Notes Are Shattered

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Brian Eno - Ambient 1-4

All four Ambient albums from the pioneer of ambient music, Brian Eno. Ambient 1: Music for Airports was indeed made to be played at LaGuardia Airport in New York. Eno took various repeating tape loops and played them at the same time. Because they were all different lengths, with different amounts of silence at the end, the songs evolved on their own over time. Ambient 2: The Plateaux of Mirror was created with fellow ambient musician Harold Budd. Budd would play the piano, experimenting with getting different sounds out of it, while Eno would perform various treatments and effects to the sound as Budd was playing. The entire album is piano-based, with some occasional chimes and synths. Ambient 3: Day of Radiance is by American ambient musician Laraaji, with Eno producing. The first three tracks ("The Dance") are played mostly on a dulcimer, with a few other stringed instruments. The last two ("Meditation") are played on a zither. While Eno is listed as producer, he did a lot of work with treating and manipulating the sounds to the point that they no longer sound like they came from one instrument. He also did a lot of layering of the various parts. Ambient 4: On Land was the last in Eno's Ambient series. It could be considered one of the first dark ambient recordings, though it has some moments that are reminiscent of Ambient 2. Ambient 4 consists of synthesizer notes, long, processed drones, field recordings, and bits of sound left over from the previous Ambient recordings.

So there you go. If you're interested in ambient music, and you haven't heard these, you're really missing out. Not only are they an important chronicle of the birth of ambient music, but they are damn good albums. Each one carries a different mood, and thus, a different purpose. Try listening to them in different places and on different speaker set-ups (normal computer speakers, a nice stereo system with a subwoofer, headphones) if at all possible. There's a lot to be discovered on these recordings.

If these do well, I may upload some of Eno's other ambient albums.

1978 - Ambient 1: Music for Airports
1. 1/1
2. 2/1
3. 1/2
4. 2/2

1980 - Ambient 2: The Plateaux of Mirror
1. First Light
2. Steal Away
3. The Plateaux of Mirror
4. Above Chiangmai
5. An Arc of Doves
6. Not Yet Remembered
7. The Chill Air
8. Among Fields of Crystal
9. Wind in Lonely Fences
10. Failing Light

1980 - Ambient 3: Day of Radiance
1. The Dance #1
2. The Dance #2
3. The Dance #3
4. Meditation #1
5. Meditation #2

1982 - Ambient 4: On Land
1. Lizard Point
2. The Lost Day
3. Tal Coat
4. Shadow
5. Lantern Marsh
6. Unfamiliar Wind (Leeks Hills)
7. A Clearing
8. Dunwich Beach, Autumn, 1960

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