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Old 23.02.2012, 02:02
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Anne Clark coming to Zurich!

Hello! Wanted to spread the news that British 80s music pioneer Anne Clark is coming to Zurich in May!

I did an interview with her this month February 2012 and wanted to share it with you...

More information to come!


Interview with Anne Clark - February 2012

In May LordMasters will be collaborating with Anne Clark and her long term pianist Murat Parlak for three intimate concerts entitled “Enough” at Dynamo in Zurich. This February LordMasters director Simon Williams interviewed Anne Clark about the upcoming concerts and tried to find out more about this iconic artist.

How did the title “Enough” come about?

“…People know the price of everything and the value of nothing.” - Oscar Wilde

Well, it’s a word that enters my head more and more frequently, in response to more and more situations.
It’s a response to the excesses and overload in every area of our lives.

What have you had enough of?
Where should I begin? Alphabetically perhaps? Numerically?
The over complications of living life.
Probably, first and foremost, the opinions of too many other people interfering in each others lives and how they should live their lives.
Yet of course by answering these questions, I too, am adding to that problem.
Maybe I should stop here. Maybe we should all just STOP here!

Too much intolerance.
Too much aggression.
Too much hatred.
Too much egotism.
Too much greed.

Enough of “fashionable” movements and political standpoints.

I have enough to eat.
I have enough to drink. But still I am overloaded and encouraged to eat more, drink more, buy more.

There is not enough love.
Not enough tolerance.
Not enough humility.
Not enough empathy.
Not enough listening.
Not enough looking.
Not enough valuing.
Not enough silence.

Why have you decided to do an acoustic concert?
There has always been an acoustic element within my work, right back to my first album, The Sitting Room.
I think however, the success of my electronic material has rather over-shadowed it a lot of the time.
Now though, I feel a need to strip away some of the complexities and excesses of a large band and electronics and strip my work down to its basics. Simplification and clarity.

What do you think about social media? Do you tweet, facebook etc?
“What shall we do
Me & you
Now the whole world’s before us
To talk to
A new way’s waiting
Able to choose
It’s in our own hands
On computer screens
In far away lands
What’s there to lose?”

The technology itself I think is neutral. We can choose to do whatever we want with it and yet most of the time we, all of us talk bland inanities on it! That’s ok I guess, as it seems most social interaction is made up of bland inanities, so why should Facebook or Twitter be any different?
Like all things human, I guess there are incredible possibilities and potentials there, but ultimately the choice is ours.

I use Facebook. I don’t have a mobile phone signal where I live so texting & tweeting isn’t something I do too often.
I use the Internet to write and exchange material with musicians all over the world and this is a wonderful, creative possibility for me!

What do you think of the Internet as a platform for music?
Quite simply, I think musicians are faced with two options: They can either make their material available on line and take the risk of it being downloaded without being paid for it, but at least having the possibility of reaching a world wide audience or they can go with a record company and take the risk of never getting paid for it and never reaching a potential audience.

Do you think with the Internet and digital music that music has become disposable?
Everything is disposable – music, people…. If you let it be.

Do you still read books or have you moved into reading in the digital era?
I still read books! I love the sensual, organic experience of reading a real 3-dimensional volume! However, I also have a kindle account and download and read books electronically – especially when I am traveling.
To go back to earlier in the interview, and the value and over consumption of “things”, I heard recently that people are now using their garages, not for keeping their cars in but for keeping all the crap they bought that they don’t want or need anymore in!
If by listening to music, watching movies or reading books, magazines, etc digitally, it can cut out that kind of nonsense, then I’m all for it!

What have you been reading recently?
Well, there are so many “Classics” that I have never read, so, with this being Charles Dickens’ bicentenary year, I am diving into his work. At the moment I’m reading Bleak House (in 2 gorgeous illustrated, hardback volumes!).
Electronically, I am reading a book called White Fever, by a guy who drove across Siberia and his experiences there.

Do you still feel that tracks such as Our Darkness and Sleeper in Metropolis are still relevant for you today?

Relevant for me? Or to other people? I guess the answer has to be yes in both cases.
What inspired you to write those tracks in the first place?
Well, lots of things I guess but I suppose the main one was having IBM build a mega office block opposite my family home when I was about 12 years old!

What is different about the music you make now compared to in the 80s?
I hope that apart from having developed and matured in some way that it still has something very basically “Anne Clark” in it, something that this wonderful, loyal audience of mine recognizes with each project and each release.

Why do you think artists get tired of the recording industry, why do they so often retreat?
I can’t speak for anyone else but from my own experience, I know it is a dirty, nasty business but one that up until recently, artists had no option but to use.

Have we lost control of the Internet?
Have we ever had control of the Internet?
If you’re a parent with young children, do you have control of the Internet?
If you are a pedophile, posting porn, do you have control of the Internet?
If you are Mega Upload, do you have control of the Internet?
If I post a new piece of music, do I have control of the Internet?
Do the police, Al Qaeda, the State?

What music are you into at the moment?
My life is music. It is filled with music of every kind.

What music will you be presenting in Zurich at this concert?
The concert will consist of material spanning the past 30 years of my making music, arranged purely for piano and voice and choreography.

Have you ever worked with dance before in your projects?
Yes, on a number of occasions. Once in London back in 1990! A second time was on my Wordprocessing tour in 1997 and I have recently been approached by another choreographer/dancer with a view to doing a collaboration.

Do you go to see dance?
Not as often as I would like to be honest. I used to go a lot more when I lived in cities. I was a big fan of Anna de Keersmaeker. Do you think I should start going again?

Will you be making new music for release?
Well, I am working on several new projects at the moment.
After the success of Die Künstlichen Paradiese last year and its award at the German Book Awards a few weeks ago, I am very happy to say Murat and I have been invited to contribute to another NDR/SDR/Hörbuch Hamburg project.
I also have 2 other separate projects under way…whether they ever see the light of day remains to be seen! Maybe I’ll just stop after this.

If so, would that be with a record label or a company?
I honestly can’t say at the moment. I’ll just see how things evolve. I’ve learnt not to make too many definite plans too early in such a flaky business!

Why do you think you have yet to be recognised properly in the UK?
Where to begin with the UK…? Back in the 80s I did a lot of things there. It was a very different world then. I was involved with the first days of Channel 4. Did programmes for the BBC. I worked in an independent theatre in London organising regular events for more than two years, featuring numerous artists, comedians and performers. I began my live career at Cabaret Futura along with the likes of Depeche Mode. Played at The Band On The Wall in Manchester along with Joy Division, Eyeless In Gaza etc…Worked as editor for Paul Weller’s Riot Stories publishing company… So there was a lot going on for me then.
However, strange and unknown as it is, when David Harrow and I started selling thousands and thousands of copies of Sleeper In Metropolis and Our Darkness singles and thousands and thousands of copies of Changing Places and Joined Up Writing albums and we didn’t receive ANY payment for them, I challenged the record companies and there began the systematic destruction of my career in the UK.
I was told by Virgin executives that they would make sure I never ever worked again.
Ha! 25 years later, I’m still here and have an audience from all over the world – so my dear, The UK!
Beside that the music public and media in general there is so fickle. Another problem of course is that they can’t place me in any particular category so that’s a real problem for them. Tiny nation, tiny minds….
Receiving not even the slightest support from your own “home” can of course be very demoralising BUT the overwhelming and constant support from abroad more than compensates for that!

How did you start in the music business?
Music has been my world from when I was a tiny child, so I think it was inevitable that I would have been involved in it in some way or another.
I had a job at a local record store when I was 16 in 1976, in South London, just as Punk exploded into life and so that was my starting point. Before that my childhood was filled with music of every kind.

Have you ever lived outside of the UK?
Yes, I’ve lived in Norway and Belgium at different periods and I spend most of my time abroad.

How did you end up working in a hospital?
A psychiatric hospital….Cane Hill.
I went to school in Old Coulsdon, which at the time was regarded as Surrey but has since been consumed into the outer suburbs of London.
Back in the 19th Century the Victorians built vast sized asylums on the outskirts of the major cities. The “sad”, “mad”, “bad” or just plain “different” would be sent there. Cane Hill was just one of them in that area. There were several others in close proximity.
I guess there are two lines of thought about these places. On the one hand they really did offer a place of “asylum” and refuge for those who were too troubled, too dangerous or just too sensitive to be a part of the external world.
The other view is that they were monstrous human dustbins, where these same people would just be dumped by their families or the authorities and left and forgotten about.
At school, part of our Social Studies class would be to visit Cane Hill and if we wanted, to volunteer and help out on a regular basis with the patients.
I can’t imagine that Health & Safety or all the other ridiculous political correctness going on now would even allow 14, 15 or 16 year old school kids within a mile of the place now.
Oh Yes – I forgot, of course, we don’t have any psychiatric hospitals anymore - Just care in the community!!
Anyway, I have to say, apart from my English, Music and Art lessons, these regular sessions at Cane Hill were the most rewarding part of my entire education. I learnt more there about “humanity” than I could have anywhere else.

Please tell more about that… How long did you stay, why did you leave and what did you take away from this experience, how did it affect you etc?
When I left school I had a part time job at the local record store but because of my incredible experiences at Cane Hill, I also applied to work there. There were always plenty of vacancies for that kind of work! So, at that stage and obtaining an official job there, I got to see a lot more of what went on.
Already as a school kid, so many myths and tales had grown up around Cane Hill and the other surrounding psychiatric hospitals, horror stories, scare stories. After school, some of us would walk through the amazing but somewhat isolated countryside that linked the school at the top of the hill, past Cane Hill, down the valley, to the buses that took us home back to noisy South London.
What also came to be a very meaningful experience at the time was that I had also just discovered David Bowie’s “The Man Who Sold The World” album, with its dark themes of madness and asylums. It wasn’t until I had been working there for a while that the rumour of his brother being a patient there was confirmed. That’s a strange link for me, between my music world and my school/working world.
I stayed there for a while and had life-enriching experiences meeting, working with and talking to beautiful people, some of whom had been there for 60 or more years. Maybe at the time they had stolen a loaf of bread or fallen pregnant, yet had been there so long, they were completely institutionalised, yet still convinced that THIS morning their parents were coming to take them home.
There were areas where people were kept who were so disturbed that only certain members of staff could attend them.
What made me leave in the end was watching the horrific abuse by certain members of staff against utterly defenceless people.
Some of these staff should have been locked in the secure unit, as their cruelty was unbelievable.
Again, I’m afraid I got myself into trouble for reporting a sadist of a staff member beating a patient… Just a few years later the hospital was closed and well… I think we know the standard of psychiatric care in 2012…

What other jobs have you done?
Lots… whatever, whenever necessary!

If you could sing, would you still speak your texts?
Well now, that’s an interesting question! Who knows?! I think texts often have to be compromised in the regular song writing context, though of course that isn’t always necessarily so…. The answer to that is I don’t know…

To find out more about the upcoming concerts on May 11th, 12th and 13th in Zurich go to ticketcorner.ch
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Old 15.05.2012, 21:32
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Re: Anne Clark coming to Zurich!

It was a great concert. Thank you for posting the interview here. I made a video with excerpts of Anne Clark's and Murat Parlak's concert. Available on vimeo
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Old 15.05.2012, 22:26
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Re: Anne Clark coming to Zurich!

Who is Anne Clark?
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