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"Craft is what enables you to be successful
when you're not inspired." - Brian Eno
Stuff JANUARY 18, 2017 - by Mike Alexander
BRIAN ENO MAKES AN ALBUM THAT LASTS A LIFETIME
The groundbreaking producer and musician, who is widely regarded as the Godfather of ambient music, has created a generative app to go with his new studio album Reflection.
It means that, although Reflection is just one piece of music that comes in at just over fifty-three minutes long, the app's algorithm will endlessly vary the music.
"Reflection is the latest work in a long series," Eno says. "It's the music that I later called ambient. I don't think I understand what that term stands for anymore - it seems to have swollen to accommodate some quite unexpected bedfellows - but I still use if to distinguish if from pieces of music that have fixed duration and rhythmically connected, locked together elements."
In keeping with the idea of ambient music reflecting ones surroundings, listeners can key in their location and the algorithm will respond with music that reflects either night or day.
"Pieces like this have another name," Eno explains. "They are generative. By that I mean they make themselves.
"My job as a composer is to set in place a group of sounds and phrases and then some rules which decide what happens to them. I then set the whole system playing and see what it does, adjusting the sounds and the phrases and the rules until I get something I'm happy with."