I will learn to walk
I will learn to breathe as I once did
I will learn to sing
And singing I will worship you
Extract from The Gold and Crimson Tulips...
Trophies II - the lyrics of DAVID SYLVIAN
by David Sylvian
Opium (Arts) Ltd '99
David Sylvian '99
b. David Batt, 23 February 1958, Beckenham, Kent, England. Sylvian first established himself as a singer with Japan. His androgynous image and ethereal vocals made him a prominent figure in that group. Just before their break-up in late 1982, he branched out into a new venture recording with Ryűichi Sakamoto of the Yellow Magic Orchestra. The duo's 'Bamboo House' reached the UK Top 30 and the collaboration continued the following year with 'Forbidden Colours', the haunting theme to the David Bowie film Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence. Sylvian's own Red Guitar also reached the Top 20 and he soon gained a reputation as an uncompromising artist, intent on working at his own pace, and to his own agenda. The atmospheric Brilliant Trees, reached the UK Top 5 and was widely acclaimed.
Over two years elapsed before the double album follow-up Gone To Earth, which fared less well. By the time of Let The Happiness In single & the third solo vocal album, Secrets Of The Beehive, Sylvian had virtually returned to the pop fringe but his love of experimentation was still present. A collaboration with former Can member Holger Czukay on the atmospherically ambient Plight And Premonition and Flux And Mutability emphasized this point.
There also followed a collaboration with the illustrator, Russell Mills, entitled Ember Glance. Sylvian subsequently joined his former Japan colleagues for their 1991 reunion project under the guise of Rain Tree Crow. Following his collaboration with Ryűichi Sakamoto in 1992, Sylvian was back in the charts with 'Heartbeat (Tainai Kaiki II)'.
In 1992, Sylvian released "The First Day" with Robert Fripp and this took him back into the UK charts. A limited edition live album Damage was released to coincide with the world tour the duo undertook. 1n 1994, they both worked on a sound installation in Tokyo, Japan, titled Redemption (approaching silence).
The following year, Sylvian embarked on a solo world tour entitled Slowfire.
In March 1999, Sylvian's first solo album for 12 years, Dead Bees On A Cake was released to mixed response, reaching Number 9 in the Italian charts and Number 31 in the UK. A single, I Surrender preceded the album by a few weeks and reached the top 40 in the UK.
The book, Trophies II - the lyrics of David Sylvian was published in February 1999 in an edition of 5,000 and included poems and lyrics from 1988 to 1999.
A second single, Godman, limited to 5000, was released in September 1999 along with Ember Glance on CD without the box set & Approaching Silence.
The year 2000 saw Sylvian busy working on a "Best of/Rarities" album which is scheduled for release later in the year.
Sylvian currently resides in the US with his wife, Ingrid Chavez & two children.
Top of Page