As the world comes to terms with the loss of David Bowie, seeking for a suitable channel to express the outpouring of feeling and emotion, the regular thread on my blog – Oblique Strategy of the day offers a fitting platform to record a few of my thoughts on the passing of David Bowie.
As one of the most famous exponents of Oblique Strategies, Bowie used them during the recording of his famous Berlin triptych of albums from the late 1970’s (‘Low’ 1977, ‘Heroes’ 77, ‘Lodger’ 79). Having moved to the German Capital in 1976 Bowie began working with Brian Eno to produce the albums, focussing on a more minimalist, ambient sound. Instrumentals on Heroes, such as ‘Sense of Doubt‘, and the pieces ‘Fantastic Voyage‘, ‘Boys Keep Swimming‘ and ‘Red Money‘ from 1979’s Lodger are thought to be the biggest benefactors of the use of the cards.
Yesterday, Brain Eno spoke of the pairs fond friendship spanning over 40 years from those Berlin days. Even stating how they had plans to work together once again, revisiting the album ‘Outside’.
“I received an email from him seven days ago. It was as funny as always, and as surreal, looping through word games and allusions and all the usual stuff we did. It ended with this sentence: ‘Thank you for our good times, Brian. they will never rot’. And it was signed ‘Dawn’. I realise now he was saying goodbye.”
Bowie was a true artist in every sense of the word. Transcending mediums, and often working in many simultaneously – his lifes’ work and achievements rival the very best. Whether you enjoyed a youth shaped by the music and various guises of David Bowie, or simply lived at some point during his life, his legacy is unavoidable. Shaping popular culture or providing inspiration – his contribution towards contemporary culture and the creative arts is immeasurable.
“Music has been both my doorway of perception and the house that I live in. I only hope that it embraces you with the same lusty life force that it graciously offered me…
Thank you very much and remember, if it itches, play it.”
David Bowie speaking to graduating music students at Berklee College, Massachusetts, 1999