Four subtle, slowly evolving pieces grace Eno's first conscious effort at creating ambient music. The composer was in part striving to create music that approximated the effect of visual art. Like a fine painting, these evolving soundscapes don't require constant involvement on the part of the listener. They can hang in the background and add to the atmosphere of the room, yet the music also rewards close attention with a sonic richness absent in standard types of background or easy listening music.
Music for Films, Vol. 3, is a set of mismatched pieces by Brian Peter George St. John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno (aka Eno). They are from his voluminous works for cinema, installations, shorts, and other related media. The disc contains 15 short pieces (only one is over five minutes). In that regard, there is a distinct similarity to his new wave pop music from the '70s. This CD is, however, all instrumental, largely electronic, and distinctly Eno. Despite their dissimilar origins, these tracks have definite cohesion. Eno injects avant-garde timbres and metallic textures into each composition. The flow is smooth, the atmospheres are vast, and the soundscapes are vivid. This is a very cool montage of Eno's work.
Picking up where such seminal Eno recordings as Music for Airports and Another Green World left off, the inveterate innovator-producer's first recording in four years is a surreal tableau of loping beats and eerie sounds enveloped in dark yet serene atmospherics. With German percussionist Schwalm contributing softly swinging drumming, Eno is free to dabble in sounds ranging from Middle Eastern string quartets to crying machines and Vocoders to happy, babbling babies. One of Life's many highlights is Laurie Anderson's cameo on "Like Pictures Part #2," as she enunciates her words above the song's spooky, soothing ambiance. "Bloom" contrasts happy baby chatter against distorted heartbeats and sinister samples; "Night Traffic" paints an empty urban center at dusk with shifting shapes and '70s jazz percussion and piano. Throughout Drawn from Life, Eno and Schwalm cast a spell of spectral dislocation and foreboding. It's like what dying prostrate in the snow must be like–slow, sleepy, beautiful, and chilling.
On Land represented a significant move away from the strategies Brian Eno had employed in earlier ambient releases such as Discreet Music and Music for Airports. Instead of using a specific process to generate music with minimal interference from the composer, he here opts for a more gestural and intuitive approach, creating dreamy pictures of some specific geographical points or evocative memories of them. It's quite easy to imagine these works as soundtracks to mysterious footage of imprecisely glimpsed landscapes.
6 collected Eno tracks from Music from Films III, The Drop and Wrong Way Up. 1/2 Music for Airports track by Bang on a Can + 5 interesting reworks with strings by Popoli Dalpane Ensemble and another 3 reworks by Arturo Stalteri. These latter string reworks include St. Elmo's Fire, By this River, Driving me Backwards, SparrowFall, Another Green World
Here's the deal: Brian Eno does soundtrack bits for one of British filmmaker Derek Jarman's final productions, "Glitterbug". Then Eno turns over said tracks to dub/world-meister Jah Wobble for further tinkering. Result: amazing! This is one of those instances where the mysterious and elusive 'third mind' that so many have spoken of in quality collaborative work has come out in force and created something that's perhaps a bit beyond the scope of either of the two participants, taken alone. The 'action' here keeps moving, in a very cinematic manner, throughout the tracks that make up this release, and you get the feeling of being drawn along in a complex musical journey through spaces that seem at once familiar and suddenly very alien.