Brian Eno: Fullness of Wind


Q: WHAT DO ENO NOW? ENO: So, for many decades I have been interested in what I call “generative music” and it occurred to me I could save time by generating interviews as well. Since I really give the same interview over and over, I thought it keen to identify motifs, as it were, and send them on “thought loops.” I usually begin by referencing some gasbag that no one has heard of such as Stafford Beer, the noted cybernetician, that is, noted by me. I then observe that the evolutionary process is complex things generate from simple things, such as Stafford Beer and the like. Next is a seemingly profound statement such as “I am far more interested in seeing Michelangelo’s colour palette than the Sistine Chapel,” some bit of random sophistry like that; because if the universe contracts, then simple things might evolve from complex things, such as Stafford Beer and keen motifs. Q: ARE ENO NOW FUN DO SUCH AS “BACK IN JUDY’S JUNGLE?” ENO: Oh I hate what everybody loves. I’m much more interested in what I’m doing now. For instance, it is now possible to add hundreds of varieties of vintage tape hiss to digital music. I myself am especially fond of the sound of the Ampex-450 that the BBC used for recording nuclear war drills. It’s a lovely, meaty hiss, which we all miss now, just as we miss Stafford Beer, Michelangelo’s paint palette, thought loops, and the like. Q: SPEAK NONSENSE MORE FOR COPY AND THUS MORE SPACE A: My good friend Malcolm suggested that generative techniques could be applied to cooking and recipes. So I inputted a British cookbook and other recipes and applied random generators and oblique strategies, and this was the result: 1 All Day Breakfast in a Can 6 melted Ice Jollies 10 burnt fish fingers 28 tablespoons of salt 1 cup flambéed baked beans 1 parboiled sheepshead 1 tube of toothpaste.

Q: SOUNDS HORRIBLE, AS ARE ALL BRITISH FOOD! A: Minty, though. Q: SPEAK A CHUCKLY ANECDOTE NOW! A: I was producing one of many albums in 1978. We were all shagged out, and it was very late, and the engineer said one of the pots was scratchy and we would have to do the fade-out all over again. Well, I could have fallen asleep with my head on the console, I was so tired. So I said, “wait, I need to take a hit of David Bowie.” “What do you mean?” The engineer was incredulous. So I sniffed David Bowie’s fingernails, and that alone revived me. Q: END PITHY! A: Oh, I’ve finally learned to program my DX-7. It took me 36 years. Nowadays, I keep the manual, and throw away the equipment!

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