Tag Archives: Brian Eno

“What is Art Actually For?”

Artist, musician, composer, writer, record producer Brian Eno of the 70’s band, Roxy Music, unwinds a fascinating discussion on the topic, “What is art really for?” Beginning with the enigmatic proposition that art is “everything you don’t HAVE to do,” Eno captures the dynamic tension between our culture’s ethos of technical control, which dominates education and academia, and the arts, which explore the shadowy dimensions of “What if.”

Born in Suffolk, Eno studied painting and experimental music at art school in the late 1960s before joining glam rock group Roxy Music as synthesizer player in 1971. After recording two albums with the band, he departed in 1973 to record a number of solo albums, contributing to and ultimately coining the concept of ambient music with works such as Another Green World (1975), Discreet Music (1975), and Music for Airports (1978). He took part in frequent collaborations with artists such as Robert Fripp, Harold Budd, Cluster, David Bowie on his “Berlin Trilogy“, and David Byrne on 1981’s My Life in the Bush of Ghosts. During the 1970s, Eno would also begin a parallel career as a producer, which included work on albums by Talking Heads and Devo, the no wave compilation No New York (1978), and recordings by avant-garde artists such as John Cale, Jon Hassell, Laraaji, and Harold Budd, among others.  -from Wikipedia

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The Unplayable Piano

“..all of us, from time to time, need to sit down and try and play the unplayable piano.” -Tim Hartford

On the long flight home from Rome this summer I found myself watching TED Talks on the aircraft’s entertainment system. Already thinking about the beginning of a new semester, one talk in particular caught my attention. Tim Hartford, an economist and journalist, gave a brilliant talk about frustration and how it can actually help us overcome obstacles and discover unforeseen possibilities in any creative process, whether it’s the design of a jet engine, the design of a musical composition, or the creation of a work of art. Weaving in examples from cognitive and social psychology, complexity science, and rock and roll, Hartford’s bottom line is simple. What we need in order to tap our highest creative potential is, in his words, “a dash of mess.”

Listen to the full Koln Concert of Keith Jarrett

Brian Eno’s Oblique Strategies

David Bowie’s “Lodger” album (1979)

Carlos Alomar (Bowie’s guitarist, discusses working with Bowie, inspiration and motivation)

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Filed under Process, Theory