DAY FOUR / DISC FOUR
After a brief intermission, we continue with the second half of the series (discs 4—6) on Brian Eno’s Music For Installations.
I Dormienti / Kite Stories
Delicate shimmerings evoke Eno’s Thursday Afternoon (1985). Does “I Dormienti” mean “I scintillate”? But there are little ‘Ha’ moments; sounds like a processed human voice expelling air on a single note. ‘Ha’. I think of Jean-Michel Jarre’s Zoolook, where the synthesised voice plays such a dominant role. Fans were confused by Zoolook but I like it. I appreciated that Jarre changed direction, that he explored something new, that he confounded fans. My friend Micheal posted a photo of the new Jarre on FB, but I haven’t followed Jean-Michel for decades. We all agreed, however, that the cover was pure Hipgnosis/Floyd. And 1537 has posted a review. ‘Ah…’ the voice echoes. Ambient music is a lot about sustain and reverb. There is lots of it on opening track “I Dormienti”, an album’s worth at forty minutes. There is a thrumming, descending tone that reminds me of something, but I can’t quite place it. That’s right, it’s Robert Fripp’s Frippertronics on God Save The Queen but here very gentle and doesn’t seem to be repeated. Fripp’s had an ominous tone, like a bird of prey diving or a rocket falling from the sky, but there’s nothing ominous here.
The more I listen to this, the more distant echoes of No Pussyfooting I hear. Like half-forgotten dreams.
I notice that I’m wanting the next piece to start. “Kites”. Getting a little impatient. That’s the writer, not the ambient adventurer.
“Kites” has three parts; are they different and connected or more arbitrary? Or not really different at all? Impatience again. That’s the reviewer, not the ambient aviator.
“Kites I” begins with a rising cadence, like a quadrilateral on a string gaining altitude, then floating, just enough breeze to keep it aloft. “Kites II” adds some seriously low, bell-like tones and I notice I have set myself up to listen for differences. But concentrating on ambient music, particularly this kind of Eno-drift, is like shovelling smoke with a pitchfork so I jump forward to “Kites III”. Sounds similar but different. Perhaps a greater pitch range, lower and higher. Uncouple that brain-ear analysis…
The breeze freshens, drops, twists. The kite rides invisible eddies; fluttering, sighing, hoping to stay airborne…