February 25, 2013 by joesonotheque
Maria’s Packaged Goods & Community Bar presents
OBLIQUE STRATEGIES: THE MUSIC OF BRIAN ENO
Featuring DJ Stan “Blank Frank” Wood
Sunday March 24 – 8PM-2AM – Free, No Cover
960 W. 31st Street, Chicago, IL. 60608 – 773.890.0588 – http://www.community-bar.com
“A way to make new music is to imagine looking back at the past from a future and imagine music that could have existed but didn’t. Like East African free jazz, which as far as I know does not exist. To some extent, this was how ambient music emerged. My interest in making music has been to create something that does not exist that I would like to listen to, not because I wanted a job as a musician. I wanted to hear music that had not yet happened, by putting together things that suggested a new thing which did not yet exist.”
Brian Eno – interviewed by Paul Morley for The Guardian, January 2010
From his participation in the English art rock band Roxy Music in the early seventies followed by his solo work between 1973 and 1977 where he experimented with expanding the form of the pop song to his ambient projects begun with 1975’s “Discreet Music” to his numerous collaborations and his seemingly endless production credits for an eclectic assortment of musicians (e.g. Devo, Talking Heads, U2, Seun Kuti, Coldplay) Brian Eno is certainly impossible to pigeonhole.
To the casual observer Eno’s trajectory appears incomprehensible and arbitrary. He has somehow effortlessly shifted from glam rock art school excesses of Roxy Music (where he was costumed like a flamboyant Las Vegas performing Liberace), to the quirky hybrid nature of his solo work begun with “Here Come the Warm Jets” and succeeded by “Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy)”, “Another Green World” and “Before and after Science” Eno both experimented and subverted the structure of the pop song, infusing it with avant-garde flourishes with hints towards his future focus on ambient sounds.
After a short diversion his old Roxy bandmate, guitarist extraordinaire Phil Manzanera in the “supergroup” 801 Eno started a collaboration with Robert Fripp (of King Crimson). With the 1973 release of “No Pussyfooting” the pair developed a tape-delay system, and most likely borrowed from minimalist composer Terry Riley, which they named “Frippertronics”. These forays would further lead Eno towards further experimentation with ambient sounds and environmentally designed low-end sounds.
These foundations now led the way towards 1975’s landmark ambient album “Discreet Music” with its elaborate tape-delay methodology. This was followed by his Ambient series “Music for Airports (Ambient 1)”, “The Plateaux of Mirror (Ambient 2)”, “Day of Radiance (Ambient 3)” and “On Land (Ambient 4)” in which Eno was the primary musician/producer. Using repeated loops, fades and phasing, subtle changes in timing with modification to the timbre of the pieces Eno interlocked and layered his pieces with clusters of complex and evolving patterns.
Retracing his steps back towards more accessible and popular music Eno began a very fruitful collaboration with Davd Bowie as both writer and musician on Bowie’s influential 1977–79 ‘Berlin Trilogy’ albums “Low”, “Heroes” and “Lodger”. Eno also collaborated with John Cale, former member of Velvet Underground, on his trilogy “Fear”, “Slow Dazzle” and “Helen of Troy”, plus artists as diverse as Robert Wyatt, Jon Hassell, the German duo Cluster, composers Harold Budd and Philip Glass, Robert Quine plus art rockers Talking Heads and its leader David Byrne.
This balancing act running the gamut from pop structured syncopation to quiet low-fi experimentation and other unexpected directions has placed Eno into the pantheon of musical luminary and critics darling as musical provocateur, elder statesman, trickster and genius. Critic Jason Ankeny at Allmusic argues that Eno “forever altered the ways in which music is approached, composed, performed, and perceived, and everything from punk to techno to new age bears his unmistakable influence.” while the Ambient Music Guide argues that he has brought from “relative obscurity into the popular consciousness, fundamental ideas about ambient music, including “the idea of modern music as subtle atmosphere, as chill-out, as impressionistic, as something that creates space for quiet reflection or relaxation”.
To pay dutiful tribute to the virtually unlimited talent and influence of Brian Eno, Maria’s Packaged Goods & Community Bar is hosting OBLIQUE STRATEGIES: THE MUSIC OF BRIAN ENO on Sunday, March 24. Named after a deck of 7×9 cm printed cards in a black container box created by Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt and first published in 1975, each card offered an aphorism intended to help artists (particularly musicians) break creative blocks by encouraging lateral thinking. The event will be headed by DJ Stan “Blank Frank” Wood and will give particular focus on his formative and solo period, collaborative projects and experimental phase.
The evening will kick off @ 8PM with a screening of “14 Video Paintings” on DVD projection, comprised of two separate works (“Mistaken Memories of Mediaeval Manhattan” and “Thursday Afternoon”) created in the early ‘80s by Brian Eno for art gallery exhibition only. Viewers are presented with a series of slowly evolving “video paintings,” with “Thursday Afternoon” focusing on the human figure and “Mistaken Memories” on the Manhattan skyline. The music for “Thursday Afternoon” is a different version than what appears on Eno’s album of the same name, while the music that accompanies “Mistaken Memories” comes from two of his acclaimed ambient albums (On Land and Music For Airports) and features an unreleased track.
During the remaining DJ set, we will be screening the documentary “Brian Eno – 1971-1977: The Man Who Fell To Earth” as a visual backdrop that chronicles Eno’s most prolific and experimental years, from pre-Roxy Music art school days to collaborations with Robert Fripp, Phil Manzanera, John Cale, Nico, Cluster, Portsmouth Symphonia, 801,Gavin Bryars, David Toop and Harold Budd plus “Brian Eno: Music for Airports & In the Ocean (featuring Bang on a Can All-Stars)” by Dutch filmmaker Frank Scheffer featuring abstract video imagery for New York’s six-piece Bang on a Can of a live performance of Brian Eno’s 1978 ambient music album “Ambient 1: Music for Airports” coupled with “In the Ocean” a documentary by Scheffer about the history of the Bang on a Can festival and its associated movements in modern music.