Composer and producer Brian Eno's ambient record Reflection truly goes to the mind and the heart in a quiet and seductive way. This hour long intriguing and captivating tapestry of carefully interwoven sounds conjures up landscapes of internal emotions that reflect the warmth and quiet of the first day of the new year when it was released. Eno's records have always been a fascinating blend of aesthetic, emotions, careful strategy and technology and as such have always functioned on many different levels and not just the aesthetic. Reflection is a result of a software program algorithm which much like the Koan software from many years ago it acted as a creator of music in the same manner as the systems he has created to produce music for him in a seemingly random but nevertheless unique way. Still, the aesthetic may not be drastically different from his previous achievements in the field of ambient music over the years but nevertheless, it still shares the core aesthetic values of intellectual creativity and the desire to find something new, deep and fascinating in this genre of music.
Again, Eno is out of the ordinary, and this effort is a study in space, mood and sound painting. It's an hour long sound painting or sound reverie, just like Thursday Afternoon and Neroli are and it beautifully commands attention to the various sounds, ambiances, and moods. As a whole, it functions as a collection of beguiling soundscapes and sounds that segue seamlessly from into another. Sometimes it feels like film music or incidental music for the reflective moment and it has that enveloping and immersive feel to it. The shimmering sounds and distant chimes allow for subtle melodies that express for inner dialogues and moods. But like best moments in Brian Eno's past ambient records it allows for a transportive experience as it floats you until you are lost. It engages in a different way. By focusing on moods, textures, and timbres it achieves its aims in a different way as opposed to extravagant melodies or excessive drama. Still, this intensely introspective suite has an elevated sense of inner drama. Reflection slows down the pulse rate and opens the mind.
Reflection is a beautifully crafted ambient album where Eno suspends sounds in a state of constant motion, never finding a natural start or end point. Again, he has managed to accomplish something emotionally strong from a genre of music that is overpopulated with passive and characterless music creations. On Reflection Eno has managed to create an emotional ecosystem where the sensations stirred through listening to it will linger for far longer.
Brian Eno: writer, performer, producer; Peter Chilvers: mutation software
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