Ambient 2 -
The Plateaux of Mirror
Brian Eno said of Budd that he indulged in "live improvisation on The Plateaux of Mirror ... I would set up a sound, he would improvise to it, and occasionally I would add something: but it was mainly him performing in a sound-world I had created".
Speaking about how Budd discovered new ways of playing on the album simply by bouncing ideas off each other, Eno has also commented "... with him I used to set up quite complicated treatments and then he would go out and play the piano. And you would hear him discovering, as he played, how to manipulate this treatment. How to make it ring and resonate. Which notes work particularly well on it. Which register of the piano. What speed to play at, of course, because some treatments just cloud out if they have too much information in them".
The bulk of the instrumentation is Budd on acoustic piano with treatments by Eno. "The Plateaux of Mirror" and "Wind in Lonely Fences" are performed on electric piano. Budd composed "Not Yet Remembered" in California, with a melodic line intended for vocals, and mailed the composition to Eno in New York City. Eno then reversed the melodic phrase, recorded it and played it to Budd for the first time over the telephone. The basic theme of "The Chill Air" was repeated on "Their Memories," a piece on Budd and Eno's 1984 release The Pearl. While the theme is recognisable by its melody line, the treatments are more pronounced.
Composed By – Brian Eno (tracks: 1, 3 to 10), Eugene Bowen (tracks: 2), Harold Budd
Instruments [Other], Effects [Other Treatments] – Brian Eno
Piano [Acoustic], Electric Piano – Harold Budd
Producer – Brian Eno
Special thanks for their help and co-operation to Bob and Danny Lanois at Grant Avenue Studio, Ontario, to Eugene Bowen at the Old Rugged Cross and to Roddy Hui.
1 First Light
2 Steal Away
3 The Plateaux Of Mirror
4 Above Chiangmai
5 An Arc Of Doves
6 Not Yet Remembered
7 The Chill Air
8 Among Fields Of Crystal
9 Wind In Lonely Fences
10 Failing Light