Brian Eno’s latest release, Reflection, is not really an album, but rather a singular, 54 minute song. The lengthy, ambient track has the feel of tiny dots of starlight against the deep, terrifying darkness of outer space (in a good way) and is the musical equivalent of a sensory deprivation chamber. It left me to find my own meaning in the music, rather than the music taking me on a specific journey. I’m not totally sure that I wasn’t just searching for meaning in ambient nothingness or not, but isn’t that the point of life and art for art’s sake–to find meaning in what might seem like nothingness? Usually, I fill up with feelings, memories, and fantasy narratives when I listen to Brian Eno, so listening to Reflection was a vastly different experience.
The starkness of the music and the reflective “choose your own adventure” option was refreshing for me as a person who thrives on emotional intensity. Reflection felt like guided meditation that did not make me get frustrated with the fact that I am not patient enough for meditation. It did sort of remind me of the soundscapes that Gabe from The Office makes, but it still evoked some soul searching.
The newer works of veteran artists are often overlooked, especially when they take on strange forms like a singular, 54 minute track, but Reflections has its place in music and in the lives of listeners. The aptly named piece is introspective and sort of makes you wonder what the point of it is, but the beauty of it lies in that reflection.
by Hayley Robertson