A response to Roger Eno’s Dust of Stars (Painted Word Records 2018)
Here in the Eno stratosphere Roger and Youth chart sensation
With Michael Rendall’s synths and programming,
Their piano and bass create sky;
Written under our own and seeping through
As star matter, portraited on this sumptuous record, it’s clear vinyl a mirror
To the grace and the grandeur that only the most yearned for of stars could define.
Nine waveforms illustrate the compositions on offer. Roger’s music has more form
Than his brother’s and his attention to shape can be heard
As his hands perform spells on notes the air conjures, carefully warping before him,
As a series of worlds are inferred.
On Moonlight Drive, Two opening chord shifts transport the waiting heart
Through a cosmos populated by Kubrick and some of the dangers he glimpsed.
The sounds of the star child are here with the spiralling dark spread before him,
The stated refrain and notes’ echo icing the heart that blood prints.
Then a flurry of notes, arcing like birds, black on shadow, as Youth’s bass strings
Sound reminders to the far away voice in part song.
The melody is complete but quantum like leads to others,
Joining these calls from star chambers to the quieter rooms
Where souls throng. With just a handful of notes, we slide
From the earthly hand to the astral, communion without chorus
As these shimmers of song coalesce into something else beside space
And yet a part of it always, or to reference Sun Ra;
Gods are shining and then glowering back into place.
Somehow the palate is cleansed on listening to this record.
The ear and heart held together in conversation with light
Diamond In the Tiles is death’s room, a phantom dimension, sound pictured.
Eno’s stately piano conjures an earlier hall and a time
Where a ghost’s partial dance led to the definition of movement,
As both air and music summon the ritual by which the thief of souls draws the line.
Graceful triplets descend as Michael Rendall sound echoes,
Creating the precise point and location at which ascent’s aspirations
No longer knows where to climb.
Velvet Minute: A Scratch of interference. Drone shards and the piano’s
Gathering warning. Lower notes paint and process the tactile approach
Of trapped time. The moment lingers. It lives, and it’s full span is measured
Against the reverberations of silence in which the spent note moves re-ordered
To resound on the other side of the light. The piano line opens out,
Inferring an astral ridge as it broadens, filling ear and vision in order to create
A new and fully combined inner sense. A final piano note pierces all
And the frequency becomes evolution: This is the song of the star child.
This is God’s song’s calmed defence.
Salty Tears, shed by sound. Eno glisters on, deep void painted.
Juan Carlos Camacho Garcia on trumpet smoothly navigates the heart’s path.
The aether folds and reshapes as Garcia breathes life to closed airways.
Alex Patterson programmes and new orbs of light leave their mark.
The dust of stars are what’s left from the moment they’re fashioned,
Either by the So called god hand, or the cosmos pushing itself into place.
The effort from either of course is more than the human mind can imagine,
But the tears of light and life are sperm tasted.
They are oceans of will on each face.
Gliding Albatross slides into view, the bird wiping its flight on the skyscape.
Rendall and Patterson echo on all manner of keys Eno’s own.
A repetitive synth loop is line and cord of life for those drifting;
Astronaut or alien flying through a sky without end, each sense blown.
Dust of Stars marks the myth of creations trail through the darkness.
Like all of Eno’s music it is the language of life, free from words.
This dialogue leaves the face by reshaping the wide mouth of music
As Camacho Garcia’s trumpet and Eno’s piano confer. They seem to comment
And reflect the human plight through its progress.
Simple and insistent phrases are critic to mankind’s complex impositions
That do nothing for us other than render man more absurd.
Here, then, is peace on the plain. Here is our salvation in music.
Soundtracks to films we’d be making if we knew who to truly entertain,
Teach and serve.
Live Forever shows how. Coloured notes become daubed
On the anonymous silence, and at once achieve feature and character too
On song’s face. Gentle modulation appears, heard in a scatter of sounds
Through glazed sunlight, beside a vast curtain of darkness,
Small marbles of song, Sound pearls roll.
It is this glimmer and gain that elevates this whole record.
It is a league of light that shines through it,
As if through the playing the grace and aural guidance
Was truly something that only a force beyond reason could
Properly influence or control.
Ambience has a shape. It reconstitutes known horizons.
It’s boundaries have no limit.
It is the sound of space singing a song of the future
And the unclaimed past.
Sound as soul.
Raising Lazarus captures this. Shifts in the frequency stir
The implied survivor’s returning. His peeling of earth is first cautious,
As the child tests the uses and limits of force as it walks.
This takes the body from pall into the vibrant pull of the moment
As if that reanimation was creating its own form of clay from bone’s chalk.
Forgotten Song duly forms, step by step towards reformation.
In ending the album it leads to continuance of the sound
That will echo into us all as we search in vain for a future that all can believe in
And in which the star’s shadow merges with ours
In a trust
That will forge a new way
For these song birds born in distance
To flutter and call in their half song,
As Sounds’ aviary fashions the gathering of shape,
Shade and focus that restores gentle motion.
Roger Eno’s piano imploring
A need for the story
Of faith and favour,
Soundtracking the glory, as we rise anew
Free from dust.
David Erdos, 20th April 2019