Sounding The Ritual Echo:
02) The Ritual Echo
04) Near East
05) Emak Bakia
06) My Intricate Image
07) Endless Orchids
08) The Heat In The Room
09) Another Willingly Opened Window
10) Vanishing Parades
11) Glass Fish (For The Final Aquarium)
12) Cubical Domes
13) Ashes Of Roses
14) The Shadow Garden
01) The Asylum
03) The Fairground
04) Doctor Caligari
05) Cesare The Sonambulist
07) The Funeral
08) The Sonambulist And The Children
09) Caligari Disciplines Cesare
10) Caligari Feeds Cesare
11) Caligari Opens The Cabinet
12) Jane Discovers Cesare
13) The Attempted Murder Of Jane
14) The Dream Dance Of Jane And The Sonambulist
15) Escape Over The Rooftops
16) The Unmasking
17) The Shot
18) The Cabinet Closes
La Belle Et La Bête:
02) The Family
03) Sisters And Sedan Chairs
04) In The Forest Of Storms
05) The Castle
06) The Gates
07) The Corridor
08) The Great Hall
09) Dreams (The Merchant Sleeps)
10) Fear (The Merchant Wakes)
11) The Rose And The Beast
12) Magnificent (The White Horse)
13) Beauty Enters The Castle
14) The Door
15) The Mirror
16) Candelabra And Gargoyles
17) Beauty And The Beast
18) Transition No. 1
19) Transition No. 2
20) The Hunt
21) The Gift
22) The Garden
23) Transition No. 3
24) Transition No. 4
25) The Tragedy
26) Transition No. 5
27) The Enchanted Glove
28) Tears As Diamonds (The Gift Reverses)
29) The Beast In Solitude
30) The Return Of Magnificent
31) Transition No. 6 (The Journey)
32) The Pavilion Of Diana
33) Transformation No. 1
34) Transformation No. 2
35) The Final Curtain
Dreamy Screens is a limited edition 3CD boxed set that compiles three early Bill Nelson instrumental works initially issued in the period 1981-82. The albums included in the box set are Sounding the Ritual Echo, Das Kabinett and La Belle et la Bête. The subtitle, Soundtracks from the Echo Observatory, is a reference to Nelson's domestic recording facility. The Echo Observatory was situated in a room above his kitchen, and remained the creative centrepiece for his more experimental recordings spanning a ten year period that began in 1979.
Both Sounding the Ritual Echo and La Belle et la Bête were initially released as a limited editions of 10,000 copies, included with the initial pressings of Quit Dreaming and Get on the Beam and The Love That Whirls respectively. In that context, the albums are inextricably tied to those major releases, and can be seen as representing one side of the two-fold aspect to Nelson's creative approach.
This box set is part of the Esoteric/Cherry Red series of reissues on Cocteau Discs. Each album is presented in individual card sleeves, reproducing the albums' original artwork (which were jettisoned in favour of new sleeves when these titles were last reissued between 1985 and 1989). Das Kabinett and La Belle et la Bête are appearing in the UK on CD for the first time, having been previously available on the US reissues on Enigma.
This 3 CD box set is available to purchase in the Dreamsville Store.
IF YOU LIKED THIS ALBUM, YOU'LL PROBABLY ENJOY:
Trial By Intimacy, Chance Encounters in the Garden of Lights, Altar Pieces, Simplex, Map of Dreams,
Iconography, Optimism, Savage Gestures, Chameleon, Crimsworth, Sleepcycle & other Cocteau Club eps
"At the time, I saw Ritual Echo as being more indicative of my inner, deeper self (in 'artistic' terms), whilst Quit Dreaming was perhaps a little more superficial, closer to my commercially minded work. Perhaps I was still chasing fame and fortune with one hand but rejecting it with the other. Here and now, in the 21st Century, the production quality of Ritual seems, (to my ears), simplistic and dated, but its approach and content feels contemporary and connected to my current creativity."
"Whilst I understand that some people might have thought of these recordings as 'experimental' or 'avant garde', I never really approached them in that way...for me, they seemed accessible, direct, and far from difficult...All I wanted to do was make music which transcended limitations of genre and instead came across as beautiful and timeless. To achieve that goal, now more than ever, is the driving force behind my music."
"In some ways, that period of my life was very exciting as there seemed to be a very open-minded spirit in the air. People were, it seems, a little less less conservative than now and more ready to experiment and foster a more artistic approach to popular music.
These days it seems as if there's a reluctance to open up to beauty and wonder, an element of dumbing everything down to the lowest common denominator. It's as if cynicism and pessimism has triumphed over good faith and optimism. Cocteau's work celebrates the artistic vision and the inner life and does so without shame, irony or embarrassment. Beauty is the brave hero and the Beast is subdued by her power. A lovely metaphor for the civilising influence of Art."
"Context has a lot to do with it. Also, not to beat around the bush, it's an 'art' piece, not pop, rock or ambient. It was also made with very slender resources, minimal recording gear, (four track), and primitive instrumentation. It's music to accompany a theatrical performance, but, if you can dig it, it also works on its own as semi-abstract sonic fragments, little vignettes of sound. It's a bit like painting. Close your eyes and let your imagination project pictures. It might help to see Cocteau's film, (the music fits it almost as well as it fitted the stage production). If you like it, great, if you don't, no problem.
"Sometimes I make music for lots of people to enjoy, sometimes for just a few to enjoy. Of course, I personally enjoy making ALL of it and I think of it as just one continuous expression of my creative life. But, some people might say that Be Bop and Red Noise comprise my mainstream, mass market work, the 'ambient' instrumentals are for folks who like to float, dream and chill, and things like Beauty and The Beast, Caligari and Crimsworth are for art gallery and theatre goers...and so on, (add your own categorisations according to taste, personal bias, etc). At the end of the day, they're all just aspects of my personality, reflecting my interests, curiosity and passions.
"I've often talked about the wide range of music that I enjoy listening to and the equally wide range of film, art and literature. Add a dash of occultism, esoterica and left of centre philosophy and you'll get an idea of what all this diversity adds up to when I choose tones, textures and forms to express my own inner life. There's no escaping the fact that it's deeply personal music and that it only entertains by accident, rather than design. But...when in doubt, simply shove it all in a big box and simply call it MUSIC. Nothing more, nothing less. Everyone knows music...It's the food of LOVE. And we're ALL forever hungry for that."
Review by Dmitry M. Epstein
"Sounding the Ritual Echo eventually had more of an an effect on me than its parent [Quit Dreaming] -- [Sounding] is probably part responsible for the way that I started to look at certain things as a young kid - not just this fractured set of sounds full of intention and serendipity but titles such as "Glass Fish for the Final Aquarium" really got my imagination. It's a haunting album full of sounds that conjure up images I can't ever explain. I played QDAGOTB on the way to work today because of these posts reminding me of the 30 year anniversary and played Sounding the Ritual Echo on the way back - I think it's got to be one of the most evocative albums I have the pleasure to possess."
"A quick word about Bill's demos and sketches. It was many of those early demos, including Sounding the Ritual Echo and the Trial by Intimacy box set that inspired confidence in me to make my own music and helped shape my attitude towards the creative process. Those records taught me that it was not necessarily about the big production, budget - or 'being signed', but the seed of an idea being the important thing. I'm sure many other musicians, here and elsewhere, feel the same.
It was brave of Bill to release those pieces in their raw form...although the truth is, the music and ideas were strong enough to stand naked and proud, without the need for further stylization or polish."
"There is a lot of interesting detail here, and as usual, marvelous and unique sounding synths, creating an appropriately spine-chilling character in places."
"As the years have passed, I find that if I have Das Kabinett, Trial By Intimacy (The Book of Splendours) and Savage Gestures for Charms Sake playing in the background, I seem to become more creative at anything that I happen to be doing, at the same time I'm listening. So I've come to appreciate the different facets of Bill's creativity all the more."