Welcome to Breakdown, an unofficial resource and discussion list about the innovative guitarist/producer Michael Brook. This site is infrequently updated, but contains a great deal of background info which will remain online. For up-to-date news and information, visit Michael Brook's official site and MySpace page.

Discographies Full details on every record featuring Brook
Real World Notes 6

Real World Notes 6

various artists

Available from Womadshop.com


Real World Records
July 1998

cover photography by Anna-Karin Sundin
portrait photography by Christina Piza


  • Djivan Gasparyan and Michael Brook: Take My Heart 4'35


Real World Notes 6 is for all intents and purposes The Michael Brook Issue. With a feature article, an interview, an essential listening list, a track from Black Rock, an interactive version of "My Comfort Remains," and a piece on Bliss, Brook is all over this issue.

The printed magazine features "Infinite Hybrid," an astute profile of Brook. An interview follows on his collaboration with Djivan Gasparyan on Black Rock. Brook is very frank in discussing his work, even his frustrations with practical matters such as the expense of working on complex projects like Black Rock and Night Song. Also, there are a couple of stylin' portraits of Brook and Gasparyan.

The audio portion of the E-CD features "Take My Heart," a new track from the Djivan Gasparyan and Michael Brook collaboration Black Rock. How representative of the rest of the album I can't say, but most notable about this one track is its sense of humor! It merges the classical Armenian instrument the duduk with American country-western styles to wierd effect. I caught myself smiling on first listen.

The interactive track on the E-CD features an excerpt from a forthcoming work from Real World Multimedia entitled Drum, for Macintosh only. Please go to What's Next for more information.

Not incidentally, the E-CD also features three videotape interviews with Peter Gabriel, one in which he speaks eloquently on the life of the late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. I must admit I was disappointed with the interface design of this portion. It pales in comparison to the constant flow of surprise and imagination that was Eve, and to an extent, Drum. I had come to expect the best from them after having been deeply affected by my experience with Eve, but I understand the difficulty in inventing a fresh presentation for what are essentially only three linear video clips.

A very powerful short film from Amnesty International follows the interviews. Despite its horrid subject matter, the film features beautiful cinematography, with Amnesty's candle metaphor victoriously cutting through the shadows.

A small critique of this issue is the choice of using the cover of Bliss as the cover for both the magazine and the E-CD. Not that anyone is going to confuse the three, but the graphic artists at Real World are among the best and brightest, and this package deserves to be differentiated from what has come before.

All this being said, I was thrilled to bits with this issue. Real World Notes comes out all too infrequently. Real World Mulitmedia does good work, all the more admirable in a market that doesn't support art pieces, let alone art pieces for the Mac. More power to them!


Real World Notes 6 Real World Notes 6 Real World Notes 6


Real World Notes 2 Real World Notes 3 Real World Notes 5 Real World Notes 13 Black Rock