on life, music etc beyond mainstream

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This is an excerpt of an ambient novel I have been working on the last 13 years, using samples, cut-ups and treatments. Inspired by movies seen with eyes closed and the sound turned off, the reading between the lines of unopened books. In search for the yet unheard music, as well as new ways of listening to what we already got.




The endless decay of Sylt and Machine


has its own dialect, Söl’ring, which – on a work without songs is the indigenous speech of Sylt and singing. And now the next Söl’ring is a unique dialect of surprise: this record is not really insular North Frisian, with elements of a close relative to the golden Danish, Dutch and English. Today, only the age of Mr. Lanois’ “ambient classics” a small fraction of the population he had created with Brian Eno still speaks Söl’ring. A law to in the Grand Avenue Studios in promote the language („Friesisch-Gesetz“) was passed his old home in Hamilton (in 2004. The northernmost part of long, long time ago). Only the the island, Listland, was traditionally Danish-speaking. As track “Space Love” may draw some in many areas in Schleswig-Holstein on parallels to the “Apollo” dreamsphere with New Year’s Eve, groups of children his pedal steel guitar singing softly, go masked from house to house, the instrument he loves to call reciting poems. This is known as “the church in my suitcase” and „Rummelpottlaufen“, and as a reward, children if there is one other track receive sweets and/or money. Sylt also has that might be a heartfelt greeting unique Frisian-style houses.


Sylt was originally part to his old “compadre of strangeness”, of Jutland (today Schleswig-Holstein and mainland it’s the haunted softness of “Iceland”. Denmark) There is evidence of human habitation on nearly all the other compositions going back to 3000 BC at we seem to drift into a Denghoog First settlements of Frisians during the strange territory in the back of 8th century and 9th century Sylt was the artist’s mind. It may all divided between the Duke of Schleswig appear like the ideal soundtrack for and the Kingdom of Denmark in a town called Lonesome, where the 1386, except for the town of List, streets have no names. Sylt became part of the Duchy who has produced U2, Peter Gabriel of Schleswig in 1435, during the 17th and other candidates for this nostalgia-driven century and 18th century, whaling, fishing “hall of fame”, keeps his most and oyster breeding increased the wealth rewarding things for himself – and of the population Keitum became the capital for the happy few who keep of the island, and a place company. “Flesh & Machine” is quite for rich captains to settle down after an unsafe journey. Do yourself in the 19th century, tourism began; Westerland favor and don’t believe in campfires replaced Keitum as the capital During World anymore!


Hello Andy, it’s Sylt became a military outpost, but did not suffer from Kommentare. Hello Andy, it’s me.  I have war damage in 1927, a rail causeway to tell you something, prices for popart to the mainland was built, they are going crazy. You said: its only Hindenburgdamm, named after Paul von Hindenburg During paper. They said: its great art we have World War II, Sylt became to sell the casino is going down. What fortress, with concrete bunkers built below is art? Hello Andy, it’s me. Listen the dunes at the shore, some to this: They sold a painter, Max Beckmann,  which is still visible today. His name. He painted with oil and the Lager Sylt, captured the concentration camp on canvas. The price was high. The Bank Alderney was named after the island. When pleased what is art? Hello Andy, it’s Nazi Germany lost the war Rudolf. Do you believe Christie’s will pay the Höss hid on the island, but price just for paper. Do you believe art can was later captured and brought to be sold like real estate. What is art? Trial in Poland. Today, Sylt is mainly Hello Andy, it’s me. Wish I could be a tourist attraction, famous for its talks about art about artists and healthy climate, and the many German how they feel with these deals. Good celebrities who own houses on the night, Andy.


The beach even has a nude section. In other media The island was  In Pescara used during the filming of The I asked somebody to show me Ghost Writer, as an alternate location the way to the house of for Martha’s Vineyard, due to travel Gabriele d’Annunzio. “Straight straight and then left.” I restrictions on the film’s director, Roman went straight straight and turned left: Polanski. See also Üüs Söl’ring Lön’, insular anthem Heinz nothing. Sorry, the First has to Reinefarth a German military officer during go away. I ordered an official after World War II Uthlande Victor Pizza with vegetables. They delivered a jagt zwölf Boxkämpfer quer über den Pizza with 3 pieces of Würstl großen Sylter Deich „Victor chases twelve and onions on it. I asked, where boxers across the great dam of are the vegetables? “The onions!”  “It’s clear, Sylt“, a German pangram.


Nr. 9 has also to disappear. Then I wanted to take a Bus from Pescara to Termoli. Asked from where does the Bus leave? “From here, at 11 o’clock.” No Bus at 11, no busses at all. I took à train. 3. Clear out! In the port of Termoli I could only nix à oneway Ticket to the Tremiti Islands. “But how can I Return then?” “Take à ferry!” Wanted to throw him into the sea. Finally arrived on San Domino, found à nice little house, asked the landlady for a hot water boiler. She brought me à cup with hot water. Pleazzzzze remove her! I am à Fan of the italian Singer Lucio Dalla. I know that he lived here. He died 2012. I asked an old man, where did Lucio exactly lived? The man pointed to the other Island: “Behind the Church.” To be omitted! Anyways I thought I might take à short boattrip to San Nicola to have à look at the wonderful old monastry. I asked à ferryman to bring me over. I had to wait two hours for à five minute trip. Another one just gone. On that island is à little Radio Museum. The Lady in the entrance told me that I have to take the elevator. I said that I wanted to Walk. She said: “take the elevator” i just walked away. Please Carry her away. Only two Little Italians left. “Where does the name TREMITI come from? What does it mean?” -Three mountains -Three winds -Three Diomedes Gosh! There is only One Diomedes, Heroe of the Trojans. So only One leftover. I’m always interested in the original Music of one place. I asked: “What Kind of Music did People play here on the Islands?” “Disco Music.” I can’t throw all of them into the Adriatic, can I? Officially recognised as a health resort. Piranesi etchings on the internet just in 2007, the town counted 9,072 yesterday – and I’m no art citizens. South of Westerland, the island extends critic (as the above proves) but for about 15 km I see something in them that’s form of a spit, until it similar. Piranesi shows the mathematical workings, is cut by the Hörnumtief tidal Lowry examines their effect on the creek, that runs through the Wadden 20th Century English soul. You cannot Sea mudflats east of Sylt. Here come away from either Piranesi or is the location of Rantum.


This Lowry without feeling that art is village, like no other on Sylt, – above all – loads of had to fight sand drift during great fun. Nobody Wants To Be Here the past centuries. Many farmsteads and And Nobody Wants To Leave is a church had to be abandoned the new album by The Twilight because of shifting dunes moving eastward. Sad. When I put the CD Only the planting of marram grass into the CD player, for a stopped the dunes and put an few seconds it sounded like the end to this threat. The amp was fucked. I actually had east there are a few scattered to remove the thing and put spots of marshland, while the area into another CD player just is mostly coined by dunes. Hörnum on to check. There aren’t many records the island’s southern headland is what make you assume your audio youngest village, having been founded shortly equipment’s fucked – and it’s always after 1900. But already in former a good sign. It means that times the uninhabited southern tip of the recording’s been properly thought out. Sylt was said to serve as an optical illusion for the ears, refuge for pirates and fishermen.


The Trompe l’oreille? Nobody Wants To Be Here name Budersand in the area emanates And Nobody Wants To Leave is from that custom, marking a great housed in artwork that isn’t dissimilar dune where booths (German: Buden) stood to the band’s previous recordings. Images that in former times to serve as ask questions, showing narratives occluded by shelters. This southern headland, called Odde, the snap of an imaginary camera is marked by continuous loss of shutter. Moments lost in time. Land. Each year great amounts of this one it’s pictures that sand are washed away by storm have the feel of comic strip floods and coastal management has not frames, frames that depict moments on yet seen sustainable effects in the periphery of heavy events. In area, so that further losses have one disturbing image, a figure falls to be expected.  Sylt-Ost (East Sylt) is backwards arms spanned, in a park.  A township, consisting of several small Not the bloody cross on top villages on the Nössehalbinsel on Sylt of Calvary or a dream home. The population (as of 2000) is a heartache in Malibu: some ordinary small 5,500. The villages include Tinnum, Munkmarsch, town in some hinterland. Emotional impalement Archsum, Morsum and Keitum. Tinnum castle (Tinnumburg) in a colorless everyday setting.


Musically speaking is a circular parapet with this – to my ears at diameter of 120 meters and a least – is a heavy deal. Height of 8 meters. The vocal treatments are astounding – built in the 1st century BC, it’s like listening to the regrets likely as a pagan holy site. Keitum of someone that has recently died, has a historical church (St. Severin in a swirl of tonality that church), dating back to the 13th manages to place the voice in century. The green cliff is also a location where it never sounds located near Keitum. The village has like complaint. Grunge this ain’t. Been the economical and social center and each successive listen reveals more of the island until tourism started. What we have here is to get higher importance and Westerland, parallel universe – an audibly Scottish the island’s only town, started to one. But it’s got no tang expand. From the old days are of Edinburgh Castle or Buchanan Street. Still many beautiful Frisian houses left. It’s its own thing.


Dark, half-rural, which were built by the town’s universal, monochrome, desperate, controlled, anguished – seafarers especially during the days of,  but invigorating and very alive. (Like whale hunting 1650–1850). Munkmarsch has been the Lowry’s graphite industrial nano-cosmos or Piranesi’s main port of the Island. Ferries metal mathematical ultraworld, this record is from Hoyer (today in Denmark) landed a black and white winner. When the „Hindenburg Damm“ was “All work” and finished in the 1920s, the town where no play makes Jack a dull lost its importance. A marina is boy. “All work and no play” is today located at the old port Archsum. All work and all villages on Sylt, Archsum has no play makes Jack a dull the highest percentage of inhabitants are still boys.” All work and no play makes speaking Söl’ring. Morsum  has a historical church and a dull boy.” All work and (St. Martin church), dating back to no play makes Jack a dull the same era as the one boy. All work and no play makes in Keitum. Morsum is also known as Jack a dull boy. All work and for its morsum cliff, that shows no play makes Jack dull the geological history of the last boy. All work and no play makes five million years on its height. All work and of 21 meters. It has been no play makes Jack a dull under landscape conservation since 1893. Sylt is boy.” All work and no play makes connected to the German mainland,  another drone world;  the Hindenburgdamm, a causeway with a In parts. Daniel Lanois goes wild with railway line on top. The passenger with the volume turned low. Trains connect Westerland to Niebüll or “Drone Music” a new, rediscovered Klanxbüll, and there is also the “never-really-off-the-scene”-topic of some creative upheaval anno option of taking one’s car onto 2014?


Think of Scott Walker, Swans, the train at Niebüll. Furthermore, Ferry “Lumen Drones” – and (in historic services to the nearby Danish island perspective) the reissue of “The Church of Rømø” exist. Beyond, Sylt Airport of Anthrax, this “hard-core-primitive-minimalism” of John serves the region. Sylt is a unique Cale and Terry Riley (1971). The part of Germany, since it is man from Ontario is diving deep part of the Frisian Islands. It into his non-Canadian roots and textures also hunted as game on the different vocals on it from the island. When the island was connected, been fucked around with so much to the mainland by the causeway that any meaning is lost. One fox and badger also became common. West of them sounds a bit like of Sylt a breeding area of walking around in the park/ with harbour porpoises is located. In addition, you could be anything; great numbers of harbour seals.


The interesting thing here is that grey seals, the latter being rather while it’s deliberately nonsensical, there’s a uncommon in German seas, can be definite relish in the rendering of found on sand banks off Sylt. Numerous each syllable in every iteration of associations and societies that care for the repeated phrase. And not unlike the exploration and the protection of the Havergal Brian allegro molto section endangered animals and plants have their 3 words and their music branches on Sylt. Among them seem to be aspects of the Alfred-Wegener-Institute for Polar and Marine same thing. Bob Dylan’s voice and Research, Verein Jordsand and Wadden Sea guitar are of course aspects of Conservation Station. Also the Federal Office the same thing, too. But pop for the Environment operates a research forms mutate, the same way languages station in the dunes at Westerland. Sylt break down from analytic to abstract features an oceanic climate that is e.g. High Latin to modern Italian/French/Spanish/Romanian influenced by the Gulf Stream.


On – and of course the glorious average, the winter season is slightly fucked-up mush that is English. So warmer than in mainland Nordfriesland. The far some thoughts by Ian. Michael summer season, however, is cooler despite this won’t change music history, but of longer sunshine periods. The yearly I’m sure Mr. Anonymous will average sunshine period is greater than find at least some inspiring stuff. Nobody 4.4 hours per day with some wants to be here and nobody years exceeding the average sunshine for wants to leave all of Germany. Also precipitation is. The Lowry lower than on the mainland. This gallery in Salford is part of is due to the low relief a gleaming waterfront development that also of Sylt’s shoreline where clouds are houses what is probably the biggest not able to accumulate and rain agglomeration of media offices outside of off.


Climate data for List (1961-1990 averages) Month           Jan         Feb        Mar       Apr May              Jun         Jul          Aug        Sep                Oct         Nov       Dec        Year Daily London. From some angles you’d think mean °C        1.0          0.9          2.7          6.0 10.8       14.2       15.7       16.2       13.9       10.4       6.1          2.8          8.39 Precipitation mm   57.3       35.1       44.9       39.5       41.5                55.9       62.1       72.1       82.5       88.5 94.3              71.6       745.3 Daily mean °F        33.8       33.6       36.9       42.8       51.4                57.6       60.3       61.2       57           50.7       43           37           47.11 Precipitation inches           2.256     1.382     1.768     1.555                1.634     2.201     2.445     2.839     3.248     3.484     3.713     2.819     29.343 Mean you were in MedienHafen Düsseldorf or monthly sunshine hours        46.7       75.3       120.1     179.3     243         246.5     230.7     228.1     147.8     98.3 55.6              42.6                1,714 Source: German Weather Service


Settlements Thatched the London Docklands. Old Trafford is cottages in Kampener Heide view from a not far off though – whose hotel room in Westerland A beach in big red Manchester United sign glowing Kampen is divided into two in the northern dusk is a administrative bodies: the Amt Landschaft Sylt reminder that the waterfront here isn’t with its seat in Keitum administrates built on the banks of the all municipalities on the island, save Rhine or the Thames, but the for the independent town of Westerland. Manchester Ship Canal. Maybe it’s the contrast As of December 2007, Sylt had between this brave new high rise 21,190 inhabitants, 9,072 of whom living city-within-a-city and the content of Lowry’s in Westerland.  These numbers do not art, but when you see this include owners of summer residences. A referendum artist’s work in this location it held in May 2008 resulted in would be difficult not to react a merger of the Sylt-Ost municipality emotionally to it. When I was with the town of Westerland due there earlier today, one work in 1 January 2009. Various interest groups particular had me transfixed.


A simple hope to merge every island municipality pencil sketch of an industrial landscape into one governing body. Settlements along the (You can view it here. But west coast six municipalities are situated along it doesn’t translate to digital that the west coast of Sylt. List well.) In the centre left of in the very north of the picture are two cooling towers, island constitutes Germany’s northernmost municipality, it and behind them, two chimneys – retained a certain independence due to one vertiginously tall, the other not its remote location and it`s long-time so tall. But the emissions from adherence to the kingdom of Denmark. The cooling towers have blocked out on its eastern shore, a harbour the visibility of the middle section is located where, in addition to of both chimneys. So you’re left with tourist ships, the „Sylt-Express“ ferry-boat sails with the upper third of these to Havneby on the Danish island structures looking like they float a Rømø. Wenningstedt together with Braderup and couple of hundred feet in the Kampen used to form the Norddörfer smudged grey air. The chimney (Northern Villages) municipality, an early intercommunal to the right looks as if association, which partly remains today in its wearing a stovepipe hat – form of a school union. While like sambard Kingdom Brune used to Kampen, mainly in the 1950s and wear. Like a captain of industry 1960s was famous in Germany for recast as smoke-spewing automaton. LS Lowry attracting celebrities, Wenningstedt is known as is, of course, known principally for a „family resort“ for more than his artworks having loads of people 100 years. Since 1855, the prominent in them. This one is more black and white Kampen lighthouse is like dispersal zone – everyone’s inside located between Kampen and Wenningstedt, it the industrial infrastructure, working themselves (probably is the oldest one on the literally) to death. So maybe when island. East of there, the „Braderuper you view this work in the Heide“ nature reserve is situated. Right context of LS Lowry’s oeuvre as south of Wenningstedt are the town a whole, you anthropomorphise them chimneys limits of the island’s metropolis, Westerland. After if you really study the picture, the complete destruction of the village though, there are two discernible human Eidum by a storm surge on figures in there – but they do.


On 1 November 1436, the survivors founded are ghostlike and faded, an almost a new village northeast of their cynical presence – but it’s your old home: Westerland. The name was guess as to where the cynicism first recorded in 1462. In 1865 comes from, or whose it is a seaside spa was founded, 50. The sketch is a work of years later Westerland was granted town complete fucking genius. Just wow. Wow. Privileges. In 1949 it was finally Coincidentally, I’d been looking at some tread upon, no roots are left as did my to hold the sand and send it to my friend will be removed by wind and I sent him your mail (we’re water. The Wadden Sea on the east discreet people) – and these were side between Sylt and the mainland; the ideas he mailed to me: has been a nature reserve and Micha, that is really interesting. It’s something I bird sanctuary since 1935 and is do wonder about sometimes. In fact part of the Schleswig-Holstein Wadden Sea only last week I was listening National Park. The construction of breakwaters to Bordeaux (Harold Budd/Brian Guthrie) and in this area will abate sedimentation thought what if I start singing and is used for land reclamation.


Also over the top of it? So the grazing of sheep  I did. There was fun in sea dikes and heaths of Sylt changing the pitch of my voice eventually serves coastal management, since the but no semantic value to the animals keep the vegetation short and exercise and of course Bordeaux doesn’t compress the soil with their hooves follows a verse/chorus structure, it’s more thus they help create a denser like a very slow cosmic spasm. I dike surface, which in case of think the semantic thing is a storm surges provides less area for the core of the problem. In the waves to impact.


Flora and Rosa his book of short stories and rugosa, known as „Sylt rose“ on essays, the author Russell Hoban gets the island; the flora of Sylt is close to an understanding of this, shaped by the island’s original sparseness. He describes a park at dusk until the mid 19th century Sylt (Eelbrook Common) an ordinary part of was an island almost completely devoid London he can see from his of trees, only artificial plantations created room. His writing is powerfully descriptive: small areas of forest and bush. He sees a ‘scrawl’ of kids, still today one can recognize the playing in the park, who form man-made structure of the Friedrichshain and a scribble on the dry grey Südwäldchen forests in Westerland, the trees concrete, black against the blue-grey dusk mostly standing in rank and file. In one incredible paragraph, Hoban draws also the now widespread rose Rosa in a 3 dimensional world with vividly rugosa, known as the „Sylt rose“ presented in variations in light and a on the island was only imported slight feeling of mystery and strangeness. In to Sylt. It originates from the next paragraph; Hoban then explains Kamchatka peninsula in Siberia. The undemanding what he did – i.e. he rose met ideal conditions on Sylt described the onset of evening using and spread so quickly that it language. But then he says something is now a common sight on that has stayed with me for the island. Its proliferation is viewed years: “To me it seems that critically from a biological point of everything that happens is language, everything view, since it threatens to displace that goes on is saying something”. Endangered local species, especially on the guess that’s why when I heaths.


The ample heaths on the eastern stared at that LS Lowry pencil side of the island provide habitats sketch, my eyes went a little for many rare species of plants bit watery. It was crowded, bursting and animals which are adapted to with language and color, yet the extreme conditions such as drought, was monochrome and wordless. Hoban’s novel; Kleinzeit warmth, wind. About 2,500 animal species has an odd set of characters and 150 species of plants have that include a hospital and the so far been recorded. 45% of London Underground: “Listen, said Underground. No one listened. Those plants are on the IUCN The chill rose up from the Red List. Especially notable are the black tunnels. Are you there? said Underground. 600 species of butterflies that live. Will you answer? No one answered. Are you in the heaths, small tortoiseshell, brimstone, Orpheus? Said Underground. No answer.” This novel (at painted lady and peacock butterfly among its best) opens the space between them. With several thousand individuals in the semantic and beyond-semantic, entirely using dune belt of Sylt, the natterjack printed alphabet. What it’s saying goes toad, endangered in Germany, has one deeper than most language, but it’s of Germany’s largest populations here.


Their all done with language, making language spawning places are wet dune slacks even more miraculous – and without and shallow, short-lived pools. For ever reverting to that kind of habitat they prefer sandy areas with over-thought boring trendy Barthes/Derrida style theorizing; vegetation. The main threat for this don’t know about a third state species on Sylt is road traffic. The – for me Paddy McAloon’s many water birds and other coastal Trawl The Megahertz kind of does avians, that have their hatching grounds this. Very strong mortality theme, words on Sylt or use the island feature in some places but not for resting on their migrations constitute in others – like consciousness being an ornithological feature. There are two passed in and out of. Notable hatching areas on Sylt, the Havergal Brian’s amazing and totally bonkers Königshafen bay with the small island Symphony No.1 in D Minor. The Uthörn in the north and the whole thing is like moonlight on Rantum basin in the southeast. Birds gravestones, with lichen dancing on the hatch on Sylt include black-headed stone, or appearing to. It’s just gull, Arctic tern, pied avocet, common the moonbeams temporarily being blocked by redshank, common gull, oystercatcher, northern lapwing, clouds hurrying across the sky. Words common shelduck and tufted duck. During are integral to various sections, but the migration, Sylt is a resting it’s like they emerge out of spot for thousands of brent geese the music rather than superimpose upon and shelducks, Eurasian wigeons and common it. I’m thinking specifially about the eiders, as well as bar-tailed godwits, allegro moderato section 3 here. Red knots, dunlins and Eurasian golden John Foxx and Theo Travis “All plovers. Ringed plover, common snipe, ruff The Tides On All The Streets” and other species are less common. No words in this one, but visitors to the island. Regarding land mammals, the woodwind to me sounds like there is no significant difference from uninflected words. Aphex Twin’s “Minipops the neighbouring areas of mainland Nordfriesland. 67″. I know you’re not a Primarily European hare, rabbit and roe fan of this guy’s stuff, but deer can be found and are this track has 3 or 4 metal and eventually by armoured concrete and “The Commercial Album”. Spoken-word-albums can do groynes. The constructions did not have the trick for me, too. Listen the desired effect of stopping the to the fortcoming David Sylvian album erosion caused by crossways currents. „Leeward with the long title (samadhi sound). erosion“, i.e. erosion on the downwind Listening to it, you won’t have side of the groynes prevented sustainable even a fleeting suspect the speaking accumulation of sand. In the 1960s breaking voice of the old writer (damaged, the power of the sea was wrecked) would weaken the music. It’s attempted by installing tetrapods along the other way round: the music groyne bases or by putting them has to live up into the sea like groynes. The falling apart / storytelling of the four-armed structures, built in France and old man’s voice (not soften it, many tons in weight were too opening a second perspective) – David Sylvian: heavy for Sylt’s beaches and were There’s a light that enters houses equally unable to prevent erosion.


Therefore with no other houses in sight and, they were removed from the Hörnum please, don’t miss this album: Heiner west beach in 2005. Since the early Goebbels: Stifter’s Dinge (ECM) 1970s the only effective means press info: far has been flushing sand onto sounds, tones, noises, voices and texts the shore. Dredging vessels are used converge in one of Heiner Goebbels’ to pump a mixture of sand most extraordinary acoustic creations. Is it and water to a beach where a composition, environment, installation or sound it is spread by bulldozers. Thus sculpture on the grand scale? Its storm floods would only erase the creator once described it as a artificial accumulation of sand, while the composition for five pianos with no shoreline proper remains intact and erosion pianists, a play with no actors, is slowed down. This procedure incurs a performance without performers, “one might considerable costs. The required budget of say a no-man show.” Yet it an annual €10 million is currently is teeming with sound sources – provided by federal German, Schleswig-Holstein state ranging from Bach to chants of and EU funds. Since 1972, natives of New Guinea to Greek estimated 35.5 million cubic metres of folk song, and overlapping voices of, sand have been flushed ashore and amongst many others, Claude Lévi-Strauss, William dumped on Sylt. The measures have Burroughs and Malcolm X, the work so far cost more than €134 was inspired by the work of million in total, but according to 19th century Austrian Romantic writer Adalbert scientific calculations they are sufficient to Stifter, who meticulously documented the signs prevent further loss of land for and sounds of nature. No, no, at least three decades, so the it’s not overloaded with cultural references, benefits for the island’s economic power Smart Alec’s Finnegan’s Wake.


The whole and for the economically underdeveloped region album has a quiet flow thereby in general would outweigh the costs, matching the tranquility of Stifter’s epic In the 1995 study Klimafolgen für descriptions of landscapes. For me, it’s Mensch und Küste am Beispiel der “the third zone”. Personally, I’m dreaming of Nordseeinsel Sylt (Climate impact for Man a long piece of music in and Shores as seen on the which at certain, well-chosen moments an North Sea island Sylt) it reads: a-capella-“choir” of three voices sings a Hätte Sylt nicht das Image einer small melody full of understatement, low-key attraktiven Ferieninsel, gäbe es den Küstenschutz (not longer than 45 seconds) – in der bestehenden Form gewiss nicht“ and the instrumental music is so (If Sylt did not have the thrilling that you don’t wait for image of an attractive holiday island, the “vocal moments”…. Let’s say they coastal management in its current form sing three times within 25 minutes, would certainly not exist). The enforcement of always the same melody, always different a natural reef off Sylt is lyrics…. May sound weird, but the being discussed as an alternative solution. idea is simple and I never,  a first experiment was conducted from heard anything like that. I do also 1996 to 2003. A sand drainage think of the vocal “emanations” (might as being successfully used on Danish be the wrong word) of early islands is not likely to work on Can albums like Tago Mago, Sylt owing to the underwater voices become sound (you won’t think slope here in parallel to the ongoing about semantics there) – it’s the sand flushing, the deliberate demolition of shaman’s world:) And how often did I groynes has begun amid great effort listen to the first track of at certain beach sections where they “High Life” (the latest Eno/Hyde-collaboration, hope were proven largely ineffective. This measure you know it!) – the also terminated the presumably most famous singing half buried in the electric groyne of Sylt, Buhne 16 — guitar strummings – the soft singing the namesake of the local naturist surfacing and vanishing, you only get beach. A number of experts, however, fears glimpses of meaning. Like My Bloody Sylt will still have to Valentine did it, in a different face considerable losses of land until way, once upon a time in the mid 21st century.


The continuous never was a huge fan of global warming is thought to result them, but liked their approach of in increasing storm activity, which would burying melodies. Now imagine this: an electric result in increased land loss and, guitar that plays free, moving sideways as a first impact, might mean without being trapped by history or the end of property insurance. Measurements cultural baggage meets a singer that showed that, unlike in former times, also improvises and avoids conventional language. The wave energy of the sea , one of the most expressive voices is no longer lost offshore, today on this planet. Would you call it carries its destructive effects on it a song? Would you call to the beaches proper. This will make it a soundscape? I’m speaking of result in an annual loss of the two albums of Sidsel Endresen sand of 1.1 million m³. The and Stian Westerhus (both on Rune dunes of the island constitute nature Grammofon, the second one will be reserves and may only be traversed released on Nov 21st – frightening on marked tracks. So called „wild beauty!) – human aliens… And then paths promote erosion and are not thought about – Paddy McAloon: I Trawl To Be Followed where vegetation is the mega hertz above the German average. Clouds cannot King Crimson’s “RED DISTRICT” in Torquay, accumulate as quickly and are generally England) is a fabulous guy scattered by the constant westerly or and a collector of jukeboxes and northwesterly winds.


The annual mean temperature is extreme music, he loves 8.5 °C. The annually averaged wind the evergreens, too. His speed measures 6.7 m/s, predominantly from jukebox from the 1960’s is western directions. The annual rainfall amounts crammed with that stuff. Thousands of to about 650 millimetres. Since 1937 singles: from “Winchester Cathedral” to “Daydream weather” data are collected at Deutscher Believer. Big archive. Now he ordered Wetterdienst’s northernmost station on a dune a special edition: two very rough near List, which has meanwhile become tracks from Lanois’ new “Wunderkammer-Musik”, a automated  number of commercial meteorological very limited edition: one single only! Services like Meteomedia AG operate stations;  It was nearly midnight. The in List too. The island in its two dancers left the wooden stage, current form has only existed for the last echoes of Stian’s electric for about 400 years. Like the mainland guitar dissoving into air, Scott Walker geestland, it was formed of moraines is watching “True Detective” in his from the older ice ages, thus home in London, and my friend being made up of a till; John smiles and says: “The core, which is now apparent in fruit takes a long time to the island’s west and centre by ripen, but it falls suddenly”. The cliff, dunes and beach. He likes riddles. He takes the sandy core began to erode as Lanois single, puts it into the it was exposed to a strong “holy grail” of his juxebox collection, current along the island’s steep basement and takes a coin out of when the sea level rose 8000 his pocket. The stylus is landing years ago. During the process, sediments on the black vinyl, they were accumulated north and south of piece starts.


– Gosh, this is the island. The west coast, which fucking genius, I say to him, was originally situated 10 km off but why did you do all today’s shore, was thus gradually moved this.  – Just wait a minute, eastward, while at the same time it’s all done with a purpose. The island began to extend .  It didn’t take long, that the north and south. After the minute. Suddenly the jukebox started to ice ages, marshland began to form tremble, and tremble even more, around this geestland core. In 1141, Sylt and before I could even open is recorded as an island, yet my mouth to say something like before the Grote Mandrenke flood,  “what the fuck”, it simply exploded belonged to a landscape cut by with a bang. The bar was tidal creeks and, at least during closed for three months. Our wounds low tide, it could be reached were healing quickly (he excused himself on foot.


It is only since more than once that this flood, the creation of copy of “Hey Jude” sliced a spit from sediments began to up my left forearm), and when form the current characteristic shape of I asked him later. It is the northern part and had known what would happen, the southern edges of Sylt which were answered: “Think so. You know there and still are, the subject of comes a time where don’t want greatest change. For example, Listland was to rely on all your domesticated separated from the rest of the knowledge about music. Or life. Sometimes the island goes into the 14th century and you have to handle explosives.”   (For from the later 17th century onwards Anonymous) Hi!


Let’s think about instrumental music the Königshafen (King’s Harbour) began to with vocal sections – “The third area” slit up as the „elbow“ spit between song and soundscape I love it began to form. In addition to the nearly unrecognizable words can be constant loss of land, the inhabitants heard in instrumental music, hushed voices, voices during the Little Ice Age were from old tapes, even singing from constrained by sand drift. Dunes shifting old tapes, bad quality tapes (with to the east threatened settlements and vocals on it) can have a arable land and had to be huge emotional impact. Gavin Bryars: The Sinking stopped by the planting of marram of the Titanic (Obscure Records) Steve Reich: grass in the 18th century. Consequently It’s gonna rain (the asyncronicity of though, material breaking off the island two tapes leads to “semantic extinction” was increasingly washed away and the – word becomes sound) – I think island’s extent continued to decrease. Records of Roger Waters et al are talking the annual land loss exist since quite a nonsense, but In 1870, according to them, Sylt lost loved Pink Floyd’s “Alan’s Psychedelic Breakfast”. An annual 0.4 m of land. No real song, no real soundscape. Brian in the north and 0.7 m Eno very often tries to attack in the south from 1870 to his vocals, push them from 1951 to 1984, the center, looking for an area where rate increased to 0.9 and 1.4 ambient and song intertwine.


Another Green m respectively, while shorelines at the World is regarded as an island’s very edges at Hörnum and song album, though two thirds are List are even more affected. Severe storm instrumentals. Another Day On Earth (buried surges of the last decades have treasure!) also strives for a “theatre repeatedly endangered Sylt to the point of voices” where vocals lose their of breaking in two, e.g. Hörnum egos (or just vanish after short was temporarily cut off from the appearances). Listen to “And then so island in 1962. Part of the clear”. The Residents: Eskimo I haven’t heard island near Rantum which is only this album for a very long 500m wide is especially threatened. An armoured time, but reading your mail, it concrete groyne at Westerland Concrete tetrapods in rings a bell. In my memory Westerland Sand dunes near List Measures of protection the way the “authenticity” or “gibberish” against the continuous erosion date back of the tribal singing and the to the early 19th century when enveloping soundscapes are my ideal of groynes of wooden poles were constructed. This “third zone” (but, as those were built at right angles said, long time ago, memory may into the sea from the coast play tricks) I only loved two line. Later they were replaced by albums of the Residents, this one. For other uses, see Sylt (disambiguation). Coordinates: What do the new (forthcoming) albums 54°54′N 8°20′E Sylt Native name: Söl, Sild 13-09-29-nordfriesisches-wattenmeer-Wadden – of Scott Walker & Sunn O) Geography Location


Wadden Sea Coordinates 54°54′N 8°20′E Archipelago. North Frisian Islands Major islands           Sylt,  Daniel Lanois and Sidsel Endresen Föhr, Amrum Area     99 km2 (38 sq mi) Length             38 / Stian Westerhus have in common km (23.6 mi) Width                13 km (8.1 mi) Highest Disturbance, a considerable amount of harshness, elevation     52 m (171 ft) Highest point Uwe-Düne Country Germany State       and, in rare moments, unexpected tenderness! Schleswig-Holstein District Nordfriesland Demographics Demonym              Sylters Population          21,000 Density  212 /km2 (549 /sq mi) Ethnic groups                Germans, Scott and Sidsel get or certainly Frisians, Danes.  Sylt (German pronunciation: will get a huge amount of [ˈzʏlt]; Danish: Sild; Söl’ring North Frisian: great reviews because they have strong Söl) is an island in northern admirers: nearly always the same small Germany, part of Nordfriesland district, Schleswig-Holstein, bunch of people who sings the and well known for the distinctive praise, and for all the good shape of its shoreline. It belongs reasons. I had the luck to to the North Frisian Islands and listen to the second duo album is the largest island in North Sidsel and Stian will release on Frisia, the northernmost island of Germany, Rune Grammofon in late November. Two it is known for its tourist days ago vanished under my resorts, notably Westerland, Kampen and Wenningstedt-Braderup, set of headphones and, listening to as well as for its 40 “Bonita”, I was transported to a km long sandy beach. It is oldfashioned bar with old chandeliers frequently covered by the media in and a Wurlitzer jukebox. Two people connection with its exposed situation in – bathing in neon lights the North Sea and its ongoing – danced to this undanceable loss of land during storm tides. Music (coming from a fantastic since 1927, Sylt has been connected sound system Jamaican style). Dancing to to the mainland by the Hindenburgdamm this only seems possible in radical causeway. In latter years, it has exercises of “Ausdruckstanz”. Listening has the been a resort for the German duo, I forgot my standard aesthetic jet set and tourists in search vocabulary, the word “postmodernism” lost any of occasional celebrity sighting contents meaning.


Sidsel Endresen is the most 1 Geography 1.1 Flora and fauna 2 expressionist female voice in modern music climate. 3 Settlements 3.1 Settlements along the west since Meredith Monk, and guitarist Stian coast 3.2 Sylt-Ost 3.2.1 Tinnum 3.2.2 Keitum 3.2.3 Munkmarsch 3.2.4 Archsum 3.2.5 Westerhus is playing with fire extending Morsum, Transport, Culture, History. In other the vocabulary of his fucking old media . See also  References  External links Geographysatellite electric guitar with a grim smile image of Sylt Map of Sylt (North on his face. In the same Frisian, German and Danish place names) With way the meeting of Scott Walker 99.14 km², Sylt is the fourth-largest and Sunn  was a German island and the largest German dark dream that came true. The North Sea island Sylt is located more I listen to the from 9 to 16 km off album, the more I’m seduced by the mainland, to which it is the moments of vulnerabilty that surrounds connected by the Hindenburgdamm southeast of the merciless flow of words. Some are the islands of Föhr, may know about this miserable old and Amrum, to the north lies school of exorcism, part of the Danish island of Rømø. The madness of Catholicism. Now, listening island of Sylt extends for 38 to Scott’s singing can make you km in a north-south direction. At think of exorcising ghosts, but, in its northern peak at Königshafen, it contrast to generations of mentally instable is only 320 m wide. Its priests (inquisition’s killing elite), here it greatest width, from the town of really gets a cathartic quality. There Westerland in the west to the is something deeply human in Scott’s eastern Nössespitze near Morsum, measures 12.6 hunting territory between a whisper and km.


On the western and northwestern a cry, the effect is similar shore, there is a 40 km to looking at the last fifteen sand beach. To the east of minutes of the last episode of Sylt, is the Wadden Sea, which “True Detective”.  And now: belongs to the Schleswig-Holstein Wadden Sea Mr. Lanois. He releases an album National Park and mostly falls dry that confuses a lot of critics during low tide. The island’s shape has who cannot categorize it. Critics who constantly shifted over time, a process come from the mainstream and get which is still ongoing today. Getting their fucking kicks on route 66, northern and southern spits of Sylt on fucking Classic Rock Radio. Strictly are exclusively made up of infertile conservative critics (rock journalism is full sand deposits, while the central part of smart Alecs whose heads with the municipalities of Westerland, Wenningstedt-Braderup are filled with Harley Davidson memories and Sylt-Ost consists of a geestland and “good old time”-obsessions). They core, which becomes apparent in the way they cannot handle disturbance, because they think form of the Red Cliff of they know it all. “Flesh & Wenningstedt. The geestland facing the Wadden Machine” is too much for them; Sea gradually turns into fertile marshland unbearable for a conservative mind. It’s around Sylt-Ost. Today sources show that not old school ambient, it’s something Sylt has only been an island you didn’t expect from the producer since the Grote Mandrenke flood of Dylan, U2, Peter Gabriel – 1362.


The so-called Uwe-Düne on first listen it may deeply is the island’s highest elevation with disturb. So several writers are 52.5 m above sea level on Sylt, showing their thumbs down, writing about a marine climate influenced by the “unfinished” pieces and exercises in noise Gulf stream is predominant. With  jams not average of 2 °C, winter months used to someone touching new ground are slightly milder than on the – oh, poor buddies, no deja-vues. Mainland, summer months though, with a but in one aspect they are median of 17 °C, are somewhat right. The record should be sold cooler, despite a longer sunshine period with a warning sign: “DANGER! OUTSIDE The annual average sunshine period COMFORT ZONE!” Ya remember Sylt is 4.4 hours per day; bar I was transported to (the It is due to the low way of dreams and good navigation relief of the shoreline that Sylt systems) while listening to Sidsel and had a total of 1,899 hours of Stian, the owner of that bar of sunshine in 2005, 180 hours (placed in a deserted area of





Various texts from  www.


The art of going to extremes and meeting the core

The Think Tank in Action

Nobody wants to be here and nobody wants to leave

Short excerpt from Das heitere Parallellesen von “Bleeding Edge” (5)

Daniel Lanois: Flesh And Machine (out tomorrow)

Hello Andy, it’s me

Killing Ten Little Italians


The cut-up machine used:


2013 27 Apr

Talking about Forst, Harmonia, Cluster etc.

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The daughter of Roedelius has made a fine interview (three parts on vimeo) about Brian Eno’s early years and his collaboration with the german artists. More information you find on the Eno Web (news, see blogroll) …


„part one“


aus meinem Interview (2005)
– In deiner Musik klingen oft Räume der Natur an. Als du mit Harmonia Musik gemacht hast, damals, in der Zeit, als mit zusammen mit Moebius und Roedelius die Alben „Cluster & Eno“ bzw. „After The Heat“ entstanden, Mitte der Siebziger Jahre, da hast du auch eine kurze Zeit im Weserbergland gelebt …

– Es war eine sehr angenehme Zeit, dort zu arbeiten. Es war eine Art Luftblase in meiner Geschichte. Teilweise, weil es eine so entlegene Gegend war. Wir arbeiteten nicht weit entfernt von diesem mächtigen Flußlauf. Der Song „By The River“ aus meinem Album „Before And After Science“ ist an diesen Ort gebunden. Wir lebten in diesem sehr stillen ruhigen alten Bauernhaus. Die Weser war dort ein schneller, fast rasender Fluß. Mir kam er vor wie ein Bild für die ungeheuer schnell verrinnende Zeit. Demgegenüber wirkte das Leben in dem alten Haus noch ruhiger! Die Musik, die dort entstand, besaß etwas Magisches. Wie können wir aus Nichts Etwas machen? Das war die Kernfrage. Wie bei einem Zaubertrick. Wir hatten nur einfache Instrumente, ein einfaches Studio. Ich weiß nicht mal, ob ich irgendwas mitgebracht hatte. Wir benutzten einfach, was in dem Raum vorhanden war, und das war nicht viel.

2013 31 Jan

Ted Sheldrake (2)

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Damals, als W. G. Sebald das Hinterland von Suffolk durchwanderte, um sich von Steinen, Gebäuden und Menschen lang vergangene Historie erzählen zu lassen, hätte er gut auch Ted Sheldrake über den Weg laufen können, diesem Urgestein aus East Anglia. Nun sind beide tot, und Roger Eno erzählt in einem fein gesponnenen Reigen aus Folk, Pub-Atmosphäre und Feldaufnahmen Stationen und Stories aus Teds Leben. Man hört das krächzige Original, aber auch Lieder seines Kumpels Arthur „Stumpy“ Willis, welche die ländliche Welt des Ted Sheldrake wachrufen – übrigens mit einer Stimme, die mitunter ganz herzerweichend an Robert Wyatts Gesangsorgan erinnert. Ted erlebte den Wandel, wie fünfzig Erntearbeiter durch zwei Traktoren ersetzt wurden, und die Geräuschmusik der Dampflokomotiven aus der weiten Ebene verschwand. Roger Eno kreiert in diesem Bilderbogen einer fernen Zeit wohltuende Melancholie mit Klavier und Elektronik. Manchmal gesellen sich Vögel, ein Akkordeon und ein weiter Blick übers graue Meer dazu. Da sind wir dann wieder bei W.G.Sebald und seinen „Ringen des Saturn“.


„Ted Sheldrake (1921-2012) was proud to say that heʼd never, in all of his 91 years, set foot outside of East Anglia.“

„Enoesque“ doesn’t necessarily mean, that the artists do know Eno’s music very well, some do, some don’t. The word means that a certain record contains, consciously, unconsciously, or even by pure chance, elements that can be perceived as, well, Eno-related, in an obvious or hidden way. Strangeness is a rare thing. And, for sure, sometimes critics use the term for music they don’t understand at all :)

The word has become another word for „weird“, „exotic“, „melodic with a strange twist“, „minimal, but with emotional impact“, „uncommon“. And, yes, quite often, the word is linked to compositions of artists who may even have no idea who Eno really is, maybe, because they are too young, or too old, or simply not interested. So, read this with a smile, but be sure, some of these artists know his Ambient Music rather well, believe me! And that leaves traces. Moments. Ideas. Sounds. Sometimes sounds on the verge of falling apart. And sometimes, yeah, sometimes, nothing at all.


1) Eivind Aarset w/ Jan Bang: Dream Logic

Eclecticism can be so inventive. Music to get lost in. Brian’s defintion of „Where am I-music“ fully realized. And a brilliant extension of a lost classic of Ambient Music, Michael Brook’s „Infinite guitar“-playing on „Hybrid“. That milestone once was created in the famous Grant Avenue Studios in Hamilton, Ontario. The producers: Brian and Daniel. The golden years. And now this: „Dream Logic“ is the kind of album critics will attest an „almost hallucinatoric“ quality – and they are right! One of the best albums of 2012 recurring on traditions where many others only offer cheap pastiche!


2) Jon Hassell: Power Spot

The only ECM opus with the direct involvement of Brian Eno, Eno/Lanois create another masterpiece! Dreamscapes made of electronica, minimalism, Asian and African influences.


3) David Darling: Cello

I knew Brian would love this solo-cello work, when I send it to him in the  early Nineties. Slow Music with cellos overlapping and delayed sounds. Drifting  in circles – and moving skywards!

4) Steve Tibbetts – Marc Anderson: Northern Song

Produced by ECM – mastermind Manfred Eicher within two days in Oslo. Guitar and percussion and a lot of silences that never sound sacred  – but always arresting! Tibbetts‘ fear: not enough notes. But then he remembered the  passion with which he has listened to Eno’s „Music for  Airports“ – and knew everything was okay!


5) Eleni Karainrou: Music for Films

Manfred Eicher chose the title as hommage to Eno’s „Music For Films“. When hearing the record, Eno fell in love with the textures, the melodies, the recurrimg themes.


6) Jon Hassell: Last Night The Moon Came …

Okay, Eno’s old friend again, this  time without Brian. But with Eivind Aarset and Jan Bang among others. See: number one! Amazing and endlessly subtle. Will not be continued, the Norwegian connection. Sad ending. Pasttime paradise. 


7) Arvo Pärt: Alina

Pärt at his most minimal, and that is to say something. Compare the spacious piano notes of these pieces that can easily be linked to his „tintinnabuli“ style, with those piano and keyboard figures Robert Wyatt plays on „Music for Airports“, or Roger Eno plays on „Thursday Afternoon“. „Alina“ is sparse, and some would even say simple, but it’s personal and human and at times nearly devastating.


8) Hans Otte: Buch der Klänge

The German composer of new classical piano music was tired of the loss of deep feeling in his scene. He changed that by creating this simple and profound music. Beautiful in a never-ending way!


9) Bill Connors: Swimming With A Hole In My Body

Lost gem of the late Seventies, solo guitar album with lots of space, and sounds floating; even the title and the cover are enoesque; Bill Connors was obviously tired of further following scientologist Chick Corea to the Seventh Galaxy!


10) Terje Rypdal: After The Rain

Very quiet solo work by Terje Rypdal. The guitarist even plays instruments he can not play very well – sounds like he used some „oblique strategies“ from  Brian’s game: „Honour thy errors as hidden intentions“.


P.S.: It may not be fair to call Heiner Goebbels‘ album „SHADOW / Landscape With Argonauts“ enoesque in the first place (for that you should listen to „Stifter’s Dinge“), but it was probably the ECM album that had the biggest influence on Brian Eno himself, concerning the way Goebbels uses 100 voices from the streets of Boston to make the reading of the dark prose of E. A. Poe a new and thrilling experience. So there are, without doubt, connections between „SHADOW“ and Eno’s exquisite work „Drums Between The Bells“ (2011)

2011 25 Nov

Brian Eno / Rick Holland: Panic of Looking (David Stubbs)

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Eno’s third collection for Warp, and his second collaboration with the poet Rick Holland following Drums Between the Bells, is an EP on which the duo again explores an inverted, shifted relationship between words and music in song. Eno’s backdrops, on In the Future for example, are spare, darkly turquoise, semi-ambient, yet insinuate themselves into the foreground, like a servant overshadowing the master. Holland’s words, meanwhile, are placed discreetly but tellingly in the mix, as if somehow ‘soundtracking’ the music. The collaborative effect is most telling on West Bay in which the words „alone on this island with only the stones“ somehow underwrite the isolated, carefully placed and plotted piano notes dropped by Eno. In a tradition that goes back to St Elmo’s Fire on Another Green World and Julie With… on Before and After Science, there’s a faintly nautical air to some of these tracks, a hint of salt and faded shanty on the wind as these tracks lilt and breeze. That said, If These Footsteps has a distinctly urban, bustling, strobe-lit feel, an abrupt and vivid shift in mood, while Watch a Single Swallow in a Thermal Sky, and Try to Fit Its Motion, or Figure Why It Flies, an instrumental ironically, lives up practically syllable by syllable to its title. As a concept, Panic of Looking is open to interpretation – but in a ‘post-everything’ era in which the desensitising blur of the sheer flow of data from all sides is greater than ever before, this album acts as a corrective. It attempts to create a context of isolation from all that, an aquarium-like zone of contemplation, in which audiovisual detail can be savoured, in stillness and without fear of missing out for a few seconds on the relentless info-stream of modern life.

(source: BBC Music)

Well, David,  „in a ‘post-everything’ era in which the desensitising blur of the sheer flow of data from all sides is greater than ever before“, this review should not vanish into the blue nowhere!  

2011 17 Okt

VCS3 (you remember?)

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Also in the Science Museum show is the very first synthesizer that I ever owned, another beast in its own right, and that’s the VCS3. The VCS3 was quite a difficult instrument to use, though at the time it was a fantastic thing to have for someone like me, who couldn’t actually play any conventional instruments. There were no rules for playing synthesizers, so nobody could tell me I couldn’t play one. Nobody else could play one either. It was an instrument you made up yourself… its role was waiting to be invented.
The VCS3 was a particularly good instrument for that, because unlike nearly all the synthesizers that followed, it didn’t dictate a particular path for the signal. Nearly all the synthesizers that followed went: oscillator into filter into envelope-shaper into effects. Everything was in that straight line. With the VCS3 you could feed things back into themselves, so you could take the output of a filter and feed it back into itself and this gave me some very unusual and quite unpalatable noises, which of course I liked. They sounded a lot better than me trying to play music anyway.
The VCS3 preceded, or maybe was even simultaneous with, the Moog. But what was interesting about it was that it wasn’t really a keyboard instrument. There was a keyboard with it, but it was impossible to get it in tune, so most of the people who used it abandoned the keyboard. That was a big step, because prior to that synthesizers had been thought of as electronic organs with a few stranger sounds.
Abandoning the keyboard took you into a new musical territory. I’m sure Peter Zinovieff, who invented the VCS3, would have been very pleased if he could have made a good keyboard. But the fact that he failed to was what made that instrument special, and what started the different forms of electronic music you hear everywhere now. It came out of an inadequacy of that particular instrument.

In den 70er Jahren verhieß dieser rein technologische Begriff – VCS3 – manch aufregendes Hörerlebnis, speziell, wenn Eno mit ihm hantierte. In diesem Ausschnitt eines Essays erinnert Eno an die Synthesizer-Ära, und wie Defizite und gravierende Mängel zu einem neuen Musikverständnis führten, das mehr mit Erfindung als mit Nachspiel zu tun hatte. Interessant: manche der tollen Kompositionen mit VCS3-Signatur wirken gleichermaßen wie aus alter Zeit und zeitlos.

It was made right in the middle of the punk thing when everyone was trying to get more aggressive, and Brian Eno went away (…). If I had to just listen to one song for the rest of my life it would be ‚1/1‘. It’s not just a mellow thing, I’ve listened to it in the morning and it’s beautiful, I’ve listened to it last thing at night. I’ve listened to it as a stimulant and a calming thing, it does something very physical, very chemical to me. I’m always fascinated by how he made that track. Did he sit there and play it live for 17 minutes? Smoked some dope? I’ve always meant to ask him, I’m always bumping into him and I always forget. I see him having coffee in a café near me and we always have a nice little chat. He’s a lovely chap. I never let onto him how much of a fan I am because that would be weird and a bit distasteful. If I ran up to him saying ‚how did you do that track?!‘ he’d probably start backing off slowly

2011 14 Sep

Brian Eno and the Words of Rick Holland: Panic Of Looking

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New EP - Panic Of Looking
out 7th/8th November 2011 (Art: Brian Eno, Design: Nick Robertson)

CD, Vinyl & Download to be released 7th/8th November 2011

2011 24 Jul

Rick Holland / Brian Eno

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Mythological Images

„These two rooms gather together iconographic motifs that appear heterogenerous, but which constitute important thematic nuclei in the organisation of Renaissance collections of antiquities.“

„The sculptures found here evoke a variety of thematic elements, but lack a precise definition because their specific subjects have not been identified.“

Two extracts from explanatory wall-notes at the Archaelogical Museum in Naples. I wondered how deeply entrenched these ideas of organisation and classification were when considering art of any kind, and whether it was important to precisely identify thematic elements at all. What will people make of our contemporary music in 2,000 years, what will be the elements that are identifiable? And what aspects of our artistic expressions now might be grouped together as a ‚collection of antiquities‘?  (posted by Rick Holland)

Brian Eno responded:

I find it increasingly annoying that museums feel impelled to tell you what you’re looking at while you’re looking at it. I think displays should be arranged differently: so that you can just look and draw your own conclusions and then, if you choose to, see what the Museum has to say about it. I imagine beside each exhibit a little cupboard door which you can open and which contains supplementary material.
I went to the Royal Academy yesterday to see the extraordinary show of early 20th century Hungarian photography. I found myself deliberately not reading the titles of the pictures before I looked at them – taking a good long look and deciding what I thought I was seeing before reading the card below. That was hard to do – I had to sort of shield my eyes – but it was worth it. Contrast it with The Summer Show in the same building: nearly a thousand paintings, each with only a number beside it (and a booklet if you really want to know who did what). It’s a MUCH better way of looking at things, free of text and interpretation.

In July 2011 Brian Eno finished the album ‚Drums Between the Bells‘ with the poet Rick Holland. Re-view is an ongoing dialogue between the two about the project, drawing on material from interviews, reviews, features and listener comments

(Quelle: Eno Web; s. blog roll)


Lyrik und Musik, geht das überhaupt noch? Ist das nicht ein alter,  verstaubter Hut? Akademisches Kopfkino für Literaturfreaks?  DRUMS BETWEEN THE BELLS wird kontrovers besprochen werden. Manche Kritiker werden ihre Vorurteile gegenüber Brian Eno abarbeiten, ihn mal wieder verniedlichend Professor Pop, wahlweise auch  Godfather of Ambient Music nennen. Manche werden die fantastischen Gedichte von Rick Holland in eine griffige Schublade packen, ohne selbst tiefer in die Texte eingedrungen zu sein. Manche werden sich aber auch Zeit nehmen, und dann eines der aufregendsten Alben dieses Jahrgangs für sich entdecken. Aber der Reihe nach.  

Brian Eno hatte von früh an ein zwiespältiges Verhältnis zu Wörtern, ihren Bedeutungen, ihrer Fähigkeit, die Aufmerksamkeit vom Klang abzuziehen. Und so stellte sich dem Pionier der Ambient Music mit diesen Vertonungen moderner Gedichte von Rick Holland  ein interessantes Problem: Gedichte als hochgradig verdichtete Sprache ziehen ja eigentlich  die Aufmerksamkeit auf sich, jede Silbe, jeder Zwischenton, jede Atempause.

Der englische Klangkünstler löst das Problem, indem er die Texte als akustisch spannendes Material darbietet.  Neun Stimmen kommen zum Einsatz – in einem  weitreichenden Klangfeld zwischen Neo-Exotica, beinhartem Funk, Trash Jazz, Post-Kraut-Elektronik, ambienter Kammermusik, Stammesrhythmen –  und gelegentlich auch richtigen Songs.

Zwar ist unter den Sprechstimmen auch Eno zu hören, aber zumeist setzt er auf originelle, wenig englisch klingende Stimmen, die  einen speziellen Akzent, eine eigene Melodie haben (eine Buchhalterin, eine Raumpflegerin, Zufallsbekanntschaften aus der Nachbarschaft in Notting Hill).   Und gesprochene Sprache hat es – Eno weist in einem Essay darauf hin – in Songs immer schon gegeben (etwa bei den Shangri-Las (Leaders of the Pack) –  mir fällt das lange Intro von Donovans Atlantis ein).  Eno nennt  diese Stücke speech songs. Und er nutzt alle Nuancierungen zwischen dem gesprochenen und dem gesungenen Wort…


Einst tummelte sich Eno mit David Byrne im „Busch der Geister“ (auf dem Klassiker MY LIFE IN THE BUSH OF GHOSTS); da arbeitete er mit gefundenen Stimmen, von fanatischen Predigern, Nachrichtensprechern, libanesischen Bergsängerinnen; geniales Sampling im analogen Zeitalter! Jetzt eröffnet er ein Theater der Stimmen, das alle Lügen straft, die moderner Lyrik nur ein bescheidenes Dasein im Kellerloch des Elfenbeinturms zuweisen. Beispiel gefällig?

„leben beginnt nicht mit einem titel / der einmannschau / wir sind wasser / und kehren dorthin zurück / wir gehen an den ort des schlicks/ von beere und ballen / der geruch und das rümpfen / der puls und das erblassen / dünnknochenmann / langarmmann / knorpel und kalter wind / mach werkzeug mann / flip aus mann / tanz wie die bären / folge den sternen mann / mit nassem öl auf daunen / ein behaartes elementares / aufgerissene augen festgenadelt um / eine zweimondige kurzsichtigkeit / zu der wir uns im kreise drehen“ (die Übersetzung des Gedichts „a title“)

Man muss und braucht das nicht alles beim ersten Lesen/Hören verstehen – mit der Zeit zünden einzelne Bilder, produzieren Aha-Erlebnisse und locken noch tiefer in die Klangräume hinein. Was mag Brian Eno gereizt haben an den Gedichten von Rick Holland? Ich nahm sein Bändchen STORY THE FLOWERS  zur Hand und stiess auf feine Mischungen aus Alltagsbeobachtungen, Großstadtpanoramen, Philosophie, Humor, moderner Physik, plötzlichen Perspektivwechseln und meditativen Umkreisungen einzelner Motive. Den Texten bleibt stets mindestens ein Rätsel erhalten, unsere Phantasie wird nicht in eine bestimmte Richtung gedrängt. Die Gedichte lassen genügend Bedeutungsspielraum.

Und die  Musik von DRUMS BETWEEN THE BELLS untermalt nicht einfach, sie bestreitet, verwandelt, treibt an, setzt durch, fordert, skizziert, schwingt aus, dringt ein.  Und noch einiges mehr. „Niemals gab es so ein Empfinden“, erzählt Rick Holland, „dass Brian die Musik machte und ich die Gedichte. Gedichte und Musik konnten sich zu gleichen Teilen verändern im Lauf der Produktion, und der Schaffensprozess war ein ofenes Forum der Ideen.“ 

Zu dem ersten Track des Albums, Bless This Space, erzählt Rick Holland u.a. folgendes: – Ich hatte das Gedicht schon vergessen, da rief mich Brian an und las es mit einem pulsierenden beat im Hintergund. Das gefiel mir schon , aber seine finale Gestalt nahm das Stück erst viel später an, als Leo Abrahams und Seb Rochford ihre Magie verströmten. Leos Gitarre und Sebs Schlagzeug reissen die Musik weit auf und verstärken dieses Gespür einer ansteckenden Freiheit nach einem gemeinsamem Ritual, als ob man bis zu einem Abgrund marschiert wäre und nun keine andere Wahl hätte, als ins Unbekannte zu springen.

Soweit Rick Holland. Bless This Space ist also die ideale Eröffnung, für ein Album, das immer wieder unbekannte Areale erkundet. Textlich wie musikalisch. “the greatest joy there is / is onward search through the darkness”, heisst es in einem andern Gedicht. Gerne verfremdet Eno auch Stimmen, rückt sie ins Surreale, wie in “the real”, einer Attacke auf jeden eindimensionalen Realismus, mit lauter ungebändigten,  schwebenden Tönen.    Eno, der Expressionist, Eno, der Impressionist. Und Rick Holland ist ein so  kongenialer Partner, wie es einst Jon Hassell, David Byrne, oder Harold Budd waren.


Der Clou: zum Ende hin singt Eno  – und alle, die seit dem Ausklang der Siebziger Jahre, nach den Klassealben HERE COME THE WARM JETS, TAKING TIGER MOUNTAIN (BY STRATEGY), ANOTHER GREEN WORLD und BEFORE AND AFTER SCIENCE, immer viel zu lange warten mussten auf neue Song-Alben des Herrn Eno, sind kurzfristig versöhnt, mit dem  Vortrag von „Cloud 4“. Wolken haben es leider an sich, mitunter rasch zu verschwinden, und es ist fast schon  englischer Humor, dass dieser tolle Song deutlich unter der 2-Minuten-Grenze bleibt. Ein Song, so herrlich aus der Welt gefallen wie einst Julie With…, aus BEFORE AND AFTER SCIENCE.  

In deutscher Übersetzung liest sich „Wolke 4“ so:  „die tollheiten des gemütszustands / bekannte wetterfronten hemmen uns / oder befreien uns wie kinder / nur einen tag auseinander / ein leben lang im himmel / sonne, taste den himmel ab wie im flug / suche nach irgendeinem zeichen / (dinge) werden gut.“

Alles scheint vorbei zu sein, Stille macht sich breit, man schüttelt noch immer den Kopf ob dieses einen Traumliedes, dem man am liebsten hinterher springen möchte – und dann gibt  es noch einen Song, kaum glaubliche, gute  sechs Minuten lang;  den Gesang zelebriert Eno in BREATH OF CROWS mit einer bei ihm selten vernommenen tiefen Stimme,  mit einer Langsamkeit und  Intensität, die nicht so weit vom Spätwerk eines Scott Walker entfernt ist.  Das große Erschauern, der Showdown am Ende eines überragenden Werkes.

Noch einmal Rick Holland: „Wir waren in einem neuen Teil seines Studios, er hatte sein ganzes Equipment in den Raum geschafft, der vorher ein reiner Geschäftsraum war, mit großen, zum Himmel gerichteten Fenstern. Der Regen hämmerte mit schweren Tropfen herunter, das Tageslicht verschwand hinter den Wolken, und da strömte aus den Boxen ein dunkler, fesselnder Sound. Die Bühne war gerichtet für Brians Breath of Crows, eine schleichende Meditation, die dunkel und erhebend zugleich ist. Seine Art zu singen fügte sich in die Atmosphäre ein. Ich hatte das Stück in Mumbai geschrieben,  während des Monsuns. Ich hatte ein kleines Zimmer auf Baumhöhe und lebte in enger Nachbarschaft mit der Krähenpopulation der Stadt. Es war der Endpunkt meiner Zeit dort als Lehrer, ich lebte eng mit diesen Tieren zusammen, in einer Kultur, die allem Lebendigen viel Aufmerksamkeit schenkt. Der Song ist vielleicht eine Art nicht-religöse Hymne“:

„mein gott ist im atem der krähen / er wächst und schrumpft mit dem wunsch der natur  / ein feuer ohne verbindung mit dem menschenwunsch / aber er muss absolut sein, dieser gott/ denn wenn der verstand still steht bewegt er sich. / mein gott ist im atem von krähen / darf ich mir nicht vormachen / mein ich denken zu lassen / er wächst meinen wunsch zu erfüllen / oder meine sünde zu waschen / aber lass mich mit verwundernung zuschauen / während er seine arbeit macht. / die klänge der heiligen nacht im überfluss / turmfalkenrufe und glocken trinken die luft / und das sinnrennen quillt (lass es herein) / oder die rufe klingen wie hohles blech / oder grammophonkreise und hintergrundstaub / ich muss mich / ersetzt durch most / durch witterung und wahrnehmung / darüber wundern“


Für jedes Gedicht entsteht ein ganz anders gearteter Track, es gibt kein  Formular, keine Strophenmuster, keine Gebrauchsanweisungen. Das ist bestimmt etwas, das Eno im Umgang mit diesen Gedichten gereizt hat. Immer wieder bei Punkt Null beginnen. Jeder Masche aus dem Weg gehen. Das Resultat: wir begegnen, klanglich gesehen, der scharfen Klinge – und dem fliessenden Pastell (ein genauer Blick auf die Musik jedes einzelnen Stückes, und diese Besprechung wäre leicht doppelt so lang).  DRUMS BETWEEN THE BELLS ist der provokante Gegenentwurf  für hochtrabende, angestrengt intellektuelle Kunst – das Album zelebriert pure Sinnlichkeit, ist Seelen- und Geistesnahrung in einem. Die Musik ist archaisch. Die Worte tanzen. Lyrik und Musik: ja, das geht noch. Und wie!

P.S. Das Artwork hat  auch Klasse. In der special edition gibt es alle Stücke noch mal, rein instrumental. In einer anderen Reihenfolge, und ganz merkwürdig anderen Hörwirkungen.

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