77 Million Ways To Make Music

Brian Eno’s 77 Million Paintings project recently finished a three-night run at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. The show involved music and visuals which were generative in nature; that is, rather than being pre-recorded and predetermined, they are instead enacted according to certain parameters defined by the artist, but produce sound-and-visionscapes that are unique and constantly evolving.

Eno is credited with inventing ambient music, and has been working with the concept of generative soundscapes since the 1970s. He describes his albums Discreet Music and Music for Airports as being like snapshots from longer generative works – a kind of eternal music, evolving and self-sustaining, but without being eternally repetitive. Such evolutionary techniques open multimedia onto an infinite canvas, where a performance can (practically) continue forever without any formal repetition. Thus, the listener/observer is brought on a voyage of discovery with the performance, where even the creator of the piece will be experiencing it for the first time.

Eno is currently working on the soundtrack for Spore, the new computer game from Sims creator Will Wright. True to Eno’s generative ethos, the soundtrack will evolve and respond to the player’s interaction with the environment, developing alongside the gameplay itself.

Wired have an interview with Eno here.


Home | Canabrism | Guides | All Music Technology Posts | XML Sitemap