Brian Eno's essay "The Studio as a Compositional Tool"

sahhas

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thanks for posting this, have saved it and will read later!
was thinking of Eno this week when someone posted the thread about Frippertonics.....
 

wombat66

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I went to the lecture Brian Eno gave on this subject at UC Berkeley in early 1980. The lecture closely coincided with the purchase of my first 4 track tape recorder, a Korg ms20 synth and an echoplex, and forever altered the non-linear way I approach music and composition. The lecture also affected my appreciation of bass guitar; a couple of Brian's examples involved isolating the brilliant bass parts in Motown songs showing how the bass is sometimes the lead instrument while still holding down the pocket. Brian also discussed Holger Czukay and the band Can during the lecture, and the next week I bought my first Can record and began a lifelong love of that band.
 

Waylon Acosta

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Thanks for posting it, bookmarked. Brian's essay is one of the best compositional tools I had to read. Unfortunately, I lost it; glad that I found it here.
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andrekp

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Interesting. Probably quite dated, but I think it’s always very good to understand the history of things in order to recognize those current practices that may no longer be bound by t historical limitations.

One thing I noticed was a reference to “orchestral rock music,” which is how what we now call progressive rock was thought of in this period. Before punk music came around and called out groups like Yes, ELO, ELP, Kansas, etc. (even Rush after the first three or so albums) for their over the top, self-indulgent, musical wankings, such music was known (in my circles, at least) as classical rock. It was presumed that the musicians involved had far more in common with orchestral musicians (many WERE classically trained) than the old blues guys. I never heard the term progressive rock until many years later and had no idea to what it referred until someone explained it to me.
 

Bob Womack

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Interesting. Probably quite dated, but I think it’s always very good to understand the history of things in order to recognize those current practices that may no longer be bound by t historical limitations.

One thing I noticed was a reference to “orchestral rock music,” which is how what we now call progressive rock was thought of in this period. Before punk music came around and called out groups like Yes, ELO, ELP, Kansas, etc. (even Rush after the first three or so albums) for their over the top, self-indulgent, musical wankings, such music was known (in my circles, at least) as classical rock. It was presumed that the musicians involved had far more in common with orchestral musicians (many WERE classically trained) than the old blues guys. I never heard the term progressive rock until many years later and had no idea to what it referred until someone explained it to me.
Interestingly, YES and Eddie Offord used many of the same techniques as Brian to compose during that same period, often manipulating the studio to create their compositions. They'd come up with several couple of motifs that worked while jamming in the studio, do 24 track editing to attach them together, then overdub keys or guitars to cover the splice. Rick Wakeman had a 2"x4" with screws in the right places so he could place it onto his organ keyboard and have continuous chords live while he played Mellotron or Moog.

Bob
 

andrekp

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There is a very long Brian Eno documentary out there somewhere, which is very good if one of your streaming services has it for you.
 

andrekp

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6,730
Interestingly, YES and Eddie Offord used many of the same techniques as Brian to compose during that same period, often manipulating the studio to create their compositions. They'd come up with several couple of motifs that worked while jamming in the studio, do 24 track editing to attach them together, then overdub keys or guitars to cover the splice. Rick Wakeman had a 2"x4" with screws in the right places so he could place it onto his organ keyboard and have continuous chords live while he played Mellotron or Moog.

Bob

And apparently Yes had to actually learn how to play some of their own pieces in full before they could tour with them because they were never played in full in recording them. Not exactly The Beatles first album!
 




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