Brian Eno first came across the work of Rick Holland in the late 90’s during the Map-Making project; a series of collaborative works between students of the Royal College, the Guildhall School of Music, the Royal Academy of Music, the Royal College of Music, the National Youth Orchestra and the English National Ballet, among others.
In 2003, Brian and Rick made their first music together. The resulting work does not appear on this album. In the time since that initial session they have met infrequently to work on new compositions.
In early 2011, following the release of ‘Small Craft on a Milk Sea’ (Brian’s debut album for Warp Records), the pair resolved to finish the project. ‘Drums Between the Bells’ is the result.
“…I suppose it must have liberated my ideas about what a ‘song’ could consist of: it didn’t have to involve singing! There were other examples of music with speech rather than song – the long spoken sections in The Shangri-La’s ‘Leader of the Pack’, Mike Berry’s ‘Tribute to Buddy Holly’, and then a whole slew of spoken country songs such as Wink Martindale’s ‘Deck of Cards’. Around the same time I had become fascinated by the sheer strangeness of Schoenberg’s ‘Pierrot Lunaire’, in which he pioneered the idea of ‘sprechstimme’ – speech-song. More recently, of course, there’s the whole vast treasury of hip hop – poetry and music in a more visceral form.
In the late 90’s Professor Dan Fern, Head of The Communication Department at The Royal College of Art where I occasionally taught, helped start the Map-making project, an ongoing series of collaborative works between students of the Royal College, the Guildhall School of Music, the Royal Academy of Music, the Royal College of Music, the National Youth Orchestra and theEnglish National Ballet among others. It was at one of these events that i first heard the poems of Rick Holland.
Often we wanted a voice to read, and I had been paying attention over the years to voices I liked. Those on this record include a lady who works at my local health club, a sales assistant in a local store, the Italian research officer at an NGO I’m involved with, a young South African woman I met on the street near my studio, my Polish book-keeper, and a Ukrainian graphic designer…all people with distinctive vocal personalities. The non-native voices interested me because the different-ness of their melodies and timings drew a new kind of attention to thewords themselves. Foreigners speaking English often make it much more obviously musical than we natives do. ‘Glitch’ for example, benefits from the Grazyna’s clipped Eastern European consonants, while Laura’s softly melodic ‘vowel-y’ pours it out on ‘Pour it out’.
I hope this record will signal the beginning of a new way for poets to think about their work, and a for audiences to think about poetry. I feel this is an idea whose time has come.” Brian Eno
Brian Eno on tracks 1, 8, 12, 14 and 15
Grazyna Goworek on track 2
Caroline Wildi on tracks 3, 5 and 10
Laura Spagnuolo on track 4
Elisha Mudly on track 6
Aylie Cooke on tracks 7, 11 and 13
Rick Holland on track 8
Nick Robertson on track 8
Anastasia Afonina on track 8
Artwork and tracklisting:
Original imagery by Brian Eno
Design by Nick Robertson
1. Bless this space
4. Pour it out
6. The Real
7. The Airman
8. Fierce Aisles of Light
9. As if Your Eyes were Partly Closed as if You Honed the Swirl within them and Offered Me … The World
10. A Title
11. Sounds Alien
14. Cloud 4
15. Breath of Crows
Drums Between the Bells release formats:
Hardback 2CD Edition
Includes 44-page book & second disc with instrumental versions of tracks from the album
12″ double vinyl
Includes mp3 download code of the original album
First 500 orders on enoshop also receive mp3s of the instrumental versions