"Craft is what enables you to be successful
when you're not inspired." - Brian Eno
Uncut DECEMBER 2012 - by John Mulvey
Q&A: BRIAN ENO
What prompted a return to "Music For Thinking"?
Music For Thinking is a long-term project and a description that is usually awarded retrospectively - when l notice something I've made is good for thinking to!
Did you ever think albums like Lux had expended their usefulness, given your interest in generative music?
l don't think generative music makes recorded music redundant, but it does call into question the primacy of recorded music. For the last hundred or so years we've got used to the idea of precisely duplicable musical experiences, and for the last fifty years these have been at the centre of musical culture. Well, perhaps they aren't going to be from now on.
How was it making music on your own again?
In this case, it was heavenly. I rediscovered the joy of sitting in a room at night on my own and making something from scratch, rediscovering myself as a composer. I'd got out of the habit.
The download l received from Warp presented Lux as one continuous track: is that how it will be commercially released?
l enjoyed listening to it as a single long piece. There are, however, four IDs in it on the CD, so you can at least roughly locate yourself. The length says "Use me" rather than "Listen to me". It makes a point that it has a utilitarian intention - to be shamelessly competent background music - as well as an ambition to be able to sustain your interest - should you choose to extend it.
What are you listening to at the moment?
I'm revisiting some gospel records made in the '70s and '80s: Rev Maceo Woods, Rev James Cleveland, Golden Gate Quartet. Contemporary things: Three Trapped Tigers, Port St Willow, Ebe Oke, Müm, Owen Pallett.