Exposé Online banner

Roger Eno — The Flatlands
(Hannibal HNCD 1518, 1998/2006, CD)

by Michael Draine, Published 1999-04-01

The Flatlands Cover art

In a 1990 Wire magazine interview, Brian Eno described a work in progress involving the performance of his synthesizer compositions by the Kreisler Orchestra. This intriguing idea never bore fruit, but here, Eno’s younger sibling Roger has crafted a suite of 18 miniatures for chamber orchestra that fulfills much of the promise of that unheard undertaking. Some pieces offer the players options for collective improvisation, imparting a refreshing spontaneity to the performance. The 11 players gracefully navigate the gentle swells of Eno’s simple melodies, with the extemporaneous passages virtually indistinguishable from the closely-composed sections. Roger Eno’s compositions have an open, unresolved character that sets his work apart from the classical tradition. While the composer never plumbs the profound emotional depths of such 90s neoclassical landmarks as David Darling’s “Dark Wood” or Gavin Bryars’ “The Last Days,” “The Flatlands” cultivates melancholy and loss into luxuriant beauty. By far surpassing Roger Eno’s earlier chamber efforts such as “Between Tides,” “The Flatlands” is the strongest work to date by a composer previously distinguished primarily by his family connections. The only flaw with The Flatlands is the lack of a strong closing track; the suite doesn’t conclude so much as evaporate.


Filed under: Reissues, Issue 17, 2006 releases, 1998 recordings

Related artist(s): Roger Eno, Kate St. John

More info
http://rogereno.bandcamp.com/album/the-flatlands

Latest news

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more

2020-03-17
Cruise to the Edge and Seaprog 2020 Festivals Postponed – The worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus has started to produce casualties in the music world, and festivals are not immune. We've had word that both the Cruise to the Edge (originally slated for March 27 - April 1) and Seaprog (originally June 5-7) have been postponed to later dates, with those dates to be announced. » Read more

2020-03-06
McCoy Typer RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of one of the most influential pianists in the history of jazz, McCoy Tyner. His tenure with John Coltrane in the early 60s includes some of the most treasured recordings of the era, including My Favorite Things and A Love Supreme. After leaving Coltrane's group, he had a long and successful solo career. He was 81. » Read more

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Disjunkt & Awkward Star – New York and Chicago aren’t the only American cities with avant jazz scenes – Seattle has quite a bit to offer. In addition to the big names like Bill Frisell and Wayne Horvitz who have relocated...  (2001) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues