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"Dyddiau Du/Dark Days" with public talk

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2 Re: "Dyddiau Du/Dark Days" with public talk on Sat Apr 10, 2010 2:01 pm

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its a worry that John seems to be giving more public talks and Q&A's than concerts these days.

3 Re: "Dyddiau Du/Dark Days" with public talk on Mon Apr 12, 2010 1:25 pm

fireball wrote:its a worry that John seems to be giving more public talks and Q&As than concerts these days.

at least he's doing something ! so many of the bands I listen to seem to disappear between albums/tours that I start to worry they've retired and I've missed the news. Smile

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4 Personal impression on the show on Tue Jul 13, 2010 10:39 am

Just some lines on my personal impression. It was posted before in the Facebook group "I bet I can't find 100.000 people who know John Cale!" where you can also find some pictures from the public talk afterwards:
http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?topic=15924&post=87899&uid=277162839296#!/album.php?aid=183644&id=277162839296&ref=mf
My feelings are quite mixed. It was unbelievable hot and the audience couldn't sit, what made the whole thing a kind of physical torture. Then we were all wearing headphones; and my set made sometimes awful noises. Once it even really hurt. The sound quality was also not that good. Nita Scott told afterwards that this was the best alternative, because the way they tried it before with speakers in the hall didn't allow to understand anything when Cale spoke. So, the external circumstances were definitely not the best.
And then the installation/performance: I heard some people after the concert say that the music would have been better without the images. Very mean! But the music was definitely great! Two very strong songs; I just hope we will get them one day on CD. And then mostly an ambient sound carpet, sometimes silence and also original sounds from the shooting spots. In one scene, where John climbs a hill, his groaning is first very low and slow and then faster and louder and you get the impression that he might collapse any second. During this sequence the camera seems to be around his neck and is directed either on John's face (close up) or on the ground. Quite scary!
In the end you have a water boarding sequence with him which is even more scary. I first thought of a horror film. After this we were all very much convinced that he had a hardcore awful childhood.
There were in the whole five screens and much more images: a dropping water hose, snowy hills, abandon broken houses, doors, a piece of a door, 360° rotations of the camera, etc. A lot of images were from the house where Cale grew up. And some images were special and some rather arty-farty funny: a lamp on the ground in an empty room!? Several times I actually had to smile because of the image selection, especially in the beginning when we were all standing sweating in this dark hot room and the projection of this dropping water hose started. We all indeed felt like having a shower... And then snow! Gosh! That would have been great at that moment...
I mind a bit that it was difficult to differentiate where Cale grew up and where they were only shooting because it was fit for this dark project. For the audience it was not clear what was part of Cale's childhood and what was only used to pimp up the darkness of (his memory of) Wales in this installation. In the whole, it does not matter that much, but if the whole thing is announced as a memory thing and John has not been to those places before then it is of course kind of fake. Yeah, art allows everything and it anyway served the purpose. It looked like they selected all the very dark things to push the audience into his dark childhood by force. Anyway, it worked out ... In this sense it was a very successful installation.
I'm sure some people will write much more positive things. I personally always have my problems with these kinds of installations. I either fully love it or don't care much. And if it wasn't for John Cale, I guess, I wouldn't care much in this case.
I so much love his music and that's definitely the area where he is so convincing. I just hope that he now starts working on his new album, and "Dark Days" will not keep him busy anymore.
I have to close with a quote from his 'new' song "Catastrophic":
"Say HELLO to the FUTURE and GOODBYE to the PAST!"

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