A remastered version of the original Obscure 2, first released along with Obscure 1, but replacing the work by John Adams on the original album with a work by Gavin Bryars from Obscure 8 (Machine Music) – The Squirrel and the Ricketty Racketty Bridge.
There were four Obscure Records albums released simultaneously in 1975 and Ensemble Pieces was number 2. On the original record the pieces were, in order, Christopher Hobbs, Aran; John Adams, American Standard; Christopher Hobbs, McCrimmon Will Never Return; and Gavin Bryars, 1, 2, 1-2-3-4. For this new release, the work by John Adams has been replaced by Gavin Bryars’ The Squirrel and the Rickkety Racketty Bridge, which appeared on the album Machine Music (Obscure 8) along with some of John White’s Machine Pieces.
Indeed the spirit of John White hovers as a benign presence over the whole set of pieces. Gavin Bryars shared Obscure 8 with John – each had one side of the LP. Christopher Hobbs worked closely with him in many contexts: as a duo and in various ensembles, and his two pieces here come from his work with the PTO (Promenade Theatre Orchestra), which flourished from1970-72. And Gavin Bryars’ 1, 2, 1-2-3-4, which is dedicated to John White, was written for a series of concerts organised by John that attracted the newspaper headline “Melody Rides Again”.
An account of the history and origins of Obscure Records can be found on BCGBCD22 – the re-mastered Obscure 1.
Gavin Bryars: 1, 2, 1-2-3-4
Christopher Hobbs: McCrimmon will never return
Gavin Bryars: The Squirrel and the Ricketty Racketty Bridge