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Brian Eno Essay

We all know that everything has started to change in music with the recording technology. What we qualified something really important in music in the past, such as history, time and place etc. , today, in a sense, they start to lose their “value”. Before explaining the idea of Brian Eno, i want to mention what we discuss before him. Previously, we discussed Benjamin, Gould who supported the opposite sides of one point and i think the main point of these discussions is ‘the aura of the music has started to destroy with the recording technology’, accordingly, ‘time and the place’ have started to lose their value too.

Of course, Brian Eno discussed the time line, while he was mentioning his idea. Brian Eno is an English musician, composer, record producer, music theorist, singer and visual artist. On his essay, ‘Studio as a Compositional Tool’, he mentions that an artist can start his composition in a recording studio without having any idea about creating his work. In other words, starting a work in scratch , starting a work without an available idea and at this moment ‘the time line’ appears. If an artist has a specific idea to create his work, this idea evolved slowly. So, music comes into exist. In a way, the artist has got a direction and he knows what he can do, and also he can guess the finished product before he starts his composition. By this way, two things become important; the beginning of the work and the end of the work.

Time line becomes important in this style of production. On the other hand, Brian Eno approaches it differently. An artist does not have to have a specific idea before going to recording studio, he does not have to carry his idea to the future. He can start to create his work with observing its transformations at the very moment in studio. For this idea, people are not able to know what the product will be in the end. So, the artist has not any concern to assimilate his work to his idea. The product started progress at the moment and it will end up like that. Trying to create a work with an available idea is different from creating a work without any available idea.

According to Brian Eno, people do not have to have a specific idea to create a composition. The beginning of the work can give the artists an idea and they can develop it, transform it while observing its progression. The sounds are changing and when an artist listens them, a new idea can come into his mind and he can intervene in it. It goes like this. There is a thing people are not able to know: the result of this product, just like life. People born, grow up, while they are growing up, they learn something, they make mistakes and they try to fix them, they try to do not make these mistakes again, these actions continue to happen but they do not know what will happen tomorrow. They do not know what happens next. Time passes, time goes on but where it goes? We do not know. In addition to this, do we have to know? I do not think so.

While the classical compositions are formed, the artist has an idea in his mind before forming it and the composition is formed with this direction, this idea. In other words, the artist knows what it is going to be at the end. Apart from that, the artist should know the history of music, he is able to play at least one instrument, he should also know writing scores. So, he should know how to transform his idea into object technically but people do not need this. Of course the artist should know something, he has knowledge about music a little bit, but it is not the only thing to create a composition. The artist also must not have idea about his work before starting his work like how classical compositions work. The artist has no idea about the result of his product when he starts his work without any idea.

Because of this situation, he does not have any connection with the past. There are only an artist and a studio and this artist tries to produce a product at the moment contrary to classical composition style. “Being there at this moment “ is really important. While mentioning to create a work at the exact moment, there is a painter , who is Jackson Pallock. Of course, he might have idea, when he painted his paintings but if you look at his paintings, you can easily see the action and it is not possible to decide these ideas before starting to paint. The exact moment is more important than the idea at his works. Here comes again this situation: “Being there at the moment.” Just like what Eno is doing. He is also affected by him.

In classical composition, we can mention the relation between the artist and the product. There is another thing; when an artist started his work with a specific idea, there is a risk to fail because, you have things to compare , you have chance to compare your idea and your product. But according to Brian Eno, there is no place for failure because, the artist does not have enough thing to compare, he does not have an idea, he has only product.

When classical composition finishes, the performer and the acoustical environment, the concert hall are also affected the composition. By this way, it is so hard to know exactly the idea of the composer. The performer cannot give the feeling or the environment does not give the same sound. With the recording technology, something has started to change in a good way. In recording studio environment, people have chance to interfere in the acoustic environment. Of course there is certain limits but people are able to do it.

Because of this situation, the limits are more larger than the times before the recording. People are able to change the sounds with the recording tech, they do not have this chance to do it with their acoustic instruments. On the other hand, many people, who have not enough ability to play an instrument, have chance to make music and this is really good development. Just like, what Brian Eno said: “ I can neither read nor write music, i cannot play any instruments.” The technology makes it possible, makes the limits more larger, gives a change to come into existence for “different music”. It is so nice, and it is eccentrical.

*Music is all around us, all you have to do is listen. *


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