Tom Rogerson With Brian Eno - Finding Shore album review

Suffolk brethren Rogerson on piano, Eno on sonic manipulations

Tom Rogerson With Brian Eno - Finding Shore album artwork

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On first listen, this sounds like a collection of evocative vignettes on piano, tuned percussion and electronics. It’s reflective, even spectral in places, but generally rather more active than ambient. In fact, it’s all played on piano, with Eno using a MIDI device to alter the instrument’s timbre. Like Eno, Rogerson hails from Woodbridge in Suffolk. He studied under Harrison Birtwistle and plays keys in strident, anthemic, electronic post-rockers Three Trapped Tigers. Here he explores Eno’s ability to blur the lines between organic and treated sound. The introduction to Idea Of Order At Kyson Point sounds like glass chimes before leading into gently rhapsodic piano runs, while Motion In Field has a juddering electronic Steve Reich pulse, topped with spangly piano. For the sparse percussive lines of Eastern Stack, plucked piano strings are used with harps and distant voices, while Marsh Chorus features gong-like sounds and synthetic avian calls. Although MIDI has been used in a gimmicky way before – so that guitars sound like pianos and vice versa – this feels more like an album of 21st-century prepared piano, albeit one that’s prepared electronically.

Mike Barnes

Mike Barnes is the author of Captain Beefheart - The Biography (Omnibus Press, 2011) and A New Day Yesterday: UK Progressive Rock & the 1970s (2020). He was a regular contributor to Select magazine and his work regularly appears in Prog, Mojo and Wire. He also plays the drums.