Hot on the heels of Jane Siberry’s new album, Brian Eno has a new album too, The Ship (Eno produced tracks on Siberry’s 1993 album When I Was a Boy). I walked around downtown Malmö this afternoon in a disconnected ethereal haze listening to it.
Of the album, Eno writes on his website, in part:
One of the starting points was my fascination with the First World War, that extraordinary trans-cultural madness that arose out of a clash of hubris between empires. It followed immediately after the sinking of the Titanic, which to me is its analogue. The Titanic was the Unsinkable Ship, the apex of human technical power, set to be Man’s greatest triumph over nature. The First World War was the war of materiel, ‘over by Christmas’, set to be the triumph of Will and Steel over humanity. The catastrophic failure of each set the stage for a century of dramatic experiments with the relationships between humans and the worlds they make for themselves.
From the third track, Fickle Sun (ii) The Hour is Thin:
Well lad, you’ve taken my heart away.
I shall miss the grin of the cold, black sea.
Before ever there was writing, they were taking up stones
To hurl at last stroke,
But nobody looked back.
There were soldiers,
There was a cradle.
The universe is required.
Please notify the sun.
It is a bracing, brooding, symphonic album best listened to in a contemplative state. Recommended.