Originally released: 1997
Based on three hours of Soundscapes recorded at Green Park Station (a decommissioned railway station) in Bath on Thursday 21st November 1996 from 1:40pm to 4:40pm.
GREEN PARK SUITE:
- 3'44 i Platform One
- 1'20 ii Platform Two
- 1'50 iii Platform Three
- 2'13 iv Platform Four
- 4'29 i
- 2'14 ii
- 10'53 iii
GREEN PARK SUITE:
- 9'13 v Platform Five
- 3'52 vi Platform Six
- 4'38 vii Platform Seven
- 8'56 iv
GREEN PARK SUITE:
- 0'58 viii Platform Eight
- 8'15 ix Polychromatic Park
- 1'21 x Technicolour Park
Reviews are listed in chronological order within each section. Please retain a chronological order when adding new reviews.
Date Submitted: 12-Feb-98
By: Michael W. Flaherty (z946128 at rice dot farm dot niu dot edu)
"Robert Fripp's "November Suite" soundscape is actually two different suites, "Green Park" and the title suite, which move back and forth throughout the recording. The "Green Park" suite begins with a gentle cascade of short notes played over an electronic drone. As the work progresses the notes become more dense and begin to echo through the speakers. By the fourth section the music becomes a little more challanging, as long drones and voice like notes begin to move in their own direction.
""November Suite" enters with inviting electronic voices that slowly build into waves of notes. Single notes continue to make themselves known and then disappear again, while the droning hum remains beneath them, creating a setting of complete peacefulness, particularly in the long, slow third section.
"The "Green Park Suite" returns with a slightly more intense sound--as if to gently jar us from our meditative state. The background notes begin to shift to a higher pitch, and notes come at a fairly fast pace. Toward the middle of this section the sounds fade and are replaced by a pulse over which human-like voices produce echoing notes. Finally, the pulse disappears, and the notes and voices continue to enter and exit in the empty space.
"The sublime final movement of the "November Suite" starts so slowly we might miss it as it flows through the speakers. The movement recalls "Blessing of Tears" in its almost painful, mournful beauty. The suite fades into silence, and the final three sections of "Green Park Suite" return us to its previous themes, bringing us to a sudden finish.
"Those looking for a more gentle Soundscape will find it here. What this Soundscape may lack in intensity it more than makes up for in beauty. Like John Miller's wonderful cover picture, Mr. Fripp's music calls to its listener with an ambiguous yet familiar sound. As Mr Fripp says of this suite, "Some music sounds like people listen to it.""
Date Submitted: 27-Apr-98
By: Marc Carlton (9703527c at student dot gla dot ac dot uk)
"My feelings towards Soundscapes in general are expressed elsewhere; in my words on 'Radiophonics', but more must be said here of another truly incredible album. Unlike many reviews I have read, I refuse to describe this ingenious work in terms of 'bleeps' and 'drones'; I would only accept those euphemisms from Fripp himself. For me, the meaning of these pieces have long surpassed that state of listening.
"Clearly, we have two very different aspects being explored here; through the Green Park Suite and the November Suite. But this is equally not so; since if the LP is listened to in entirety (a very painful, lifting, rewarding experience), the correlation of the two 'feels' is evident. I think the appropriate metaphor for this correlation is 'Cold'. On one level, there are sheer, cruel but welcome icicles ringing all around me throughout the Green Park pieces; and on another level I am frozen in a coma of grief and contemplative remorse in the November Suite.
"Quite what we learn from these aspects is difficult to determine in the folly of words, but we DO learn; and as the composer states, we are instructed, and amazed. Indeed, upon truly experiencing such an album (a claim of great audacity), the outlook on the feeble surface-scratchings of today's comedy music acts is dire. This work is solid, real, immense, true and a triumphant vehicle of Redemption.
"November Suite part IV is quite clearly the most accurate, moving and successful piece of music I have heard to date. And it refuses to hide; as much music does after continual listening, and becomes a bit elusive in terms of our attention after time. No, November Suite grows in a way that is even beyond the other work of the composer: and we grow with it; and between it; and around it.
"I would dangerously pin the word 'peace' onto the work, for through its encapsulating nature the mind seems to operate differently for a time; leaving the normal channels in a state of what I can only really describe as 'peace'. Or is it 'numbness'?
"This album is a masterpiece; and a must for all mortals of (just) worth.
"I must note how devilishly difficult it is to introduce Soundscapes to others; ever so much harder than any other music of such depth. I feel that the music must be found by each individual in their own way, and that it is maybe impossible to show them the Way in. Perhaps we may endeavor to point them in the right direction? And communicative inference is already in a mess."