Digital technology has enhanced music production, recording and distribution in ways unimaginable just a few decades ago, but are we losing something more essential in the process? Chris May (of The Vinyl Factory) talks to ambient pioneer and friend of technology Brian Eno about the dangers of digital dependence in modern music. “It doesn’t just apply with African recordings. It’s a problem everybody is having at the moment. Do I resist the temptation to perfect this thing? What do I lose by perfecting it?"
"His work is rooted in the power of collaboration within systems: instructions, rules, and self-imposed limits. His methods are a rebuke to the assumption that a project can be powered by one person’s intent, or that intent is even worth worrying about. To this end, Eno has come up with words like “scenius,” which describes the power generated by a group of artists who gather in one place at one time. (“Genius is individual, scenius is communal,” Eno told the Guardian, in 2010.) It suggests that the quality of works produced in a certain time and place is more indebted to the friction between the people on hand than to the work of any single artist." The New Yorker's Sasha Frere-Jones on Brian Eno's career and new album High Life.
Tackling everything from Abba to the Velvet Underground, Brian Eno reveals his insights into popular music in this 81 minute talk at a music academy sponsored by a popular sugar-and-caffeine-infused drink. [more inside]
Obscure Records was a U.K. record label which existed from 1975 to 1978. It was created and run by Brian Eno, who also produced the albums (credited as executive producer in one instance). Ten albums were issued in the series. All ten are available for your listening pleasure at Ubuweb.
In the late 1970s the UK's Anglia Television ran a respected weekly documentary series: Science Report. But when the show was cancelled in 1977, the producers decided to channel Orson Welles in their final episode. The result was Alternative 3. Over the course of the hour, the audience would learn that a Science Report investigation into the UK "brain drain" had uncovered shocking revelations: man-made pollution had resulted in catastrophic climate change, the Earth would soon be rendered uninhabitable, and a secret American / Soviet joint plan was in place to establish colonies on the Moon and Mars. The show ended with footage of a US/Soviet Mars landing from May 22, 1962. After Alternative 3 aired, thousands of panicked viewers phoned the production company and demanded to know how long they had left to change planets. [more inside]
Earlier this year, the BBC's Arena produced and aired an excellent documentary on Brian Eno entitled "Another Green World" containing "a series of conversations on science, art, systems analysis, producing and cybernetics". [more inside]
A Brief History of Mathematics is a BBC series of ten fifteen-minute podcasts by Professor Marcus du Sautoy about the history of mathematics from Newton and Leibniz to Nicolas Bourbaki, the pseudonym of a group of French 20th Century mathematicians. Among those covered by Professor du Sautoy are Euler, Fourier and Poincaré. The podcasts also include short interviews with people such as Brian Eno and Roger Penrose.
You love playing with what somebody else is playing as much as you like playing with yourself. Dick Flash from Pork Magazine interviews Brian Eno about music, copyright and the collaborative process. (SLYT) Previous Eno
Brian Eno’s 77 Million Paintings video installation has been shown in Venice, Milan and (last week) San Francisco, but you can have the experience right in your own living room with his new(ish) DVD or on Second Life. “The painting is generated from handmade slides that are randomly combined by the computer…. The selection of elements and their duration in the piece are arbitrarily chosen, forming a virtually infinite number of variations… Millions of Brian Eno originals will be created and then disappear only to be replaced by millions more.” (Eno's generative programming has been previously mentioned in this space.)
Brian Eno is the godfather of electronica, the inventor of ambient music, and producer of the best work by bands like the Talking Heads and U2. Tchad Blake has helmed the mixing board for Elvis Costello, Tom Waits, Soul Coughing and the Bad Plus, to name just a few. Paul Simon is one of the most recognized names in pop music both for his work with Art Garfunkel and for his fusion of American pop music with African and South American music. Surprise is the the album they collaborated on, the new Paul Simon record featuring Eno's signature sonic landscapes all over it, and the entire lovely thing, complete with liner notes, is available to listen to on Simon's website.