“Everything Good Proceeds from Enthusiasm.”
I’ve decided not to limit myself to highlighting American Living National Treasures, but Living Treasures in general. There are so many interesting individuals on the planet, doing amazing things that I’ve decided why not be open to all Living Treasures (that speak to me and hopefully you) and now and then, adding shout outs to non-living treasures, those who have passed on, but whose artistic and creative legacies live on and are well worth re-examining for their perspectives on art, design and life.
A recently released interview (watch video above) from Alfred Dunhill also gives a glimpse into Eno’s general philosophy and approach to art, which gives you a flavor of the quality of his thinking and a quick window into this amazing creative person.
“Art offers you the chance to surrender. The chance to not be in control any longer.”
So, this time Brian Eno is top of the queue. Brian Eno has always been know as a trail blazing musician, what with Roxy Music, partnering with David Bryne, with David Bowie and countless others, he has been little known to be an incredible thinker about life, music and art. Many years ago in San Francisco, I attended a lecture about music and art, and he spoke for almost 2 hours. The people in the auditorium were transported by his deep insights and generosity of ideas and we all left the lecture changed just a little bit.
Most people are not aware of Brian Eno as an arts educator and teacher, and he has recently made a visual and sonic installation for a hospital in England called “Quiet Room for Montefiore.” The piece is designed to be soothing for patients (and hospital workers) in the hospital and provide a sense of respite from the harsh realities in the clinical environment.
“What we like doing—that is why we like sex, drugs, art and religion—what we like doing is surrendering. They’re really all ways of losing me.”
His most recent “immersive” installation piece is called 77 Million Paintings and uses generative music techniques to ensure endless unique combinations of video and music, that has been seen in many cities around the world and is still traveling to many more venues.
He has also recently released an app for the iPad and iPhone called Scape . Scape makes music that thinks for itself. Scape is a new form of album which offers users deep access to its musical elements. These can be endlessly recombined to behave intelligently: reacting to each other, changing mood together, making new sonic spaces. Scape employs some of the sounds, processes and compositional rules that we (Brian Eno and Peter Chilvers) have been using for many years and applies them in fresh combinations, to create new music. Scape makes music that thinks for itself. Check it out.
Many years ago (1975), Brian Eno released a deck of cards, called ObliqueStrategies , that he collaborated with the artist Peter Schmidt, where each card is printed with a suggestion, tactic or small aphorism. They are meant to be chosen at random to give new contexts to creative decisions. It has become legendary in stature and something worth looking up or buying.
This is only a small window into the creative world of Brian Eno, but, by all means, dig deep and enjoy.