Graham Reid | | 1 min read
Although Brian Eno's Before and After Science was the album we launched our Essential Elsewhere series with, it has always been his Apollo and Music for Films albums we have returned to in quieter moments.
The whole music for imagined films has become a bit played out in recent decades but in '78 when Brian Eno delivered his album it was revelation for its discreet sounds and evocative sonic landscapes. (There was also a second volume.)
Even better however was Apollo in '83 with Daniel Lanois and Eno's brother Roger.
In the liner notes to the original album Eno said that while he enthralled when watching the moon landing and subsequent missions on television he felt the small screen with its shallow colours was inadequate to convey the vastness of space and that the grandeur was missing by the need for up-tempo presentation so as not to bore viewers.
When he was offered the opportunity to do the music for a film using footage of the lunar landscape he leapt at the chance and the result was Apollo, often achingly slow but beautiful pieces which have a vastness embedded in their gently expansive sonic palette which manage to be ambient, engaging, romantic, awe-struck and unsettling by turns.
For the 50thanniversary of the moon landing the original team got back together to create a double album of the original Apollo remastered and a sonic sequel – with a 24 page booklet – which in places is marginally more technical sounding in that it invokes science as much as space.
These are new times for the musicians and of course space exploration, so while the additional album doesn't have the same sense of awe and vastness, the romanticism, wonder and deliberately pedestrian pace (ironic given the speed of a space capsule) remain intact.
Lovely . . . all over again.
You can hear this expanded edition at Spotify here.