DAY FIVE / DISC FIVE
Holy beatbox Batman! I hear clicky percussion, bass; structure, barlines, time signatures…
The opening track of Making Space, “Needle click”, is nothing even remotely like most people’s understanding of ambient music. Ah, but the box isn’t called ‘Ambient’, my precious, it’s called Music for Installations. So this must be an energetic, world-music inspired, kinetic installation.
The next piece is the neatly titled “Light legs”, a sequenced arpeggio of bell-like notes over a questioning bass excursion. It is an odd and oddly pleasing combination: confidence instilled by the treble sequence above, while underneath, what could be a child exploring random notes on an organic drum. Interesting. Nice.
Two pieces, each around four minutes. This disc is certainly different. Maybe I should attach a post-it note to it so I can pull it out when I want something more foreground, more rhythmic, concise, bounded. What label would capture something of my responses to Making Space?
I’m drawn to Eno’s Koyaanisqatsi for the non-verbal, filmic feel of these short pieces. Music For Destinations, perhaps, captures the different character of each track.
Damn it! This is so different I really want to go to the booklet and find out why. “New Moons” has flippin’ electric guitar! If you loaded the whole box onto your computer you’d get a heck of a wake-up call when disc five started. “New Moons” is great, like a stoned Link Wray. I’m loving it more and more as I unhook from the expectation that all five hours would be hypnotic ambience.
Music is so much about expectations and we often don’t have any idea what pre-existing ear-filters are doing to our listening brains. That’s one of the reasons I crave novelty in my listening, it shakes up the receptors.
Going a few rounds with Albert Ayler makes Coltrane more accessible.
Some Alban Berg enhances my enjoyment of Univers Zero.
Being transported by Terry Riley helps in understanding Klaus Schulze.
Listening to Making Space makes me want to plot the constellation that links Minimal with Ambient with New Age.
Is “Making Space” an ironic title? Nine pieces with durations varying between two minutes and seven-and-a-half. Total time a bit over half and hour. No wasted space. A short disc crammed with musical ideas, busy with rhythms and forward momentum, demanding listener attention and reclaiming it whenever it strays by briskly moving on to the next track. There’s even a trademark Eno amusing/absurd title; the last (slow and elegiac) piece, “Delightful Universe (seen from above)”. This album is a string of small, beautifully polished jewels…
Five down, one to go.