|Covers shown: LP 1985, CD Germany 1989, CD 1998, LP 2018|
|INSIDE SATIE (1985)
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Japan: Strawberry Records SBL-1001
The 1998 CD reissue adds Morgan’s three tracks from "A Slice Of Life" and, like "Flow Overflow" was beautifully remastered and re-packaged in a sleeve featuring a photograph by the renowned American photographer, Regina Deluise. (Note: the name Veetdharm which appears on the LP jacket was given to Morgan by his spiritual teacher at the time). In 2018 Sacred Summits in the UK reissued this album on 180gm vinyl with a screen-printed cover.
Sacred Summits (Luis Perez, Colin Potter) come through with the first-ever vinyl reissue of Morgan Fisher’s 1985 LP. Having played keys in Mott The Hoople and made soundtrack music alongside Yoko Ono and Haruomi Hosono, Fisher became increasingly interested in both New Age music and the proto-minimalism of Erik Satie after his move to Japan in the 1980s. This resulted in Inside Satie, an LP which reimagines the composer’s famed Gymnopedies and Gnossiennes for a mix of electronic and acoustic instruments. Though this reflects a wider trend of reworking classical music for contemporary instrumentation throughout the 70s and 80s, Fisher’s treatments are calmer and more cerebral than, say, Wendy Carlos’s famous reworking of Henry Purcell. The transposition of the first Gymnopedie for ‘(Sugar Plum Piano/Water Bell Synthesizer)’, for instance, is both inspired and inspiring.
8/10 April 2018
At the time of these recordings Fisher -- whose unique career trajectory thus far had encompassed roles in sixties beat combo Mott The Hoople; film soundtracking with Yoko Ono and discovering ambient under his Veetdharm guise -- had discovered and tinkered with an impressive array of electronic and electroacoustic instrumentation. Sessions took place in Tokyo in June of ‘85 with Ryo Fukui on co-production duties and Michiaki Saskai at the engineering desk. There are quite a few instruments used by Fisher here, with a range of treatments often bearing compact, dinky, beautiful results.
Some of the names of the toys used here actually sound like you’d imagine they might: of the three versions of Gnossienne #1 here, my favourite has to be the recording made on ‘French Ice Piano’ & ‘Siberian Snow Synthesizer’. Appropriately chilly, nocturnal and lonesome in sound. There are also tracks made with cabaret piano (cute); sugar plum piano (even more cute); German Haiku Pianica (sophisticated continental cafe on a side-street) and the heart-and-homeliness of the ‘family piano : a hint of la-la-la’. And really, these were recorded simply and in a light-hearted way, with hums and soft whistling sometimes audible over the notes; surely the playfully serious Erik himself would have looked on, approvingly from his salon couch.