Engaged in an exploration between recorded electronic and live acoustic sound, the innovative 12-piece ensemble Icebreaker and renowned pedal steel guitarist BJ Cole present their "moving and sublime" performance of Brian Eno's Apollo in a definitive and invigorating recording.
Widely regarded as Brian Eno's best and most influential ambient album, Apollo was composed by Brian Eno, Roger Eno and Daniel Lanois for Al Reinert's 1983 documentary on the Apollo space missions, For All Mankind. Eno jokingly referred to it as an attempt to write "zero gravity country and western," since that was the astronauts' preferred on-board listening, and the long reverberations of the pedal steel guitar evoke the vast emptiness of space. Music from the album was also used in the movies 28 Days Later, Traffic and Trainspotting.
Apollo, originally conceived and commissioned in 2009 by the Science Museum, London, commemorates the 40th anniversary of the moon landings. The original concept revolved around restoring a wordless film entirely accompanied by music and thus involved reimagining an electronic work for live performers. South Korean composer, Woojun Lee, achieved this through his arrangement, returning the music to its original conception: matching the mesmerizing beauty and tranquil mystery of images of the moon and Earth, the dizzying scale and humbling feat of engineering involved in taking people to the moon, and capturing the humor of the astronauts as they skitter about on the moon's surface.
With support from Brian Eno, this recording of Apollo was completed following a series of sold-out and highly acclaimed live performances of the piece, including the IMAX cinema at the Science Museum in London on July 20 and 21, 2009. Each performance was accompanied by NASA footage of the landing.
Apollo delivers 52 minutes of transcendental music, mysterious sonic landscapes, eerie electronics and the sweet lilt of pedal steel guitar, a combination that seems to emulate the very sound of the cosmos.