INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
Long Now Foundation JULY 16, 2013 - by Mikl Em
BRIAN ENO DESIGNING SOUND AND LIGHT INSTALLATIONS FOR THE LONG NOW SALON
Brian Eno recently visited the Bay Area and saw the latest progress on the 10,000 Year Clock project. Clock designer Danny Hillis gave Brian a tour of the progress at the Long Now Clock assembly space.
Brian Eno confirmed on this visit that he is designing the ambient sound for the Long Now Salon as well as a dedicated light-painting installation for the space. We are thrilled that Brian will be creating these one-of-a-kind works for our new venue. The Salon is intended to be a comfortable place that inspires conversations, and Brian's sound and lightscape designs will be a key element to creating that atmosphere.
After rising to fame in the British pop music scene of the early 1970's with Roxy Music and a series of acclaimed solo albums, Brian Eno made his mark as a producer working with such artists as David Bowie, the Talking Heads, U2, Coldplay and many more. Along the way he coined the term "Ambient Music" and made the recordings that eventually defined the genre.
In recent years he has increasingly focused on generative sound and visual art. His 77 Million Paintings software creates a slow, constantly evolving series of light-paintings with an ever-changing ambient sound and lightscape. Brian has released this type of algorithmically-driven digital work both as mobile apps and projected to monumental scale on the sails of the Sydney Opera House.
Brian was amongst the first people with whom Danny Hillis discussed his idea to design a clock that would run for ten-thousand years. The Clock and the process of building it are intended as an inspiring example of long-term thinking. From Danny's 01995 article in Wired, announcing "The Millennium Clock":
When I tell my friends about the millennium clock, either they get it or they don't. Most of them assume I'm not serious, or if I am, I must be having a midlife crisis. (That's nice, Danny, but why can't you just write a computer program to do the same thing? Or, Maybe you should start another company instead.) My friends who get it all have ideas that focus on a particular aspect of the clock. My engineering friends worry about the power source: solar, water, nuclear, geothermal, diffusion, or tidal? My entrepreneurial friends muse about how to make it financially self-sustaining. My writer friend, Stewart Brand, starts thinking about the organisation that will take care of the clock. It's a Rorschach test - of time. Peter Gabriel, the musician, thinks the clock should be alive, like a garden, counting the seasons with short-lived flowers, counting the years with sequoias and bristlecone pines. Artist Brian Eno felt it should have a name, so he gave it one: The Clock of the Long Now.
After giving the Clock its name, Brian joined the Board of Directors of Long Now when it was founded as a non-profit in 01996. He continues to serve on our board, and we thank him for his generosity in also creating art specifically for this new project.
This will be the first sound and light installation of its kind that Brian has created in America. The sooner we finish this project the sooner we can all enjoy Brian's art in its new Bay Area home. We can't wait, and we'd love for you to help us build it.