled from an improvisation by Sylvian and composer Jan Bang. The piece draws on found objects; on samples of previous recordings (including work by Otomo Yoshihide, Toshimaru Nakamura and Dai Fujikura), arranged, clipped, processed, arranged. With cut-bells, erasures, crackles, spaces; Playing the Schoolhouse is an accomplished piece of concrète that draws on the landscapes tapped on 2009’s Manofon.
The creaks and seams apparent in the piece give it a crunchy rawness that comes from an essential liveness – and the possibility of failure means that this is Sylvian pushing at the edges of his comfort zone; further than (say) the instrumental Blemish outtake Trauma, or the jagged spaces of the Dai Fujikura collaboration Five Lines. A brave step for such a distinctive vocalist as Sylvian, but a necessary one; the rigour of improvisation combined with the apparent removal of the “I” (and the attendant Je/Moi flicker) points to further riches to come.
Clock ticking, chair creaks, tapes, bird song, morning.