[sic] Magazine

Book – Cries And Whispers

Cries And Whispers is the long-awaited follow-up to 2015’s A Foreign Place, Anthony Reynolds‘ hugely successful biography of Japan.

Detailing the fascinating musical adventures of Richard Barbieri, Rob Dean, Steve Jansen, Mick Karn and David Sylvian from 1983 to 1991, the book takes in Sylvian’s solo work, The Dolphin Brothers, Dali’s Car, the brilliant but ill-fated band reunion project Rain Tree Crow.

Drawing on new interviews with the people who were there including musicians, producers, engineers and friends, Cries And Whispers provides an informed account of such albums as Brilliant Trees, Gone to Earth, Secrets of the Beehive, Dreams of reason produce monsters, Dalis Car and Catch the fall as well as the Rain Tree Crow album. The book includes many rare photographs as well as contributions from Bill Nelson, Johnny Marr, Bill Bruford, Robbie Aceto, Simon Raymonde, Ivo, Martin Fry, Michael Brook, Tim Bowness, Paul Morley, Thomas Dolby, the late Colin Vearncombe and others.

The 1988 Sylvian solo tour is also covered in forensic detail.

My overwhelming impression was one of sheer admiration for the depth of research on display. It is almost as though the author was engaged as biographer from day one; such is the astonishing detail Reynolds presents over each phase of their new careers. The photography is beautifully presented but it is the writing which ultimately fascinates.

Kudos must also be given for the way the various tensions and controversies are handled. Most Japan fans will be aware of the circumstances which led to disbanding. They will also have heard about the challenges over the 88 Sylvian tour and most notably around the Rain Tree Crow project. Reynolds handles these events in a non-judgmental, ‘matter of fact’ way. Readers are simple presented with what factually occurred as well as some of the motivations behind those actions. We can draw our own conclusions.

Cries And Whispers is a terrific read and a must have for aficionados. It serves as a strong reminder just how singular and brilliant all of those musicians were. If you are anything like me, you won’t get too far in before dusting off the albums.

Cries And Whispers is in pre-order stage now. Further preview pages available via David Sylvian site (see link)

David Sylvian website

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