INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
Classic Pop MAY 2018 - by Ian Gittins
BRIAN ENO: MUSIC FOR INSTALLATIONS
Striking new set collects music from various Eno audio-visual installations around the globe from 1986 up to the present day
If you think of music as a moving, changing form, and painting as a still form, what I'm trying to do is make very still music, and paintings that move," says Brian Eno. "I'm trying to find in both of those forms, the space in between the traditional concept of music and the traditional concept of painting" - let's rock!
In a standard 6CD boxset, 6CD super deluxe limited edition boxset and 9LP super deluxe edition vinyl, it collects music from various Eno audiovisual installations around the globe from 1986 up to the present day. Much of the music is previously unreleased or has been available only on a very limited basis.
So far, so Eno, but it's worth wading through - or, indeed, embracing - the packaging and the pretention to get to the music showcased within. Originally premiered at an exhibition in Tokyo in 2006, 77 Million Paintings finds aquatic samples ebbing and flowing beneath gentle electrotones in a beatific glow.
In its very conception, Eno's music has always been immersive, long before that became the critical buzzword de jour. His I Dormienti piece, first heard at a 1999 London installation by an Italian sculptor, is all tentative ghosttones and abstracted gasps, a distant reverie.
The music seems to be working towards a serene stillness. Kites I, first heard in Helsinki in 1999, is all febrile textures. Lightness, premiered at a State Russian Museum installation, is best described as a whiteness in freefall.
The final disc, Music For Future Installations, contains previously unheard pieces such as the narcoleptic Surbahar Sleeping Music.
Your levels of tolerance for Eno are likely to shape what you are willing to pay: the super deluxe CD edition, including a sixty-four-page Plexiglas-bound book of rare photos and a new Eno essay, is retailing for upwards of £300 on Amazon. But it's not every day you get to inhabit the space between the traditional concept of music and the traditional concept of painting.