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I Talk to The Wind – King Crimson (with sheet music)

I Talk to The Wind – King Crimson (with sheet music)

Words and Music by Ian McDonald & Peter Sinfield, from the album In The Court of The Crimson King.

king crimson sheet music pdf

I Talk to the Wind” is the second track from the British progressive rock band King Crimson‘s debut album, In the Court of the Crimson King.

Starting immediately after the cacophony that ends “21st Century Schizoid Man“, the mood of this song is a stark contrast; it is serene, simple and peaceful. Ian McDonald‘s flute begins the song, and is one of the lead instruments throughout. He also plays a classical-inspired solo in the middle of the song as a “C” section and a longer one at the end as a coda.

These themes would be revisited by the band, notably on their second album, In the Wake of Poseidon. “Pictures of a City”, with a similar mood as “21st Century Schizoid Man”, would be followed by “Cadence and Cascade”, another calm song, and the second album’s title track also mirrors “Epitaph” in some aspects as well, both of which end side one.

This song is the only song on In the Court of the Crimson King that does not have at least one separately titled section.

An earlier demo version of this song may be found on the now out-of-print LP A Young Person’s Guide to King Crimson, which featured Robert Fripp (guitar), Peter Giles (bass), Michael Giles (drums), and Ian McDonald (flute), along with Judy Dyble (formerly of Fairport Convention) on vocals.

This version was more up-tempo and lighter in instrumentation. The Young Person’s Guide recording and another demo of the same song were recorded in 1968 by Giles, Giles and Fripp. However, the song did not actually appear on a Giles, Giles and Fripp record until The Brondesbury Tapes (1968) was released on CD in 2002. There are actually two recordings of “I Talk to the Wind” on this CD; one features vocals by Judy Dyble.

Personnel

Opus III version

In 1992, the song was covered by English electronic music group Opus III, whose lead vocalist was Kirsty Hawkshaw. It was released as the follow-up to their successful “It’s a Fine Day” and the second single from the album, Mind Fruit. The single reached number 6 in Finland, number 52 in the United Kingdom and number 162 in Australia. The music video for “I Talk to the Wind” is similar to the video for “It’s a Fine Day”. It features Kirsty Hawkshaw with her head shaved and dressed in a silvery bodysuit with silver boots and silver make-up.

Lyrics

Said the straight man to the late man
Where have you been
I’ve been here and I’ve been there
And I’ve been in between

I talk to the wind
My words are all carried away
I talk to the wind
The wind does not hear
The wind cannot hear

I’m on the outside looking inside
What do I see
Much confusion, disillusion
All around me

I talk to the wind
My words are all carried away
I talk to the wind
The wind does not hear
The wind cannot hear

You don’t possess me
Don’t impress me
Just upset my mind
Can’t instruct me or conduct me
Just use up my time

I talk to the wind
My words are all carried away
I talk to the wind
The wind does not hear
The wind cannot hear

I talk to the wind
My words are all carried away
I talk to the wind
The wind does not hear
The wind cannot hear

Said the straight man to the late man
Where have you been
I’ve been here and I’ve been there and
I’ve been in between

Critical reception

AllMusic editor MacKenzie Wilson said that their “crafty version” of King Crimson‘s “I Talk to the Wind” “composes a dreamy synthetic wave.” He also noted Hawkshaw‘s “dove-like vocals transcended into freewheeling soundscapes”. Randy Clark from Cashbox wrote that her “childlike and breathy voice blows through this dance track like a gentle breeze.”Music Week stated that the song “is similar in style” to “It’s a Fine Day”. Sian Pattenden from Smash Hits commented that “the flutes whisper along merrily with the bubbly syntheramic background”.

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King Crimson

King Crimson are an English progressive rock band formed in London in 1968. They have exerted a strong influence both on the early 1970s progressive rock movement and on more recent rock and experimental artists. Although the band has consistently undergone changes in personnel throughout its history, guitarist and primary composer Robert Fripp, the only remaining founding member, has acted as a driving creative force. Though he is often seen as the band’s leader, Fripp himself tends to shun this label. King Crimson has earned a large cult following.

They were ranked No. 87 on VH1‘s 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock. Although initially considered a seminal force in progressive rock (a genre originally characterised by lengthy compositions featuring extended instrumental sections), Fripp in particular has often distanced himself from the genre: King Crimson has drawn influence from a wide variety of genres and approaches. Classical music, jazz, folk, heavy metal, gamelan and experimental music have all been reinterpreted and explored by the band, and they have exerted influence on several generations of progressive, psychedelic, alternative metal, hardcore and noise bands and composers.

Developed from the unsuccessful psychedelic pop trio Giles, Giles and Fripp, the initial King Crimson were key to the formation of early progressive rock, strongly influencing and altering the music of contemporaries such as Yes and Genesis. Their debut album, In the Court of the Crimson King (1969), remains their most successful and influential release, with its elements of jazz, classical and experimental music.

Their success increased following an opening act performance for the Rolling Stones at Hyde Park, London, in 1969. Following In the Wake of Poseidon (1970) and the less successful chamber jazz-inspired Lizard (1970), and Islands (1971), the group reformatted and changed their instrumentation (swapping out saxophone in favour of violin and unusual percussion) in order to develop their own take on European rock improvisation, reaching a new creative peak on Larks’ Tongues in Aspic (1973), Starless and Bible Black (1974) and Red (1974). Fripp disbanded the group in 1974.

In 1981, King Crimson reformed with another change in musical direction and instrumentation (incorporating, for the first time, a mixture of British and American personnel plus doubled guitar and influences taken from gamelan, post-punk and New York minimalism). This lasted for three years, resulting in the trio of albums Discipline (1981), Beat (1982) and Three of a Perfect Pair (1984). Following a decade-long hiatus, Fripp revived the group as an expanded “Double Trio” sextet in 1994, mingling its mid-‘70s and 1980s approaches with new creative options available via MIDI technology.

This resulted in another three-year cycle of activity including the release of Thrak (1995). King Crimson reunited again in 2000 as a more industrial-oriented quartet (or “Double Duo”), releasing The Construkction of Light in 2000 and The Power to Believe in 2003: after further personnel shuffles, the band expanded to a double-drummer quintet for a 2008 tour celebrating their 40th anniversary.

Following another hiatus between 2009 and 2012, King Crimson reformed once again in 2013; this time as a septet (and, later, octet) with an unusual three-drumkit frontline and the return of saxophone/flute to the lineup for the first time since 1972. This current version of King Crimson has continued to tour and to release live albums, significantly rearranging and reinterpreting music from across the band’s career.

Since 1997, several musicians have pursued aspects of the band’s work and approaches through a series of related bands collectively referred to as ProjeKcts.

King Crimson have been described musically as progressive rock, art rock, and post-progressive, with their earlier works being described as proto-prog. Their music was initially grounded in the rock of the 1960s, especially the acid rock and psychedelic rock movements. The band played Donovan‘s “Get Thy Bearings” in concert, and were known to play the Beatles‘ “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” in their rehearsals. However, for their own compositions, King Crimson (unlike the rock bands that had come before them) largely stripped away the blues-based foundations of rock music and replaced them with influences derived from classical composers.

The first incarnation of King Crimson played the Mars section of Gustav Holst‘s suite The Planets as a regular part of their live set and Fripp has frequently cited the influence of Béla Bartók. As a result of this influence, In the Court of the Crimson King is frequently viewed as the nominal starting point of the progressive rock movements King Crimson also initially displayed strong jazz influences, most obviously on its signature track “21st Century Schizoid Man“. The band also drew on English folk music for compositions such as “Moonchild” and “I Talk to the Wind.”

The 1981 reunion of the band brought in even more elements, displaying the influence of gamelan music and of late 20th century classical composers such as Philip Glass, Steve Reich, and Terry Riley. For its 1994 reunion, King Crimson reassessed both the mid-1970s and 1980s approaches in the light of new technology, intervening music forms such as grunge, and further developments in industrial music, as well as expanding the band’s ambient textural content via Fripp’s Soundscapes looping approach.

Compositional approaches

Several King Crimson compositional approaches have remained constant from the earliest versions of the band to the present. These include:

  • The use of a gradually building rhythmic motif. These include “The Devil’s Triangle” (an adaptation and variation on the Gustav Holst piece Mars played by the original King Crimson, based on a complex pulse in 5
    4 time over which a skirling melody is played on a Mellotron), 1973’s “The Talking Drum” (from Larks’ Tongues in Aspic), 1984’s “Industry” (from Three of a Perfect Pair) and 2003’s “Dangerous Curves” (from The Power to Believe).
  • An instrumental piece (often embedded as a break in a song) in which the band plays an ensemble passage of considerable rhythmic and polyrhythmic complexity. An early example is the band’s initial signature tune “21st Century Schizoid Man“, but the “Larks’ Tongues in Aspic” series of compositions (as well as pieces of similar intent such as “THRAK” and “Level Five”) go deeper into polyrhythmic complexity, delving into rhythms that wander into and out of general synchronisation with each other, but that all ‘finish’ together through polyrhythmic synchronisation. These polyrhythms were particularly abundant in the band’s 1980s work, which contained gamelan-like rhythmic layers and continual overlaid staccato patterns in counterpoint.
  • The composition of difficult solo passages for individual instruments, such as the guitar break on “Fracture” on Starless and Bible Black.
  • The juxtaposition of ornate tunes and ballads with unusual, often dissonant noises (such as “Cirkus” from Lizard, “Ladies of the Road” from Islands and “Eyes Wide Open” from The Power to Believe).
  • The use of improvisation.
  • Ascending note structure (e.g. “Facts of Life” and “THRAK”).

Improvisation

“We’re so different from each other that one night someone in the band will play something that the rest of us have never heard before and you just have to listen for a second. Then you react to his statement, usually in a different way than they would expect. It’s the improvisation that makes the group amazing for me. You know, taking chances. There is no format really in which we fall into. We discover things while improvising and if they’re really basically good ideas we try and work them in as new numbers, all the while keeping the improvisation thing alive and continually expanding.”

—King Crimson violinist David Cross on the mid-1970s band’s approach to improvisation.

King Crimson have incorporated improvisation into their performances and studio recordings from the beginning, some of which has been embedded into loosely composed pieces such as “Moonchild” or “THRAK”. Most of the band’s performances over the years have included at least one stand-alone improvisation where the band simply started playing and took the music wherever it went, sometimes including passages of restrained silence, as with Bill Bruford’s contribution to the improvised “Trio”. The earliest example of King Crimson unambiguously improvising is the spacious, oft-criticised extended coda of “Moonchild” from In the Court of the Crimson King.

Rather than using the standard jazz or blues “jamming” format for improvisation (in which one soloist at a time takes centre stage while the rest of the band lies back and plays along with established rhythm and chord changes), King Crimson improvisation is a group affair in which each member of the band is able to make creative decisions and contributions as the music is being played. Individual soloing is largely eschewed; each musician is to listen to each other and to the group sound, to be able to react creatively within the group dynamic. A slightly similar method of continuous improvisation (“everybody solos and nobody solos”) was initially used by King Crimson’s jazz-fusion contemporaries Weather Report. Fripp has used the metaphor of “white magic” to describe this process, in particular when the method works particularly well.

Similarly, King Crimson’s improvised music is rarely jazz or blues-based, and varies so much in sound that the band has been able to release several albums consisting entirely of improvised music, such as the THRaKaTTaK album. Occasionally, particular improvised pieces will be recalled and reworked in different forms at different shows, becoming more and more refined and eventually appearing on official studio releases (the most recent example being “Power to Believe III”, which originally existed as the stage improvisation “Deception of the Thrush”, a piece played on stage for a long time before appearing on record).

Influence

King Crimson have been influential both on the early 1970s progressive rock movement and numerous contemporary artists. Genesis and Yes were directly influenced by the band’s initial style of symphonic Mellotron rock, and many King Crimson band members were involved in other notable bands: Lake in Emerson, Lake & Palmer (some of whose songs can be regarded stylistically as Lake’s attempt to continue the early work of King Crimson); McDonald in Foreigner; Burrell in Bad Company, and Wetton in U.K. and Asia. Canadian rock band Rush cites King Crimson as a strong early influence on their sound; drummer Neil Peart credited the adventurous and innovative style of Michael Giles on his own approach to percussion.

King Crimson’s influence extends to many bands from diverse genres, especially of the 1990s and 2000s.

King Crimson discography

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

King Crimson discography
Studio albums13
Live albums15
Compilation albums13
Video albums6
EPs3
Singles10
Major box sets9

The discography of King Crimson consists of 13 studio albums, 15 live albums, 13 compilation albums, 3 extended plays, 10 singles, 6 video albums and 9 major box sets.