'Buoyancy' by David Motion is the soundtrack to Alexandros Pissourios and Robbie Spencer's atmospheric film from Dazed's June issue. The musician's compositions have been picked up for catwalk shows by Prada and Narciso Rodriguez, but his career is emphasised in his transition from pop producer in the 1980s – via wine shop owner and importer through the 90s – to writing and releasing CDs on his own label, which have featured electronic collaborations with Copenhagen synth guru Jesper Siberg.
I like it when music catches you by surprise. I’m drawn to texture and atmosphere, which you remember long after you've forgotten the tune. I have always straddled classical and pop
Motion's latest album, 'Never Let It End' was four years in the making, and includes guest appearances from Carmel, Edward Fox, Evelyn Glennie and Lt Col Scott 'Spike' Thomas from the US Air Force, to name but a few. Dazed talks to David Motion about his eclectic musical taste.
Dazed Digital: You've produced Strawberry Switchblade, made dance music as Puro Sesso and UltraViva (with Mark Moore) and composed music for commercials. Have you always had eclectic tastes?
David Motion: I guess you could call it eclectic. I like it when music catches you by surprise. I'm drawn to texture and atmosphere, which you remember long after you've forgotten the tune. I have always straddled classical and pop. Although I was brought up playing classical piano, I loved the Beatles and Led Zeppelin just as much as JS Bach and Debussy. From the first moments I heard Kraftwerk and Yellow Magic Orchestra, I have had a big thing for Electronica. Anything I work on tends to draw on all of the influences of my past and present.
Dazed Digital: This eclectic approach is something that's seen on your new record, 'Never Let it End'. How did you go about recruiting fighter pilot Lt. Col Scott "Spike" Thomas?
David Motion: I had a track which became "Touching The Face Of God" that seemed to want voices but not necessarily an orthodox sung top-line. I was looking for clips with drama and action, so I trawled youtube, collecting samples of SWAT teams, US and Russian fighter comms, air traffic control and so on. One clip was from Desert Storm in 1991 and tells the story of three USAF fighters returning from a mission over Iraq. One of them (Lt. Col Scott "Spike" Thomas) is in trouble and the clip is the cockpit communications as they try to get to the border and up to the moment that he ejects from the damaged plane. I needed to clear the sample before releasing the album, so I had to do quite a bit of digging online to find out where he is now. I tracked him down to an airbase in Texas and, on the third attempt, managed to talk to him. He very kindly gave his permission. He is leaving the USAF and joining American Airlines and we are hoping to meet sometime when he flies the London route. There's a video of the track edited from Youtube clips, created by Hannah Brown.
Dazed Digital: Edward Fox also guests. What's your favourite performance of his?
David Motion: Difficult to pick just one. He is mesmerising on screen in anything from 'A Bridge Too Far' and 'Gandhi' to 'Edward and Mrs Simpson'. Recently I saw him on stage reciting TS Eliot's 'Four Quartets' entirely from memory. That was impressive. When I asked him how he memorised it, he told me 'it's just something I know'. I feel very honoured that he agreed to appear on my album, reading a poem written by my Dad.
Dazed Digital: What's been the most memorable or surreal situation you've unexpectedly heard your music in?
David Motion: One piece was used on a TV commercial for hair-curling tongs.