He's on the menu on the table, he's the knife and he's the waiter
June 30, 2014 12:54 PM   Subscribe

"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.
posted by porn in the woods (9 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
"With the disappearance of the central home stereo, and the rise of earbuds, MP3s, and the mobile, around-the-clock work cycle, music is now used, more often than not, as background music."

Is this the universe's idea of a joke? I'm listening to "Music for Airports" on my phone right now on earbuds while cranking out some PowerPoint.
posted by zooropa at 1:30 PM on June 30, 2014 [8 favorites]

I only wish this article spent a little more time on Fear of Music and Remain in Light, two of my favorite albums. I like the article and Eno is scary creative.
posted by vapidave at 1:41 PM on June 30, 2014

If you ever get a chance to nab Year with Swollen Appendices, Eno's annotated diary form 1997, do so. It's out of print and amazing (can have my copy, pry, cold dead hands, etc)
posted by Sebmojo at 4:01 PM on June 30, 2014

It's out of print and amazing

Yes, but do you have the original edition, with the orange colored appendices' pages?
posted by davebush at 4:13 PM on June 30, 2014

Eno's second collaboration with David Byrne as a solo artist, Everything That Happens Will Happen Today, is one of the best albums I have ever heard, period. (The first collaboration, My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts, was nearly unlistenable when I first encountered it 20 years ago. At this point, it feels so pioneering and influential it is nearly mainstream.)

[Seriously, "I Feel My Stuff" from ETHWHT is so perfect, it's like the come-on of a hit of LSD building toward the exulting burst finally into full-on dancing fractal technicolor.]

I am continually amazed by what Eno does, and the depth and breadth of his work is difficult to take in, even if you are working hard at it. He's one of those rare names that, when I see on a project, I always give it a chance, even if it lies outside my normal scope of interest.

Thanks for posting this.
posted by hippybear at 11:47 PM on June 30, 2014 [3 favorites]

Here come the warm jets .......
posted by Dean358 at 5:13 AM on July 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

Eno's pervery is extensive and pretty well documented if you go hunting through the literature (happy to leave that exercise to the reader) - but what do you expect with a chap whose first album was named after urolangia? He's always managed to tread that fine line where he's public enough about it that it's not going to be a Shock Revelation, but doesn't make it part of his public persona. In short, an admirable approach to life.

It's a shame that so much of his recent music has been remarkably under-produced, almost sets of doodles or little decorative flourishes that don't repay attention. Haven't heard High Life yet, though, and that article reminds me I must. But then, I can remember the sheer thrill of discovering HCTWJ and TTMBS - a kind person, whose name I forget, mailed me a cassette with both on after I'd been talking about music I liked on Cix. I was in my mid-20s at the time, and was instantly and irrevocably hooked by what I heard. Then I went out and bought Another Green World... I decided on the spot to write a set of linked short stories based on each track, a project that may still get completed. You don't get many mainlined adrenaline shots of creativity in this life, so hoping for more is otiose.

I don't have many heroes. Eno, for all his frustrating dalliances in the land of the bland, is one.
posted by Devonian at 6:38 AM on July 1, 2014

High Life is so much better than its predecessor, it could have been made by two different guys. Someday World was pitched way too far inside both Eno's & Hyde's respective comfort zones. This new one isn't.
posted by Prince Lazy I at 7:11 AM on July 1, 2014

I met Brian Eno once. He was really nice.
posted by staggering termagant at 10:48 AM on July 1, 2014 [4 favorites]

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