My life in the bush of sounds

Brian Eno and David Byrne created some 35 years ago the best record in the history of modern music.

“My Life in the bush of ghosts” tells the story of a boy entering a forest inhabited by ghosts and spirits written Nigerian author Amos Tutuola. Published in 1954, this very same book was the source of inspiration for an eponymous record by Brian Eno and David Byrne. This record follows “Fourth World, Vol. 1: Possible Musics”, an album Brian Eno recorded with Jon Hassel. By combining the extra-terrestrial trumpet of Hassel with the soundscapes of Brian Eno these two musicians opened the door to what could be the music of a fourth world, one as mysterious as the one we know as third world. The whole record invites us on a journey through a world unknown flying over green landscapes, deserts, crossing small villages and bathing in soothing lakes. It was released in 1980 and is considered by many as one the best by Brian Eno, the avant-garde master of ambient music. Vol. 2 was never released but one year after Brian Eno launched what could be its rightful successor, “My Life in the Bush of Ghosts”, a record of possible musics for the world we think we know but which still holds numerous mysteries, hidden in bushes and forests we do not dare to enter for fear of succumbing to its enchantment. Released in 1981 it is the most beautiful, disturbing, complex and intense album of all times. Eno and Byrne lead us on a voyage through enchanted bushes. The combination of the mastery of Brian Eno in designing soundscapes with David Byrne’s sense of rhythm, assisted by the natural curiosity of both musicians for world sounds and rhythm, along with their mastery of the techniques of cut, paste, mix and match of sounds and samples delivered a record that results in the perfect soundtrack for the life in hectic cities, in faraway lands or in the heart of lively jungles. In summary the perfect soundtrack for the global village.

Carlos Tomé Sousa


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