Brian Eno And Generative Music
The BBC recently posted a fascinating interview with Brian Eno, where he discussed music production, music apps and the current state of the music business. Unfortunately, I can’t embed the video, so you have to head over to the BBC website to check it out. The video interview caught my attention for a number of […]
The BBC recently posted a fascinating interview with Brian Eno, where he discussed music production, music apps and the current state of the music business. Unfortunately, I can’t embed the video, so you have to head over to the BBC website to check it out.
The video interview caught my attention for a number of reasons, not least of which being you see Brian Eno using Logic Pro and also Izotope Iris, which currently my favourite sound design and sample playing plugin.
Generative Music And Sensing Humans
Brian Eno’s notion of generative music, music that creates itself, is fascinating. He has released his current album as an app, which not only allows you to hear the tracks, but will also allow the tracks to change and evolve with each listening.
In a way Brian Eno is trying to open up the concept of an album. He says that his previous albums were frustrating for him, he enjoyed releasing music, but really wanted to also release his mechanism for making music. Technology is now allowing him to do that.
The album is a reductionistic concept. After all, there were profits to be made from limiting supply and there was only so much music you could cram onto a vinyl disc. With the rising popularity of remixes and the technology we carry in our pockets, it is surprising more artists don’t also release their music in ways that can be remixed or reprocessed over time.
Especially since our mobile devices are going to carry an ever increasing array of sensors. Smartphones already carry motion, light, sound and location sensing and more sensors that interface with our person are bound to come. The potential is there to have music that recreates itself depending on our location, the time of day and even our mood.
Where Is The Music Business
Some might scoff at Eno’s comments about the music business – he claims not to know anyone who has lost their job because of the internet. I certainly do know people who have lost their job or are not doing as well financially. But, he does have a point that opportunities have changed.
We got used to the idea that musicians could support themselves through recordings. The explosion of live performance opportunities is one major adaptation. But, I feel many of us have not looked closely enough at the other opportunities.
This is an amazing time for music-making – for projects studios, for being a musician on a local level, for designing new and innovative gear. In the past decade we’ve seen an explosion in music software, and boutique or hand made musical instruments and equipment.
So, while Eno’s comments are provocative, there is also a healthy dose of realism in there as well.