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10/03/2004: "brian eno."

I saw Brian Eno speak today at Cooper Union. I'm not going to talk too much about it here, because I'm writing about it for da Wire, but it was one of the best speeches I've ever witnessed. Eno looked almost effulgent - shiny bald head and big smile, smart black suit, crisp white shirt left untucked. He has this very natural, friendly way of explaining things that makes everything make so much sense. I wish he'd been one of my professors in college.

Eno spoke a little bit about painting, and of art history-- "Pop music and Russian constructivism made me want to be an artist," he said at one point. He talked a lot about his past, which surprised me, frankly. He mentioned his four "rock" records, talked some about Another Green World, and talked extensively about My Life in the Bush of Ghosts and of working with David Byrne and the Talking Heads. He had an old-school overhead projector and drew lots of pictures on transparencies. At one point, he drew diagrams of Steve Reich's "It's Gonna Rain" with colored markers and showed how something so simple and minimal could grow to be so dense and complex, and how much that inspired him. A lot of it was old hat if you've read as much about Eno as I have--he went into his by-now-famous realization about frog eyes, listening, and habituation; he talked about how much he adored Cornelius Cardew; he talked a lot about ambient music as coloring or lighting, and spoke of Muzak and Erik Satie. "I once saw an 18-hour performance of Satie's Vexations," said Eno, half-grinning, half-groaning. "Sometimes you have to suffer for art."

Replies: 9 Comments

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texas holdem tie rules said @ 11/08/2004 01:15 PM EST

i saw him speak again last night (a reschedule of his scrapped TWA terminal talk). this time more slanted towards his ambient records like Discreet Music and Music for Airports. strangely enough, i am not familiar with these. again with frog eyes, "it's gonna rain," etc. no complaints though.

andy beta said @ 10/07/2004 11:15 AM EST

Brian Eno is amazing...Lucky you to speak to him. Just play Thursday Afternoon repeatedly and I'm willing to be alone for eternity. Thanks for the cool website!

robert blumschein said @ 10/06/2004 01:49 AM EST

How did I miss this?!?

Is this what suffering for art means?


Liz said @ 10/04/2004 08:23 PM EST

crisp white shirt left untucked


Anthony said @ 10/04/2004 03:47 PM EST

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