Brian Eno's Discreet Music performed by Contact at Mountain View Cemetery, Vancouver, June 25, 2016.
On the 40th anniversary of the release of Brian Eno’s electronic ambient masterpiece Discreet Music, Toronto’s classical Contact ensemble, led by artistic director and percussionist Jerry Pergolesi, weighs in with a modern arrangement that harks back to the adventurous experimentalism of the original.
In Contact’s version, acoustic and electric instruments (cello, violin, soprano saxophone, guitar, double bass, vibraphone, piano, flute and gongs) take the place of Eno’s EMS synthesizer, channeling the underlying melodies of the piece until the ensemble itself becomes a kind of “looping apparatus,” as Pergolesi describes it. “My hope is that this recording pays homage to an influential piece of music and fulfills its own purpose as, in Eno’s words, ‘not something intrinsic to certain arrangements of things – to [a] certain way of organizing sounds – but actually a process of apprehending that we, as listeners, could choose to conduct. Music is something your mind does.'”