Brian Eno – 1/1

• “1/1” set to a picture of the housing album cover. Thanks to CrudoCrudo.

8.1 “Fantastic Ambient from England”

From his album “Ambient 1ː Music For Airports” (Polydor 2310-647) released in 1978.

“Brian Eno? What does ‘e know?” I used to mock, back in the day when I was an ignorant youth. Sorry about that Brian. Kids can be so cruel…

As the wiki tells it:

The music was designed to be continuously looped as a sound installation, with the intent of defusing the tense, anxious atmosphere of an airport terminal. To achieve this, Eno sought to create music “as ignorable as it is interesting.” Though it is not the earliest entry in the genre, it was the first album ever to be explicitly created under the label “ambient music.”

For me, the best track on this double LP was the opener (side 1, track 1 hence the title) which was the only piece not to be solely credited to Eno himself. This one was co-composed with former Soft Machine drummer and vocalist Robert Wyatt, and with producer Rhett Davies.

Talking about the opening piece, Eno said:

I had four musicians in the studio, and we were doing some improvising exercises that I’d suggested. I couldn’t hear the musicians very well at the time, and I’m sure they couldn’t hear each other, but listening back, later, I found this very short section of tape where two pianos, unbeknownst to each other, played melodic lines that interlocked in an interesting way. To make a piece of music out of it, I cut that part out, made a stereo loop on the 24-track, then I discovered I liked it best at half speed, so the instruments sounded very soft, and the whole movement was very slow.

I fear I may never be able to sing “Eno Collaboration All Across The Nation” with quite the same heartiness ever again. Oh no, I’m maturing, HELP! : – (

You can read my favoured album reviews from ’78 here.