INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
Sydney Morning Herald MAY 27, 2009 - by Louise Schwartzkoff
IT AIN'T GOT THAT SWING, BUT IT SURE MEANS SOMETHING
Tiger may be burning bright, but Eno says let there be light.
Tiger who? As far as Brian Eno is concerned, three days on the green with Tiger Woods cannot compete with nineteen days of music and art.
At the Opera House yesterday to open the first Luminous music festival, the English musician, artist and record producer laughed off comparisons between his visit to Sydney and Woods's visit to Melbourne for the Australian Masters in November. The two events had been announced on the same day this year, and some suggested Melbourne had the better deal.
"So Tiger Woods was popular, whereas I was elitist?" said Eno. "I have to say that golf is a form of human enterprise that is so completely opaque to me that I would actually put it the other way around... But good old Tiger, eh? Let him roar on."
He is confident his line-up, from reggae to electro-pop, will attract a diverse crowd. "I don't think this is an elitist festival," he said. "It is cutting edge to some extent in that it does show people who are very contemporary... but here are some interesting new things, some really fascinating new cultural phenomena, and you might like to see them. It's an invitation. It's not an assault."
The Opera House hopes twenty thousand people will attend the ticketed events, though so far only half that number of tickets have been sold. Luminous is part of Vivid Sydney - a seven million dollar festival the State Government hopes will pump ten million dollars into the economy - and will attempt to assert Sydney as an international creative hub.
Eno, an erstwhile member of Roxy Music who is often credited as the father of ambient music, has programmed such diverse performers as the New York alternative band Battles, the British electropop group Ladytron and the trumpeter Jon Hassell.
The electronic musician Jon Hopkins, reggae artist Lee 'Scratch' Perry and Algerian-French musician Rachid Taha are also on the bill.
The Australian improvisational band The Necks will collaborate with Back To Back Theatre, and the American musician Laraaji will include meditation and laughter workshops.
"What I am doing here is trying to state some kind of new cultural position... where quite a lot of the barriers that used to separate the art forms have withered away," Eno said.
Like the line between visual art and music. In the darkened space of The Studio, Eno's sound and light installation, 77 Million Paintings, is a kaleidoscope of changing colour on a collection of plasma screens. The same patterns will be projected onto the Opera House sails.