David Sylvian


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All images David Sylvian/Opium (Arts).

David Sylvian ~ Hypergraphia Book

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2021: Sylvian's Hypergraphia Book @ ebay.co.uk (direct link to book)

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Hardcover: 638 pages
Publisher: Opium (Arts) Ltd (2 Nov. 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0950955035
ISBN-13: 978-0950955032
Product Dimensions: 16.6 x 6.4 x 23.7 cm
Cover Art Direction: David Sylvian
Cover Design & Calligraphy: Chris Bigg
Cover Drawings: Toru Kamiya
Art Direction, Book Concept & Editorial Guidance: David Sylvian
Book Design & Calligraphy: Chris Bigg
Proofreading: Chris Dahlen & Richard Chadwick

Photography, painting and drawing credits include:

Atsuhide Ito, David Sylvian, Nigel Grierson, Atsushi Fukui, Katharina Grosse, Toru Kamiya, Eric Rondepierre, Tacita Dean, Hannah Bertram, Yuka Fujii, Kristamas Klousch, Noriko Tanaka, Dan Jay, Cecil Beaton, Shinya Fujiwara, Masataka Nakano, Denise Schatz, Marigo Sukano, Anton Corbijn, Lia Nalbantidou, Mitsuru Tokutomi, Shinro Ohtake, Denise Schatz, Vincent Fournier, Bill Phelps, Kevin Westenberg, Ingrid Chavez, Hideaki Kawashima, Wes Mills, Sachiyo Tsurumi, Alessandro Capozzo, Ruud van Empel & George Bolster.

Edition of 3,000. 500 were signed & numbered by Sylvian & Bigg with a further 50 randomly signed by both.

Chapters (or 'Steps' as they title them)

Lyrics & illustrations to 7 Japan/Sakamoto songs

Brilliant Trees

Gone to Earth

Secrets of the Beehive

Rain Tree Crow

The First Day

Dead Bees on a Cake


Snow Bourne Sorrow


3 Essays/Sylvian interviews/conversations (Keith Rowe, Natalia Kutsepova & Marcus Boon).

From Inner Flap

'Spanning a career of over thirty years, Hypergraphia is a comprehensive collection of the written works of David Sylvian. Lyrics from his earliest songs and his most recent recordings accompany previously unpublished and brand new poems, and they are illuminated by revealing conversations with the influential improviser and AMM co-founder Keith Rowe, and the ever-insightful musicologist Marcus Boon. The volume includes aspects of Sylvian's own photographic work as well as selections by some of the most reputable and innovative artists working today, and its design celebrates the longstanding collaboration between Sylvian and acclaimed designer Chris Bigg, who has worked on samadhisound's label since the label's inception'.

My Thoughts or The Thoughts of Someone of Absolutely No Significance

26th Dec. 2015: Isn't it jaw droppingly beautiful? If you haven't already bought it then I would recommend doing so pronto. There are still a few on the market but experience shows that once a Sylvian collectable sells out (and remember there are only 3000 overall) then the price rockets on secondary markets. It looks such an expensive item to manufacture that I very much doubt there will ever be a reprint but there deserves to be. Wouldn't it be wonderful if it sold out quickly and there were so many people clamouring for it that they did a 2nd edition? It would prove that art really does matter to more people than the publishers had anticipated.

This is a book no possible scan can do justice do. You have to feel the book, see it and turn the page to fully understand just how beautiful it is. The pages just look so expensive - the printing is exceptional. The colours and tones, the typography, the fonts and the pictures - it's overwhelming.

I would have no hesitation in saying it's the most beautiful thing he has ever produced, better even than the mythical Japanese Perspectives, the Trophies trilogy & Weatherbox. Really delicate though. Handle with care as you would with some king of Holy, Buddha script. This is a kind of a modern day equivalent of what the masters of the Italian Renaissance would have dreamed up, such is its poetic beauty. You can imagine Leonardo or Raphael producing something like this and Vasari devoting a whole chapter to it in Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects. Boy, it's sublime. It wouldn't surprise me if the bestselling territory for the book is indeed Italy. They have amazing taste.

I'm surprised it hasn't already sold out but then I think it's a physical thing. By that I mean if you saw one in the shops you would be instantly attracted to it. Hypergraphia in 3d, in real life, is far more attractive. I've see the photos of 'Inside the Book' on the official site and they just don't do justice to the book. But then nothing on the internet could possibly do so or reflect the sheer heaviness of the book. There's nothing 'light' about it; it's a body of work that is heavy in unique beauty and poetry.

Plus the cover and the title are the weakest parts to the book, in my opinion, which doesn't help. The actual contents in real life, when you see them, touch them, are a thousand times better than the cover and the title. I've never recommended a book more strongly than this one as I just know you won't be disappointed if you see one in real life. Even those with just an interest in art books and design books wouldn't be disappointed. It's a well of inspiration.

If you're thinking of buying one for the other half for Christmas then trust me: they will thank you forever. They wouldn't consider you Some Kind of Fool as the Ink in the Well used on page after page gives the book Firepower. If I were clever enough I'd be able to put more Japan/Sylvian titles into the sentence but I am Some Kind of Fool. Go on, don't Despair, or settle for the Quiet Life, Let the Happiness In...

In my opinion, it's the must have Sylvian item since Weatherbox all those years ago. And, as I've said, it's even better than that seminal release in terms of the joy it constantly gives.

It starts from 1980s and is up to 2014. Ah, the 80s. New suit. 'Miami Vice?'. 'Nah, you need legal advice'.

How good is Hypergraphia? It's one of those pleasures in life you have which is equivalent, for me, to the other night when Arsenal, with the simple sword of Total Football a la Cruyff, went over to Olympiacos (never beaten at home, remember, in like 10 years) and, against all odds, got the result that sits up there as one of the greatest nights in British football. What's more it sent them to the knockout stages of the Champions League for the 150th time in a row which is a record, I think. You just know the managers of the only other superpowers of European football like Bayern, Barca and Real Madrid will be praying they aren't drawn against a team who play football in the correct way and whom, Pele would be saying: 'Even in my prime I doubt I could get into that team. Wonder if Wenger would put me on the bench if I ask nicely?' Or words to that effect.

'Pass and move'. the great Bill Shankly would have said. 'Pass and move'. Unlike other teams I could mention who park the bus and hope for the best.

To paraphrase David Dein when talking about Russian ownership of that other team whose name I can't even mention. 'It's terrifying. They've parked their tanks on our pitch and are firing 50 pound notes at us'.

But I digress.

It's such a big, heavy book that you hope the binding will hold. It seems strong enough but I would suggest you always handle with care. And because the white dustjacket is not practical and liable to be creased and stained I would suggest you take it off and put it away safely. The rest of the book seems quite sturdy.

Each page is quite heavy and because it's around 9.25 x 6.25 inches in size (though nearly 2.5 inches deep!) it's not the easiest book to flick through. But I would say it's the right size despite this as any bigger would make it look like other books and whatever you say about it you won't find anything like it. And anyway in terms of size it fits in with the Trophies trilogy.

It is overwhelming and it's impossible to take everything in on one visit. You have to dip into it from time to time - well that's what I do but I dip in with increasing regularity - such is its spellbinding hold on you.

A myriad of images inexorably come at you; disparate pictures and scenes and yet ingeniously all held together as one by the design of Chris Bigg of 4AD, v23 & Vaughan Oliver fame.

It all makes sense.

There are some astonishing works of arts in it. Each will find there own favourites but at first glance mine are the variations of artwork from the Blemish and Manafon albums. The colours and artwork are a joy to behold. Other favourites are pages 88 & 89 and Yuka Fujii's photo that was used for the Plight & Premonition cover; Tacita Dean's atmospheric drawing on pages 78 & 79; and my bestest piece so far, the overwhelmingly haunting photograph by Kristamas Klousch on pages 64 & 65. What a piece - I've never seen something so beautiful and yet disquitening at the same time: it's one of those works of art that touches you and yet you can't put its power into words - at least I can't. The beautifully innocent white dress and the legs of a woman without a head lost in what looks like a dense, forever forest simply tugs at the senses at a level words cannot reach.

There will be more 'favourites' as every time I pick it up I find something that touches me, makes me think the world, or Sylvian's world, is a place beyond our concepts of beauty and art.

It takes us to another place.

What a life. What a career. Makes you jealous in a way that someone from the same dreary and grey suburbs of South London as me can end up here, producing this, here and now, showcasing a career of unimaginable highs.

Simply 'astonishing' as godman would say.

The Beatles put the art into pop; Sylvian with this has taken the art far, far higher than anyone could ever have imagined before Hypergraphia.

It's a book the ultimate renaissance man, Jean Cocteau, would have been proud to have put together and any admirers of him and his art would find this the gift that keeps on giving.

5 Stars out of 5

Item Gallery

Below are pictures of the cover and what I wanted to convey: the sheer size of the book. Also what the book looks like without the bookflap - a kind of counterpoint to the whiteness of the bookflap. It's no use, as I said, in putting any photos from the book up itself as they would no convey just how beautiful the pages are - they would detract from them. You really have to see the book for yourself to fully appreciate it and to do that you have to purchase it while it's still available. Trust me, once you have it you will know exactly what I mean.

David Sylvian Hypergraphia: The Writings of David Sylvian 1980-2014 Hardcover Book David Sylvian Hypergraphia: The Writings of David Sylvian 1980-2014 Hardcover Book David Sylvian Hypergraphia: The Writings of David Sylvian 1980-2014 Hardcover Book David Sylvian Hypergraphia: The Writings of David Sylvian 1980-2014 Hardcover Book David Sylvian Hypergraphia: The Writings of David Sylvian 1980-2014 Hardcover Book David Sylvian Hypergraphia: The Writings of David Sylvian 1980-2014 Hardcover Book David Sylvian Hypergraphia: The Writings of David Sylvian 1980-2014 Hardcover Book David Sylvian Set of 4 Postcards

Buy Item

Condition: new - sealed. 2021: 1 back in stock + an exclusive set of Sylvian postcards. Book is not signed. Had to pay top dollar for this as they are really hard to find these days. This can only be delivered to a UK address.

Price: 350.00 UK Sterling (UK delivery included)

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2021: Sylvian's Hypergraphia Book @ ebay.co.uk (direct link to book)

Affiliate/Advertising policy.

Hypergraphia Book.

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