INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
"Craft is what enables you to be successful
when you're not inspired." - Brian Eno
Mojo DECEMBER 2012 - by Mark Paytress
DISCREET MUSIC (1975) - The rock era's answer to Erik Satie's 'furniture music', Discreet Music is best illustrated by the slo-mo timbres of its thirty-minute title track. Eno: "There's one melody and there's another and they're out of sync with one another. So what you hear at any moment in time are different clusterings of those two melodies." Feeding these through an echo unit adds to the sonic crossover.
AMBIENT 1: MUSIC FOR AIRPORTS (1978) - The first in Eno's pioneering Ambient series, Airports was a deliberate attempt to hijack the 'elevator music' found in many public spaces in the '60s and '70s, and create a more considered approach to the idea of environmental music. Augmenting synths, floaty pianos and tape loops of varying length were singers, including Robert Wyatt.
APOLLO: ATMOSPHERES & SOUNDTRACKS (1983) - Magical, C&W-tinged space music to accompany footage of the 1969 Apollo moon landing, re-edited into Al Reinert's documentary film, For All Mankind. "We used natural instruments to make a very contemporary soundscape," says Eno. "Of course, there was a lot of electronics under the bonnet, but making this I realised that the potential of instruments we recognised had not yet been fully explored."
NEROLI (1993) - "The first 'Music For Thinking' release and the first deliberate attempt to use a very restricted mode and just watch its permutations," Eno says of this ultra-sparse exercise in keyboard clarity. That meant writing a melody, then separating it out "so that each note has a life of its own". Designed, says its sleevenote, to "reward attention but not so strict as to demand it".
LIGHTNESS: MUSIC FOR THE MARBLE PALACE - THE STATE RUSSIAN MUSEUM, ST. PETERSBURG (1997) - Glistening and richly detailed part of a group of late-twentieth century installation pieces, including Music For Civic Recovery Centre. Brian Eno: "Part of the idea was to try to make a music that would be different at any point in time and space. It was originally played on multiple speakers, which means you're mixing it depending on where you stand."