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Robert Fripp

Music For Quiet Moments

Review by Gary Hill

A collection like this is hard to capture in a track by track review setting. These tracks are, by definition, more atmospheric and textural. There is a certain sameness to all of it. It's music from reflection and feeling more than it is for deep analysis. Still, having to do the track by track review, I've done my best to differentiate the pieces. Don't get me wrong. Nothing here seems redundant, and there are several different flavors to the pieces. It's all on the mellower, less dramatic side of the equation, though.

Robert Fripp provides both the soundscapes and the guitar work here. This is a stunning package. Eight CDs of music are encased in gatefold cardboard sleeves. A massive book that is mostly the photographs meant to accompany each piece takes up the final position in the cardboard box that encases all of this. The packaging is impressive enough to earn it one of our MSJ bonus videos. The music is captivating and mood-setting, and the whole thing is definitely worthwhile.

That Music Street Journal bonus video about this set can be found at youtube.com/watch?v=Yc8B1K03nC0

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2022  Volume 2. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2022.

Track by Track Review
ONE
               
Pastorale

Trippy atmospherics bring this in, and the cut gradually evolves ever so slightly from there. There are some cool guitar melodies that eventually emerge. This is quite an effective and lush piece.

GentleScape
I love the textural sounds that bring this track into being. I love the slow-moving flow and comforting pillow of sound on this song. We get more Fripp soloing further down the road. At more than 13-minutes long, this is the second longest track of the first disc. The section later with multiple layers of guitar is so classy and really elevates this, not that it really needed elevation.
Time Stands Still
The guitar comes in more prominently from the start than it did on the first two piece. This nuanced piece really feels like something that would be at home on a King Crimson disc, mind you as one of the mellow pieces. The arrangement is still lush and atmospheric.
Requiem
I dig the rather dark and dramatic mysterious texture of this piece of music. At nearly 29-minutes of music, this is definitely the epic of this disc. As you might guess with that much space, this number works through quite a few changes. It turns lighter and more optimistic later in its run. It's all so classy and powerful, though. This is one of my favorites on this first CD of the set.
Time Promenade
I dig the lush and dramatic soundscape qualities of this piece. It really paints a powerful picture.
Seascape
While electronic, there is almost a symphonic nature here. This has a sense of waves ebbing and flowing. It's another potent example of beauty and majesty.
TWO
                 
At The End Of Time

There is an almost ominous, horror film type tone as this piece gets going. The tone changes more to one of electronic exploration after a time. I'm reminded to some degree of Synergy. This is another extended piece of music. It brings a bit different flavor to the set, too.

Evensong
This is a powerful sonic tapestry with lots of layers of sound and dramatic elements at play. The number has a lot of interesting flavor and direction.
Promenade
There is a rather tentative vibe to this piece. It has an echoey sort of new age feeling in place.
Pastorale
This almost feels like it could be an extension of the previous cut as it gets underway. It also seems like something that would fit into the soundtrack of a film. I really love the slow moving and gentle guitar lines that come over the top of this later.
Skyscape
There is a sense of majesty to this. It is a magical electronic excursion.
Seascape
I love the gently rising and falling waves of sound here. There is a natural, yet electronic, edge to this piece.
Horizon
This is another piece that sort of ebbs and flows and evolves very gradually. This electronic tapestry is powerful stuff.
Time Procession
The guitar is more prominent on this, with the piece feeling more like some of the ambient side of Crimson. Electronic keyboard textures rise up pretty far at times, though.
THREE
                 
Affirmation

This rises up gradually with a sense of magic and drama at its core. There is a real symphonic vibe to it, but delivered electronically. There are some intriguing textures and moods to this piece.

Aspiration
Another fine example of electronic class and style. This is pretty and intriguing.
Elegy
Coming in textural and slow moving, this gradually begins to build upward as it continues.
End Of Time
I really love the expressive guitar that comes over the atmospheric tapestry of this piece of music. This is another classy thing.
Evensong
Starting mellow, even for this set, the track begins to slowly evolve and grow with both electronic and symphonic vibes in place. Fripp's guitar stylings emerge over the top later, bringing another angle and layer to it as they do.
Pastorale
This piece does feel pastoral and restful. It's a gentle, yet lush number with some intricate and effective guitar work over the top of the electronic soundscapes.
Paradise Regained
Another ethereal and quite beautiful piece of music, this has some particularly stirring passages.
FOUR
                
Elegy Part 1

Coming in atmospheric, this works upward toward almost symphonic mellow sounds. Fripp's guitar is particularly expressive and this song has a real melancholy texture to it.

Elegy Part 2
I love the slow, processed guitar sound on this thing. The tune is another that feels like it would fit as a more ambient piece on a Crimson album.
Elegy Part 3
Another similar piece, (but you gather that from the titles, right?), I love the vibe and atmosphere of this. It works through some intriguing sections.
Paradise Regained
Textural and more electronic, this is another effective sonic tapestry.
Evensong
I love the mix of guitar and soundscapes on this track. It some intriguing melodies and moods. This piece is extended and has a section that calls to mind wind chimes at the end.
Pastorale
I love the electric guitar on this and the sedate, yet potent, melody lines it paints. The atmospherics are lush and pillowy with an electronic feel to them.
Time Stands Still
A slow moving and reflective piece, there is so much beauty and magic built into this.
A Full Heart
Evolving slowly there are hints of symphonic on this piece. Yet it also has some spacey textures. Some killer keyboard sounds rise up later and bring some rather Synergy like elements with them. I really dig the electric guitar that rises up later in this track, even though it's not around long. The sound of an audience comes in near the end of this.
FIVE
                       
Strong Quiet I

While this is not a rocker, the electric guitar sounds on this have a bit more meat on their bones that a lot of the music we've heard here. There is still plenty of ambient sound in the background of the composition.

Strong Quiet II
I dig the mellow explorations on this. It has some great melodies and moods and tones.
A Move Inside I
An extended piece, this carries the electronic and sedate elements of the album in new directions. It has some symphonic elements and some distinctive guitar work.
A Move Inside II
There are some particularly lush and pretty moments along this road.
A Move Inside III
Another that leans on the electronic soundscape side of the equation, there is some real space and beauty here.
Drifting Gently
Waves of guitar start this, and the whole cut has a much more guitar oriented sound as it gets underway. This works through some intriguing territory along its journey.
Drifting Firmly
Echoey sounds bring this in as a slow moving structure. I love the lush layers of sound that make up this tapestry.
SIX
                 
Time

Coming in tentative, dramatic and rather symphonic, this gradually works out to slow moving magic with expressive guitar over the top. I think this has some of the most effective guitar work of the whole set, and that really says a lot. The audience can be heard at the end of this track.

Elegy Part I
I love the slow moving and mellow drama and majesty of this number. It's another classy piece of music.
Elegy Part II
Here we get another tasty piece of atmospheric goodness. I particularly like the guitar on this.
Doubt
This is an extensive piece with some tasty layers of sound. While not a huge change, this is another potent slab of atmospheric sound.
Consolation
There is a slow and rather melancholy feeling to this with some hints of symphonic texture. Fripp's guitar brings some real emotion to bear at times, augmenting the evocative feeling of the whole number. There are some lush electronic sounds at play on this.
Glisten
I love the slow moving guitar on this track. The echoey sort of spacey electronic goodness surrounding it is all class, too. There is an ebb and flow to this track.
Reflection
Mellow waves of sound bring this number into being and carry it forward as it grows gradually. Some Synergy-like electronics dance on this number later.
Shimmer
This paints a picture of a lush and beautiful meadow at dawn for me. The sun seems to be rising and life is slowly getting more active as it moves forward.
SEVEN
                   
Elegy

This is the epic of the set, taking up the whole seventh disc and running almost 44-and-a-half minutes. It comes in with waves of symphonic texture that hold it in an almost classical music way for a time. This grows gradually and works through some deeply evocative moments in places. This music isn't meant for wide ranging dynamics or stunning passages. It's built for restful and comforting effect, and as such it works really well.

EIGHT
                
Elegy

The electronics that bring this in are lush and contemplative. At more than 16-minutes of music, this is an extended piece. It's also a satisfying sonic tapestry.

Evocation
Chiming keyboard sounds bring this in with a rather Synergy like vibe.
A Point In Time
This feels rather symphonic as it gets underway. Pretty atmospherics work in along with some trademark Fripp guitar. That guitar has some particularly shining moments on this number.
Time Calls
More of synthesized sound drives this piece. It's echoey and reaches toward Synergy type zones. There are some distinctive Fripp guitar parts in the mix, too, though.
Time Present
Fripp's guitar, expressive and enchanting, is up-front as this piece gets underway. I'm definitely reminded of some of the mellower King Crimson atmospheric works here. The piece grows into quite an effective slab of what would have been called "New Age" in the years gone by.
Opening
I dig the echoey kind of Synergy-like sound that gets this track underway. I really dig the electronic moods on the later portions of this piece.
Time And Time Again
Feeling rather symphonic as it gets underway, this gradually builds upward. This is an effective piece of atmosphere.

 

 

 
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