Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The news about Brian Eno creating a therapeutic sound-and-light installation for a hospital  reminded me of a morsel excised for space from the Eno in NYC piece. One project during those years of ferment that didn't reach fruition was Music For Healing, an album he started making in 1979 with Robert Fripp (also resident in Manhattan then) but never finished.  (In some accounts, rather than just being a third Fripp/Eno LP, the album also involved Jon Hassell; Eno's projects during the NYC period seemed to bleed into each other amorphously).

The tracks that survive from Music for Healing—a  four-part series called “Healthy Colours”,  eventually released on the 1994 anthology Essential Fripp & Eno --aren't particularly soothing or convalescent, though. They're tense and restless, combining hypnotic drums, brittle jitters of rhythm guitar, warped bass and gashes of feedback  with vocal fragments from a radio program clipping in and of the groove. They actually sound like the missing link between Eno's first dabble with spoken-voice sampling ( “R.A.F.”, a Baader-Meinhof inspired collage made with Snatch in late 1977, released as  the B-Side to “King’s Lead Hat”) and what he & Byrne achieved on  Bush of Ghosts.