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Baker's Dozen

Free, Open Spaces: Brian Eno's Favourite Records
William Doyle , April 13th, 2016 10:00

Before he releases his new album The Ship, the composer, producer and artist gives William Doyle a tour of some of his favourite records and tracks, reflecting on how they've shaped his own approach to music


Chœur Bulgare Svetoslav Obretenov – Grande Liturgie Orthodoxe Slave
Whenever I listen to this I find myself quite overwhelmed by it. There was an interest in the '70s in that Bulgarian folk singing, the kind of singing where they sing in 2nds. One of the harmonies they use a lot is a 2nd, which is a very unusual interval, and I remember that being around and there being a great album called Le Mystère Des Voix Bulgares, which is an amazing record, so I think I was aware that that part of the world had interesting music. I don't really remember how I got this one other than I bought it in France.

The softness of the male voices is like softly blown flutes. If you grow up in England with the disgusting operatic tradition we have, where the men's voices have to be so manly, it makes you violently ill [laughs]. Hearing the softness of this was so touching to me. There's one section in one of these tracks that is too amazing, where the voices that are all woven together gradually separate out so that all the voices above a certain register keep on going higher and higher and the ones below keep going lower. It ends with this incredible chasm between the voices that is just startling.