Tom Rogerson & Brian Eno - Finding Shore

Tom Rogerson & Brian Eno — Finding Shore

Dead Oceans, 2017

Elegant and evocative, “Finding Shore” is Tom Rogerson’s new collaborative album with Brian Eno. These are electroacoustic, contemporary classical compositions that mostly deal with the piano, but that meander into some distorted winds and percussive sounds as well. Like Eno’s best work, this album pushes the boundaries of what we conceive of as “ambient” sound while remaining distinctively composed. There’s a logic to these pieces, an “idea of order” that permeates every note on this album. The result is a record that’s floaty and ambient, but not too “new agey” or out-there. It’s built up just enough to ease you out of your most stressful moments. If you’re looking for ambient masses of BWAAAAHHH or electronic bleeps and bloops, look elsewhere. “Finding Shore” gives you meditative decomposition that arrests your ear and warms your soul. Happy listening.

RIYD: Erik Satie, delicate piano, modern ambient, neoclassical

BEST: 1, 6, 8, 10, 11

 

1. Idea of Order at Kyson Point [3:31] — The reference here is to Wallace Stevens and “The Idea of Order at Key West,” but the relative pretentiousness of the reference doesn’t come through in the music, which is totally beautiful in its own right. Delicately arranged piano, here.

2. Motion in Field [3:47] — Watery piano movement over sharp electronics.

3. On-ness [3:52] — Super quiet piano sparkles, with almost no other noise. Simple, elegant.

4. March Away [2:51] — Percussive, disjointed sounds. But I’m into it.

5. Eastern Stack [2:46] — CRASHING again and again on the piano. Rogerson lets it ring into silence.

6. Minor Rift [2:11] — Absolutely love this tense, epic interplay of piano and ambient noise.

7. The Gabbard [3:02] — Glimmering synth oscillations, vibrations in thick ambient air.

8. Red Slip [1:52] — Urgent piano and electronics. Beautifully glitchy.

9. Quoit Blue [4:41] — Slow, smooth, meditative. Reminds me of Erik Satie’s Gymnopedies.

10. Marsh Chorus [6:41] — Gorgeous tapestry of bells and synth sounds mimics the natural world, in a way.

11. An Iken Loop [3:04] — Low, sustained piano and the hint of rich strings behind it. LUSH.

12. Chain Home [5:21] — Motes of electronics floating in space. A little discordant but it comes to a lovely, loud conclusion. An extended crescendo, here.

13. Rest [5:21] — Hopeful, happy piano n electronic glitterings :’)

Will Gottsegen