Where to start? “The Jezebel Spirit”? Or maybe his production of The Joshua Tree? The beginning days of glam, when he was the keyboardist and co-founder of Roxy Music. Bowie's Berlin trilogy. Hell, Everything That Happens Will Happen Today, which came out last year, is a career highlight. Here Come the Warm Jets. Taking Tiger Mountain. No New York. Music for Airports.

Or this:

Of the Microsoft theme, Eno's most popular composition — indeed, one of the most recognized works of the past quarter-century, Eno had this to say:

The idea came up at the time when I was completely bereft of ideas. I'd been working on my own music for a while and was quite lost, actually. And I really appreciated someone coming along and saying, “Here's a specific problem — solve it.”

The thing from the agency said, “We want a piece of music that is inspiring, universal, blah- blah, da-da-da, optimistic, futuristic, sentimental, emotional,” this whole list of adjectives, and then at the bottom it said “and it must be 31/4 seconds long.”

I thought this was so funny and an amazing thought to actually try to make a little piece of music. It's like making a tiny little jewel.

In fact, I made 84 pieces. I got completely into this world of tiny, tiny little pieces of music. I was so sensitive to microseconds at the end of this that it really broke a logjam in my own work. Then when I'd finished that and I went back to working with pieces that were like three minutes long, it seemed like oceans of time.

Eno in the 1970s

Eno in the 1970s

One of the most influential musicians of the 20th century, Eno is coming to Richard and Karen Carpenter Performing Arts Center at California State University, Long Beach on September 20 to deliver a lecture. As well, his multi-media art installation, 77 Million Paintings, will be at the University Art Museum, CSULB from September 12 – December 13.





LONG BEACH, CA – Brian Eno will jump-start the 2009/10 15th Anniversary Season at the Richard and Karen Carpenter Performing Arts Center. Best known as the father of ambient music, Eno will deliver an exclusive lecture on September 20, 2009. Eno is displaying his self-generating art installation, 77 Million Paintings, in a Southern California exclusive engagement at the University Art Museum, CSULB.

Brian Eno is internationally known for his work as a musical collaborator with prominent rock musicians including David Bowie, Talking Heads, U2, Coldplay and others. Eno began experimenting with the medium of television and manipulating light shortly after attending the Winchester School of Art in England. His series of ambient music records feature an atmospheric instrumental sound that found expression in both New Age and Minimalist work. Eno's art installation marks a return to his early experimentation with light and television combined with his later innovations in ambient music.

Using sophisticated computer software and audio boom boxes, 77 Million Paintings features constantly changing images and musical compositions, which challenge the notion that the artist must be in control. Eno's input simply sets the trajectory for the work to evolve into patterns that have the potential for surprising him as well as the audience. During the 1990s, Eno became increasingly interested in self-generating systems. Generative Art, as he called it, allows an artwork to take on a life of its own. In 77 Million Paintings, Eno creates audio and visual clusters, gives them a set of rules they must follow, and observes them forming and re-forming their own little artistic communes. He states: “They are living an independent life, and they keep doing things that still surprise me.”

Brian Eno will present 77 Million Paintings and lecture on Sunday, September 20 at Richard and Karen Carpenter Arts Center. Tickets are pricey — $100 ($75 for students/seniors) — but this is Brian Eno. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Carpenter Center Arts Ticket Office at (562) 985-7000. or by clicking here.

LA Weekly