A WEEK OF ENO INSTALLATIONS — DAY 4

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.

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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.

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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…

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11 comments

  1. I rather appreciate ‘like shovelling smoke with a pitchfork’ – that’s perfect Bruce.

    What are the squares that the discs are in? are they individual sleeves?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. The image is sort of stolen from John Lennon (Old Dirt Road).
      Yes, each CD has a card sleeve in a complimentary colour. Pretty, aren’t they?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Keep up the Ambient Aviating!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I shall. At least for a couple more days!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. They are really lovely card sleeves, I have to admit… anyhoo, I found myself listening to Another Green World the other day. I’m gonna be listening a bit more… anyhoo, Kites, eh? The wee man has been wanting to fly his kite recently. Perhaps this is a suitable soundtrack… perhaps.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your little bloke might move a wee bit faster than the music, James. But good for flopping on the couch afterwards.
      (Hang in there with AGW. It rewards attention.). – Bruce

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Post-kite flying music, eh? Sounds perfect.

        (And you can be sure I’ll stick with it. I was very taken by some of it, though I perhaps expected it to be a bit more accessible)

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Fripp does some wonderfully out-there guitar parts, and yes, I agree. (I think that’s why I love it, perverse creature that I am)

          Liked by 1 person

        2. I’ll keep you updated as I get to know it a bit more.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Terrific pitchfork imagery – describes the process of attempting to focus exclusively on ambience quite nicely!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Geoff. (See reply to Joe for full disclosure!)

      Liked by 1 person

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