Engaged in an exploration between recorded electronic and live acoustic sound, Icebreaker and renowned pedal steel guitarist BJ Cole present their “moving and sublime” performance of Apollo in a definitive and invigorating recording.
Widely regarded as Brian Eno’s best and most influential ambient album, Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks 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, the recording of Apollo by Icebreaker with BJ Cole was completed following a series of sold out and highly acclaimed live performances of the piece, including the IMAX cinema at the Science Museum on July 20th and 21st 2009. Each performance is accompanied by NASA footage of the landing. Apollo delivers 52 minutes of transcendently lovely music, mysterious soundscapes, eerie electronics and the sweet lilt of pedal steel guitar, a combination that feels almost as if it were the very sound of the cosmos itself. Apollo is available exclusively on iTunes from June 5 and in all other digital outlets and physically throughout the world June 26.