Brian Eno – Music for Installations

REVIEW

What else can be said about Brian Eno? A musician whose decades of stunning career has been stubbornly producing musical ideas, so triumphantly at times that it’s impossible to separate the music from the base concept. These ideas and sounds blend so much that they are, at times, indistinguishable.

This is a man whose merits have been praised and music analysed by an astonishing number of writers and journalists. To complicate matters, from an aesthetic and conceptual point of view, “Music For Installations” doesn’t completely distance itself from the musician’s recent work; if we consider this production from the moment that Eno started dabbling in a “self-regeneration” genre of music – it is, in some ways, the sum and the synthesis.

And every time the same question jumps out at us: sound art or ambient music? Probably both, and maybe even something else besides. A little treasure chest of songs that Eno has created for his audio-visual installations from 1985-today, it is divided into six disks, each of which contains ambient music or minimal compositions. The serene rise and fall of the sounds substitutes repetitive, rhythmic and sometimes melodic structures. These sounds have been systematically organised inside the collection, and are almost a mirror, revealing and reflecting, somehow transforming some of the situations of Eno’s career, revealing the differences and highlighting the incredible analogies that can be found in different parts of its production.

Whether the sound material is divided into fragments, able to move around the acoustic atmosphere, or whether the sound is trapped within a structure, the songs present an exact, inflexible appearance. This is true to the point that they seem detached (incorrectly), wrapped up within themselves and their default forms. Seeming so unbending and abstract, but revealing different properties at each listening, Eno’s music challenges the same concept of precision and control. It introduces a new way to interpret the fate and the chaos, the “organiser” principles, under the guidance of which the sounds can reinforce bonds and produce effects unforeseen by the composer.

 

Federica Romanò

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Brian Eno – Music for Installations
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