Brian Eno

Robert Sheckley's In a Land of Clear Colours

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Robert Sheckley originally released his science fiction tale In a Land of Clear Colours as a limited edition book/CD package (1000 copies) in 1979. Peter Sinfield narrates with Brian Eno contributing sporadic atmospherics and brief synthesizer interludes. Sheckley, a native New Yorker living in Ibiza, Spain, commissioned artist Leonor Quiles to illustrate the book, from which several drawings are included in the compact-disc package currently available on the Voiceprint label (1993). The disc is divided into 12 untitled tracks on which Sinfield presents the story, which is actually more like a series of vignettes, in his distinctive British accent. A real curio, Clear Colours concerns an earthling who has been deposited, via space pod, on an uncharted planet suspected of containing lifeforms. Upon examination, he encounters the nonhuman forms, is able to communicate with them and, realizing he will never be rescued, quickly adapts to his new surroundings. He becomes friends with these creatures, even to the extent of obtaining a lover, and acclimates quite comfortably. Some standout episodes include those of hunting, sexual practices, drug use and drug experiences, and metamorphosis. The story has a satisfying ending, but the recording is just that -- a composition of words; the music is not emphasized, and only marginally complements Sinfield's voice, and for Eno followers is recommended for completists only.