The Buddha Of Suburbia album coverWritten by: David Bowie
Recorded: 1993
Producers: David Bowie, David Richards

Released: 8 November 1993

Available on:
The Buddha Of Suburbia
All Saints
Moonage Daydream


David Bowie: keyboards, synthesizer
Erdal Kızılçay: keyboards, synthesizer, guitar, trumpet

The instrumental ‘The Mysteries’ is the fourth track on David Bowie’s 1993 album The Buddha Of Suburbia.

The piece’s clearest antecedent is ‘Moss Garden’ on “Heroes”: an ambient synth bed punctuated by staccato notes. At 7:11, it is the longest track on the album.

I’ll tell a little of the working methods: I took each theme or motif from the play and initially stretched or lengthened it to a five or six minute duration. By means of time-code I experimented with various rhythmic elements, drums, percussion, temple blocks, et al until I found a sense of companionship to the primary motif. Then, having noted which musical key I was in and having counted the number of bars, I would often pull down the faders leaving just the percussive element with no harmonic informations to refer to. Working in layers I would then build up reinforcements in the key of the composition totally blind so to speak. When all faders were pushed up again a number of clashes would make themselves evident. The more dangerous or attractive ones would then be isolated and repeated at varying intervals so giving the impression of forethought.

On two pieces, ‘The Mysteries’ and ‘Ian Fish’, the original tape was slowed down, opening up the thick texture dramatically and then Erdal would play the thematic information against it.

David Bowie, 15 September 1993
The Buddha Of Suburbia sleeve notes

‘The Mysteries’ appeared on both the 1993 and 2001 versions of Bowie’s instrumentals compilation All Saints.

It was also included on the soundtrack of Brett Morgen’s 2022 film Moonage Daydream, where it segued into Bowie’s vocals from ‘Absolute Beginners’ and the drums from ‘Sound And Vision’.

Previous song: ‘South Horizon’
Next song: ‘Bleed Like A Craze, Dad’
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