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Laurie Anderson interviews Brian Eno

February 7, 2013

If humans were able to hear light and parse the poetry of the spectrum, then perhaps there would be no need for Brian Eno, who seems to do it effortlessly. While the rest of us are generally content to hear sound, Eno can clearly see it. How else to explain the elaborate sonic color fields and glowing soundscapes that he creates, which feel as much like floating shapes and waves of light as they do music? And how else to make sense of a body of work that has been by turns challenging and definitive and spread across an expanse of disparate worlds and genres, from his early work with Roxy Music, to his ever-evolving solo oeuvre, to the colossal swoosh of his frequent collaborations with U2, to his numerous art projects, compositional gambits, and multimedia installations—not to mention the three ambient-music-generating apps, Scape, Bloom, and Trope, that he has created with musician and software designer Peter Chilvers.

ANDERSON: You know, when we were working in New York, we had this thing about, “If it goes with the river, then it goes on the record.” I always think of that. How would you describe your criteria for that? I could think of mine, but when you looked at the river, what would you say the music had to do or not do?

ENO: Well, for me, it was something to do with stillness and non-chaoticness—some sort of belonging, rather than something contrived that just appeared last night and will disappear this evening. It was the sense of wanting to make something that felt like it had a place in the world, rather than something that you just kind of stuck on for a little while to see how it works. The feeling of something that felt rooted and properly positioned in that sense, I suppose. That was what the river was for—to remind me of that link.

Text and Interview by Laurie Anderson. Photography Sølve Sundsbø. Continue HERE

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