BEEP discografie entry for On Land / Ambient#4
On Land / Ambient#4
Brian Eno

click on image to enlarge
Year: 1982
Categorie: Solo/Ambient
Cover Art Credits:
Brian Eno
Producer info:
Brian Eno
Recording Location info:
Grant Avenue Studios, 
Hamilton, Canada,
at Sigma Sound, Celestial 
Sound, RPM Studios, and 
OAO Studios,
New York City, and Basing 
Street Studios, London, 
between
September 1978 and January
1982
Catalog info:
CD: EEGCD 20
    Virgin 258 191
LP: EG Records EGED 20
    Polydor 2311 107
    Carol 1517-2       
Tracks:
1.- Lizard Point                  4:34 <--  ALSO 
2.- The Lost Day                  9:19 <--  ALSO 
3.- Tal Coat                      5:30 <--  ALSO  <--  sound 
4.- Shadow                        3:00 <--  ALSO 
5.- Lantern Marsh                 5:33
6.- Unfamiliar Wind (Leeks Hills) 5:23 <--  ALSO 
7.- A Clearing                    4:09
8.- Dunwich Beach, Autumn, 1960   7:13 <--  ALSO 



Additional information:
All compositions by Brian Eno except
Lizard point by Eno, Beinhorn,Gros and Laswell
Musicians:
All Songs, Except 1,4,8:
  Brian Eno          All Instruments,Treatments
1:Brian Eno          Synthesizers,Treatments,Etc.
  Michael Beinhorn   Synthesizer
  Axel Gros          Guitar
  Bill Laswell       Bass Guitar
4:Brian Eno          Synthesizers,Treatments,Etc.
  Jon Hassell        Trumpet
8:Brian Eno          Synthesizers,Treatments,Etc.
  Michael Brook      Guitar
  Daniel Lanois      Live Equalization

Liner Notes:

AN AMBIENT SPEAKER SYSTEM
I regard this music as environmental: to be experienced from the inside. Accordingly I 
considered releasing a quadrophonic version of it, an idea I abandoned upon realising 
that very few people (myself included) own quadrophonic systems.
However, I have for many years been using a three-way speaker system that is both simple 
to install and inexpensive, and which seems to work very well on any music with a broad 
stereo image. The effect is subtle but definite - it opens out the music and seems to 
enlarge the room acoustically.

In addition to a normal stereo hifi system all that is required is one extra loudspeaker 
and some speaker cable. The usage of this speaker in the three-way system is such that 
it will not be required to handle very low frequencies: therefore a small or "mini" 
speaker will be adequate.
As shown in the diagram, the two terminals of the new speaker are connected to the two 
positive (red) speaker connectors on the amplifier. This speaker is located somewhere 
behind the listener - at the apex of a triangle whose base is formed by the original 
loudspeaker set-up. One of the unexpected benefits of this system is an increase in the 
usable listening area - almost any point in the room will yield good (although not 
necessarily "accurate") stereo sound.
I arrived at this system by accident, and I don't really know why it works. What seems 
to happen is that the third speaker reproduces any sound that is not common to both 
sides of the stereo - i.e., everything that is not located centrally in the stereo 
image - and I assume that this is because the common information is put out of phase 
with itself and cancels out.
More technically, the lower the impedance of the added speaker, the louder it will sound.
If it is found to be too loud (although this rarely seems to happen), you can either 
insert a potentiometer (6-12 ohms, at least 10 watts) into the circuit, or move the 
speaker further away.

 Brian Eno 1992
1986 release
The idea of making music that in some way related to a sense of place - landscape, 
environment - had occurred to me many times over the years preceding "On Land". 
Each time, however, I relegated it to a mental shelf because it hadn't risen above 
being just another idea - a diagram rather than a living and breathing music. In 
retrospect, I now see the influence of this idea, and the many covert attempts to 
realise it, running through most of the work that I've released like an unacknowledged 
but central theme. This often happens; you imagine a territory rich in possibilities and 
try to think of how you might get to it, and then suddenly one day you look around and 
realise that you have been there for quite a long time.
My conscious exploration of this way of thinking about music probably began with 
"Another Green World" (1975). On that record I became aware of setting each place 
within its own particular landscape and allowing the mood of that landscape to 
determine the kinds of activity that could occur. Working from the realisation that my 
music was less and less connected with performability but was created in and of the 
studio, I took advantage of the fact that music produced in recording studios (rather 
than music reproduced by studios) has the option of creating its own psychoacoustic 
space. Most frequently this has been achieved by mechanical or electronic echoes and 
delays: short repeat echoes connoting rectilinear urban spaces, for example, and until 
recently, these possibilities have been used "realistically" to evoke spaces that were 
recognizable. From "Another Green World" onwards I became interested in exaggerating and 
inventing rather than replicating spaces, experimenting in particular with various 
techniques of time distortion. This record represents one culmination of that 
development and in it the landscape has ceased to be a backdrop for something else to 
happen in front of; instead, everything that happens is a part of the landscape. There 
is no longer a sharp distinction between foreground and background.
In using the term landscape I am thinking of places, times, climates and the moods that
they evoke. And of expanded moments of memory too... One of the inspirations for this 
record was Fellini's "Amarcord" ("I Remember"), a presumably unfaithful reconstruction 
of childhood moments. Watching that film, I imagined an aural counterpart to it, and t
hat became one of the threads woven into the fabric of the music.
What qualified a piece for inclusion on the record was that it took me somewhere, but 
this might be somewhere that I'd never been before, or somewhere I'd only imagined going
to. Lantern Marsh, for example, is a place only a few miles from where I grew up in East
Anglia, but my experience of it derives not from having visited it (although I almost 
certainly did) but from having subsequently seen it on a map and imagining where and 
what it might be. We feel affinities not only with the past, but also with the futures 
that didn't materialize, and with the other variations of the present that we suspect 
run parallel to the one we have agreed to live in.
The choice of sonic elements in these places arose less from listening to music than 
from listening to the world in a musical way. When I was in Ghana, for instance, I took 
with me a stereo microphone and a cassette recorder, ostensibly to record indigenous 
music and speech patterns. What I sometimes found myself doing instead was sitting out 
on the patio in the evenings with the microphone placed to pick up the widest possible 
catchment of ambient sounds from all directions, and listening to the result on my 
headphones. The effect of this simple technological system was to cluster all the 
disparate sounds into one aural frame; they became music.
Listening this way, I realised I had been moving towards a music that had this feeling; 
as the listener, I wanted to be situated inside a large field of loosely-knit sound, 
rather than placed before a tightly organised monolith (or stereolith, for that matter).
I wanted to open out the aural field, to put much of the sound a considerable distance 
from the listener (even locating some of it "out of earshot"), and to allow the sounds 
to live their lives separately from one another, clustering occasionally but not 
"musically" bound together. This gave rise to an interesting technical difficulty. 
Because recording studio technology and practice developed in relation to performed 
music, the trend of that development has been towards greater proximity, tighter and 
more coherent meshing of sounds with one another. Shortly after I returned from Ghana, 
Robert Quine gave me a copy of Miles Davis' "He Loved Him Madly". Teo Macero's 
revolutionary production on that piece seemed to me to have the "spacious" quality I was
 after, and like "Amarcord", it too became a touchstone to which I returned frequently.

As I made these pieces, I began to take a different attitude towards both the materials 
and the procedures I was using. I found the synthesizer, for example, of limited 
usefulness because its sound tended towards a diagrammatic rather than an organic 
quality. My instrumentation shifted gradually through electro-mechanical and acoustic 
instruments towards non-instruments like pieces of chain and sticks and stones. Coupled 
with this transition was an increasing interest in found sound as a completely plastic 
and malleable material; I never felt any sense of obligation about realism. In this 
category I included not only recordings of rooks, frogs and insects, but also the 
complete body of my own earlier work. As a result, some earlier pieces I worked on 
became digested by later ones, which in turn became digested again. The technique is 
like composting: converting what would otherwise have been waste into nourishment.
Brian Eno
1982, revised February 1986


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