Brian Eno recently announced his upcoming album, The Ship, and today he unmoored said ship by releasing the first track from the album — also called “The Ship.” The album is only two tracks long (the second, however, comprises three movements), and the just-released 21-minute song you now have before you is nearly one-half of the 47.5 minute album.
A press release bills “The Ship” as the “thematic core” of the album — which is described as “almost as much musical novel as traditional album,” whatever you may take that to mean. “The Ship,” according to Eno, originated as an “ambient work for a multi channel sound installation in Stockholm”; presumably, he’s referring to this 2014 exhibition — described in the vaguest of sound-art terms as sound that’s “definitively coloured by the physical nature and unique characteristics of the diverse assemblage of audio elements utilised.” The initial sound art was given new life and eventually became “The Ship” when the musician discovered that through the aging of his voice, he could “sing a low C – which happens to be the root note of the piece.” Eno continues:
Getting older does have a few fringe benefits after all. From that point the work turned into an unusual kind of song…a type I’ve never made before where the vocal floats free, untethered to a rhythmic grid of any kind.
Listen to the track:
The full album — which follows 2012’s Lux — will be out on April 29.