Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Images of Brian Eno's On Land

Brian Eno's 1982 collection On Land, the 4th and final of his Ambient series features four tracks named after specific places on the British map - three of the places are located in and around Eno's childhood home in East Anglia, as well as the nearby Suffolk area towards the south east coast of England. Lantern Marsh, is a fresh water marshland popular with gun clubs and once home to Cobra Mist, a long-range Anglo-American surveillance radar station. Leeks Hills is a small wooded affluent area of Suffolk. Dunwich Beach on the Suffolk coast is a quiet pebble strewn beach steadily disappearing due to coastal erosion. Lizard Point by contrast is located in Cornwall and is the southernmost tip of mainland Britain, its rocky stretch of coastline has been responsible for many shipping disasters. Lizard Point is also said to be where the invading Spanish Armada was first spotted on the afternoon of July 19th 1588.

In his liner notes for On Land Eno explained that the tracks composed for these landscapes were not intended as faithful sonic representations of these particular places, rather the music reflected impressions of what a place might be like after seeing it on a map. Eno would probably loathe the idea of revealing these locations to listeners, but I've enjoyed the experience of listening to On Land whilst gazing at the photographs, and the transformative effect the album's dark and unsettling music has on these otherwise benign landscapes is particularly interesting.
Lizard Point
Lantern Marsh
Leeks Hill
Dunwich Beach

Photograph credits:

Lizard Point ("Looking towards Lizard Point" © Nick MacNeill) details
Lantern Marsh ("Lantern Marsh behind Orford Ness" © Richard Law) details
Leeks Hill ("Footpath to Turnpike Lane on Leeks Hill" © Adrian Cable) details
Dunwich Beach ("Dunwich Beach, Looking South" © Stuart Shepherd) details

Additional Reading:

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