Yes indeed (with perhaps the exception of Yma Sumac and Les Baxter).
The concept came from the live performance with Harold Budd in Brighton (don’t remember the year exactly … early 2000′s) at which John Foxx also sang. Harold asked me to perform a 20 minute solo gong piece (very easy to insert comedic illusions of oiled, naked flesh here, but let’s resist) similar to something that was featured on an album of his some years previous. After the event, John asked me to record similar gong pieces for an album, this is what became utilised on ‘A Secret Life’.
I remember thinking he was gentle, warm hearted and sensitive towards people. He shot the portraits on ‘Oil On Canvas’.
I regret that I have been associated with people motivated by greed. It’s as though they plant a cancer in your system and every so often there’s a twinge of pain that reminds you they still affect your life.
That’s correct. ‘Blackwater’ started out very different musically and I wasn’t comfortable with the feel of it. At the time I felt it would have worked better without drums at all, (still do in fact .. something less busy for sure) since it was a very delicate song built upon ambient sounds and vague crescendoes and even the bass was fairly dull by Mick’s standards. I spent quite a while whittling the role down to brushes and dropping the swing element it had started out with. The kit was so exposed and close-mic’d against the gentle timbre of the song that I found it impossible to get an entire take that I was happy with. The band were getting increasingly agitated with me spending what little remained of the recording budget on a drum track, so in the end I took a bunch of samples of my playing on floppy discs (this was pre hard disk recording) and programmed the entire thing overnight on a Mac SE midi-triggering samples on an Akai S1000.
I’m pleased with this album overall, David and I work very well in collaboration. It was generally enjoyable to work on, although a long process.
I wasn’t aware of this but I’m certain it was pure coincidence.
Mick Karn triptych, 1981. Photo by Steve Jansen
Mick Karn, ‘Alice’ tour, Firenze 1996. Photo by Steve Jansen
If you want some insights you’d best ask someone who knows him or his work. There must be people much better qualified than me.