July 1, 2008

Brian Eno & Gavin Bryars

Conceptually inspired by Satie, Stockhausen, Cage and others, Brian Eno has reached the touchstone of what would become a pillar in experimental music with Discreet Music. The idea of ambience preceding music per se has been intensely explored by Satie, and taken to extreme with Cage: the concept of form has been perverted throughout his work in aspects such as length, source, harmony and reproductivity.
Eno, allied to Gavin Bryars (and spiritually assisted by Robert Fripp), released Discreet Music in 1975. The process of tapelooping was heavily explored by both Fripp and Eno in previous collaborations. This technique analogically scrutinized the possibilities of pitch and length variations in overdub, with discrete (separate) groups of patterns discreetly (restrainedly) intertwined. Eventually, the announced intention of achieving pictorical sensations was later baptized of Ambient Music.

Albeit being endlessly remembered by the thirty minute plus self-titled track, which effectively landmarked Eno's goals by the use of the referred techniques and concepts, the undervalued ageless second half of the album reached the acme of minimal placidity. 3 variations of Pachelbel's Canon performed by Gavin Bryars' ensemble, remains undeniably influential as observed in several ambient and contemporary classical acts.

Bryars' first solo attempt was recorded in 75 and released the year after by Eno's Obscure label. It gathers much of what he's performed in Discreet Music, in an excellent debut release, disconsidered the exaggerated use of sampled voice in the closing track.

(1975) Brian Eno - Discreet Music / V0
EG Records


(1976) Gavin Bryars - Sinking of the Titanic/Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet / 320k
Obscure Records

(part 1 / part 2)


Deocliciano Okssipin Vieira, aka Ochyming said...

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Anonymous said...


Appreciate your assessment of side 2 of Discreet Music--how it ever became overlooked, especially given the eternal popularity of Pachebel's Canon, is beyond me. I would also note that this original version of Bryars' Titanic is superior to the version later recorded with Tom Waits' caterwauling. (I love Waits, but this was a mismatch made in hell.) And Jesus' Love is just about perfect--even for this dogmatic agnostic.

Anyhow, do you have the rest of the Obscure discs you can post? I sold all of mine some years ago, mistakenly believe that, *of course*, they will be digitally transferred to CD. *sigh*

Beautiful collection of music here, BTW. Thank you.

P said...

Me encantó este post. Es una lástima que no lo haya leído.

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