Bowie,Berlin & Beyond

This latest project by the DSQ follows in the imaginary footsteps of David Bowie and his Berlin Years. The music here explores and re-visits the period when Bowie experimented with the ambient world of Brian Eno, free improvisation, and the minimalist works of the classical composer, Philip Glass. This album guides the listener on an inspirational sonic journey, mixing music and soundscapes from Bowie, Berlin & Beyond.

The British composer David Power writes:

'It was through Ziggy and his friends that I first heard Bowie's albums and these totally changed my view of him. In particular, the extended electronic instrumental tone poems he wrote (partly with Eno, during his Berlin period) made a very strong impression on me. As a 15 year old, I had never heard anything like these before. I wanted more.

I started by following up on Eno. As well as his own ambient albums, he had also persuaded his record company to let him set up his own label, Obscure Records, which he devoted largely to the English experimental school. It released recordings of works by Gavin Bryars, Michael Nyman, John White, John Cage and John Adams amongst others. Bowie and Eno had also drawn on the German Krautrock scene and I explored that too. A name that kept on coming up was Stockhausen.

For me this was my gateway into contemporary classical music. Fast forward a few decades and I am now running a small contemporary music festival in Lincolnshire, the Grimsby St Hughs Festival. It occurred to me that if Bowie and Eno's Berlin work could act as a gateway for me, maybe it could do so for others too. I got in touch with the Deltas and invited the quartet to present a concert of some arrangements of Bowie's instrumentals alongside music by Glass, Nyman and Bryars. The audience loved this Bowie inspired mix as the quartet totally embraced the essence of the music.

This concert was the start of a new journey culminating in this 2018 release on Trevor Taylor's eclectic FMR label - a label which very much mirrors the ethos of Eno's Obscure Records.

The Belize born British composer, Errollyn Wallen, said of her own Ensemble X that 'it didn't break down barriers because it didn't see any'. I hope this CD can be heard in the spirit of a remark such as that.'


Ushaw College, Durham

Single reed day hosted by Darlington Clarinet Ensemble

St. Saviourgate Unitarian Chapel, York

Composer Workshop at York St John University