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Brian Eno

Born: May 15, 1948
Profession: Musician


A part of me has become immortal, out of my control.
Agressive music can only shock you once. Afterwards its impact declines. It's inevitable.
As soon as I hear a sound, it always suggests a mood to me.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the ambition of the great painters was to make paintings that were like music, which was then considered as the noblest art.
Avant-garde music is sort of research music. You're glad someone's done it but you don't necessarily want to listen to it.
Every collaboration helps you grow. With Bowie, it's different every time. I know how to create settings, unusual aural environments. That inspires him. He's very quick.
For me it's always contingent on getting a sound-the sound always suggests what kind of melody it should be. So it's always sound first and then the line afterwards.
For the world to be interesting, you have to be manipulating it all the time.
I always use the same guitar; I got this guitar years and years ago for nine pounds. It's still got the same strings on it.
I don't live in the past at all; I'm always wanting to do something new. I make a point of constantly trying to forget and get things out of my mind.
I enjoy working with complicated equipment. A lot of my things started just with a rhythm box, but I feed it through so many things that what comes out sounds very complex and rich.
I felt extremely uncomfortable as the focal point, in the spotlight. I really like the behind the scenes role, because all my freedom is there.
I had a lot of trouble with engineers, because their whole background is learning from a functional point of view, and then learning how to perform that function.
I had wanted a tape recorder since I was tiny. I thought it was a magic thing. I never got one until just before I went to art school.
I hate the rock music tradition. I can't bear it!
I have a definite talent for convincing people to try something new. I am a good salesman. When I'm on form, I can sell anything.
I have lived in countries that were coming out of conflict: Ireland, South Africa, the Czech republic. People there are overflowing with energy.
I often work by avoidance.
I see TV as a picture medium rather than a narrative medium.
I take sounds and change them into words.
I think generally playing live is a crap idea. So much of stage work is the presentation of personality, and I've never been interested in that.
I thought it was magic to be able to catch something identically on tape and then be able to play around with it, run it backwards; I thought that was great for years.
I wanted to get rid of the element that had been considered essential in pop music: the voice.
I'm not interested in possible complexities. I regard song structure as a graph paper.
I'm very good with technology, I always have been, and with machines in general. They seem not threatening like other people find them, but a source of fun and amusement.
I've discovered this new electronic technique that creates new speech out of stuff that's already there.
If I had a stock of fabulous sounds I would just always use them. I wouldn't bother to find new ones.
If you want to make someone feel emotion, you have to make them let go. Listening to something is an act of surrender.
If you watch any good player, they're using different parts of their body and working with instruments that respond to those movements. They're moving in many dimensions at once.
If you're in a forest, the quality of the echo is very strange because echoes back off so many surfaces of all those trees that you get this strange, itchy ricochet effect.
In the 1960s, people were trying to get away from the pop song format. Tracks were getting longer, or much, much shorter.
It's not the destination that matters. It's the change of scene.
Most of those melodies are me trying to find out what notes fit, and then hitting ones that don't fit in a very interesting way.
Music in itself carries a whole set of messages which are very, very rich and complex, and the words either serve to exclude certain ones or point up certain others.
Musicians are there in front of you, and the spectators sense their tension, which is not the case when you're listening to a record. Your attention is more relaxed. The emotional aspect is more important in live music.
My guitar only has five strings 'cause the top one broke and I decided not to put it back on: when I play chords I only play bar chords, and the top one always used to cut me there.
My lyrics are generated by various peculiar processes. Very random and similar to automatic writing.
Nearly all the things I do that are of any merit at all start off just being good fun, and I think I'm sort of building up to doing something else quite soon.
One of the interesting things about having little musical knowledge is that you generate surprising results sometimes; you move to places you wouldn't if you knew better.
People assume that the meaning of a song is vested in the lyrics. To me, that has never been the case. There are very few songs that I can think of where I remember the words.
Robert Fripp and I will be recording another LP very soon. It should be even more monotonous than the first one!
Set up a situation that presents you with something slightly beyond your reach.
The basis of computer work is predicated on the idea that only the brain makes decisions and only the index finger does the work.
The lyrics are constructed as empirically as the music. I don't set out to say anything very important.
The philosophical idea that there are no more distances, that we are all just one world, that we are all brothers, is such a drag! I like differences.
The reason I don't tour is that I don't know how to front a band. What would I do? I can't really play anything well enough to deal with that situation.
We are increasingly likely to find ourselves in places with background music. No composers have thought to write for these modern spaces, which represent 30% of our musical experience.
When I started making my own records, I had this idea of drowning out the singer and putting the rest in the foreground. It was the background that interested me.
When I went back to England after a year away, the country seemed stuck, dozing in a fairy tale, stifled by the weight of tradition.


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