[Here are Kate's article and another interview section from the fourteenth issue of the Newsletter (written in the fall of '83)
Since we last spoke, the weather has been incredible--it was the best July since 1659, they say--but for me it's like 1976. Do you remember that year? It was a particularly special year, when things were full of adventure.
I was dancing every day, and singing and writing all night. I used to go to London by train every day. It was the time of bomb scares, and everyone would stare uneasily at unattended bags, and the trains were full of paranoia. It was brilliant for me--I'd get back to my newly acquired roommates, Zoodle and Pye, who were only kittens, then, and I'd open all the windows and wail away all night. I only got one complaint from someone who had to get up at 4:00 a.m., and as I was creating noisily until at least that time, they were somewhat unhappy at their lack of sleep. But only that one complained.
I feel in many ways that '76 and this year are linked together, for me. This year I've been seriously trying to work for an album, but found that in the first part of the year I just needed to rest, really. It's hard to say how I was feeling after the last album, but I needed to breathe. There are always post-album blues, but this time I think I just wanted a break, just to think and to gather stimulus for a new direction. After the demanding lands that my last set of songs took me to, I had to think again about where to go--maybe somewhere a little sunnier. I can honestly say I feel so much more relaxed having had time to put my pieces back together; have some time with my family and friends, which I was really missing; and also to indulge in some books, films and records.
After lasting three months on Chinese take-aways during the last part of the album, I realised food was a terribly important factor to a healthy mind and body. So now I make sure I cook one good meal a day, and have cut out all junk food--which is unbelievable for me. It is definitely true that convenience is not always a good thing. Cooking, especially when you're not handling carcasses and gristle, can be a delightful thing. I always find it a miracle to turn a few vegetables and some flour and margarine into a complete meal--it's a bit like the five loaves and two fish. It's times like this, when I'm doing a lot of cooking, that I realise how glad I am and how lucky I am to be a vegetarian, to be eating nothing but fruit and vegetables--all the wonderful colours and textures. Of course, the big trouble with cooking is time, but I make myself set aside the time to cook an evening meal, and I really miss it now if I'm out and not able to devour my nutritious foods, and it'll take a while yet before I'll be able to handle a Chines take-away.
I have also found a wonderful new dance teacher. Her name is Dyane Gray, and she is an incredibly beautiful dancer. Not only did I feel I needed to be fit again, but I really wanted the stimulus and inspiration that comes from true teachers.
Having found her, and since taking more care of my body, I feel recharged again. It's too easy to let bad food and no sleep catch up. I can't tell you how good and happy I feel since I've taken these few steps.
As you probably know, a trip to America and Canada was due, and was unfortunately cancelled. It was very disappointing, as I was greatly looking forward to trying to help The Dreaming along out there. But I feel I was probably meant to carry on with the album and perhaps also to have been able to enjoy the first British summer for seven years. [The papers printed stories that Kate's scheduled American trip was scratched solely because her planned mode of transportation, the Queen Elizabeth II ocean liner, was diverted from its schedule for service in the Falklands at the last minute. According to the news reports, Kate simply cancelled the America junket rather than consider flying, allegedly because of an overpowering phobia of airplanes. Although she does seem to have made such a decision, her heavy reliance on air transportation up until this time discredits the stories of air phobia.]
I had a really good birthday this year. In fact, it was definitely one of the best ever. Thank you all so much for your lovely presents and wishes. It means a lot to know you're all thinking of me.
Just a word about the compilation video that was promised in April!! (you must be used to this by now.) Unfortunately, due to delayed business transactions, there is still no release date, but we really do hope it will be settled before the end of the year! (Hopefully, there will be advertisments around the time, to let you know if we can't get an official release date to you.) But as a sneak preview, here is a proff of the artwork at this stage.
Well, I'll return to my work, and wish you a very happy autumn.
Until our next letter.
Lots of love,
Do you watch the chart positions of your albums and singles? Do you know their positions before they are broadcast, or do you have to wait and listen to the radio?
"Yes, I suppose I do keep an eye on the charts to a certain extent, but I don't know the chart positions until the day you hear them on the radio. I usually hear via a telephone call from the record company, and they don't know them until that morning."
Have you ever sung in any foreign language other than French?
"Yes, but only once, when I was in Japan at a Japanese business conference. I sang a well known song of their country, in their language."
Who is Tamlain, mentioned in The Empty Bullring?
"Tamlain is a girl in a traditional fairy story, who is locked up in an ivory tower."
Do you actually read up and research for your songs, or is itinformation already in your head--especially Breathing?
"This really depends on the subject matter of the individual song; but in the case of Breathing, most of the information came from a documentary about a man who had been following up the negative results of nuclear products."
On Never For Ever and The Dreaming, you are credited as playing a CS-80. What is this?
"The CS-80 is a synthesiser made by Yamaha. It has been a particularly favourite synth. of mine, as it is one of the few that has a touch-sensitive keyboard."
Do you ever go to concerts? If so, who?
"I very rarely go to gigs, as I don't really have much free time; but it's always nice to go and see artists whose music I enjoy, especially when the shows are as spectacular as The Wall."
Who is the man on the cover of The Dreaming?
"Why, Houdini, of course!"
Were the brightly coloured trousers with zips and ties that you wore for the Virgin p.a. last year and for a number of photos specially made for you, or did you buy them?
"Quite a few people have assumed that they were specially made. However, I did buy the trousers--from a boutique called Splash."
Do you know of any records available featuring whale music?
"I think if you look around, there have been quite a few, but I understand that some, including The Song of the Humpback Whale, have been deleted, so you would probably only find them in second-hand record shops."
KaTe's Newsletter Writings Table of Contents
©1990 Andy Marvick