INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
"Craft is what enables you to be successful
when you're not inspired." - Brian Eno
Corriere della Sera JUNE 24, 2008 - by Biagio Coscia
BRIAN ENO, THE CREATOR OF 'NON-MUSIC': "I LOVE MARIA NAZIONALE, SHE'S INCREDIBLE"
The sound installations of the genius of English electronic music will be exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Naples from June 23 through till September 15.
"I was left spellbound by the show on the docks," said Brian Eno. "There were some amazing artists. I heard Maria Nazionale, who has an incredible voice." Brian Eno 'thunderstruck' on the streets of Naples. But it's nothing new. One of the fathers of pop music and contemporary electronica, he has never hidden his love of the Mediterranean and Italian creativity. Having already been in Naples for a few weeks to oversee his two installations at the Madre, the English musician found the time to go to the Theatre Festival. And he also liked Vincenzo Pirrotta, "who is really emotional when he speaks". "I am creating a piece with music and voices," Eno told us, "and I like to use people who are not familiar with English. My best experience was one with an Italian girl who has great difficulties reading literary, complex English. What came out was a beautiful sound. I think I'll use Vincenzo's voice to complete this work."
The two installations being exhibited at the Madre are Surrender Lounge Proposal: 77 Million Paintings and Audelia - not what had been planned, but an evolutionary process created and modified on-the-spot. "Before anything else I have to say that I've never witnessed such a speedy and precise preparation," said Eno. "In England there's the belief that Italians are lazy, but it's not true. Then I realised that the music written for Lydian Bells wasn't suitable. It distorted and the result was very bad, so I wrote some music here in Naples on my notebook. It's much more appropriate." In the courtyard of the Madre there are eight plexiglas "bells" under which there are as many small players. Out of the speakers comes a disintegrating sequence of sounds that creates beats and superimpositions. The optimal listening position is in the centre of the courtyard. But, even from a different point, the result is still in line with Brian Eno's intentions.
"It's said that art should be strange and groundbreaking," remarked the composer, "that it should be a challenge. I don't agree. I believe that with a work like this you need to relax. What I am searching for is the surrender of the listeners. Visitors have to surrender themselves completely to what they see and hear. My work is a seduction. A little like a church - the only one I can set foot in, as I'm an atheist." It's an idea that Eno has also explored in music. "I come from an era in rock music when there was a lot of experimentation," explained the musician. "But from the start I have searched for a music that didn't give the impression of a voyage. A static music, of the environment. That's how I see it. My work has always tended to be about magnifying my musical ideas."
The English composer also talked about his artistic rapport with Mimmo Paladino and with Coldplay, whose most recent album he oversaw. "I took them into the kitchen of an Italian restaurant," concluded Eno, and I told them: 'Look at how long the ingredients remain on the flame. A moment. It must be the same for your music.'"