Saturday, May 17, 2014


"I was trying to make a piece that could be listened to and yet could be ignored."

"In January this year (1975) I had an accident. I was not seriously hurt, but I was confined to bed in a stiff and static position. My friend Judy Nylon visited me and brought me a record of 18th century harp music. After she had gone, and with some considerable difficulty, I put on the record. Having laid down, I realized that the amplifier was set at an extremely low level, and that one channel of the stereo had failed completely. Since I hadn't the energy to get up and improve matters, the record played on almost inaudibly. This presented what was for me a new way of hearing music — as part of the ambience of the environment just as the colour of the light and the sound of the rain were parts of the ambience. It is for this reason that I suggested listening to the piece at comparatively low levels, even to the extent that it frequently falls below the threshold of audibility."

Discreet Music ~ Brian Eno
Obscure Records 1975


ACravan said...

I remember first hearing this and reading the liner notes, the surprise I felt and also the pleasure. Eno was a lot of fun until about exactly then. Afterwards, he got a little draggy and pretentious, but it's good that the man succeeded in his professional career. (I'm definitely a fan, but especially of the marvelous early work.) By the way, I later got to meet Judy Nylon, who is a very nice and interesting person.

Bob Arnold / Longhouse said...


I've come to expect a bit more from you contributing toward the occasional Birdhouse showing, many thanks. I'm also traveling with you preferring early Eno. This morning the latter might enjoy himself here, after 3 inches of woods driven rain (falling through new leaves) the river is roaring.

all's well, Bob

ACravan said...

I'll try to do better. It's a stressful year around here with my daughter's college applications just around the corner and the various unexpected hassles of entering the private practice of law. The early Eno, i.e. Here Come The Warm Jets, Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy), The Seven Deadly Finns and this are what I treasure. Plus his Roxy Music work and his collaborations with Kevin Ayers. What came later seem much less inspired elaborations of the previous work, but I have great fondness and admiration for the man. Curtis

Bob Arnold / Longhouse said...

You do very well to my ears, Curtis, and I couldn't have said it better. I'm in easy agreement.

Does private law practice, and you armed with early Eno delights, know you're coming for them?!

all's well, B.