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Brian Eno to release ‘endless’ album

By | Published on Monday 19 December 2016

Brian Eno

Brian Eno has revealed that his new album, ‘Reflection’, will see him achieve a long held goal to create an ambient record that does not end.

As well as releases in time-limited standard formats, the album will be available through apps for iOS and Apple TV on which the music on the record will play endlessly until the sun explodes and destroys all evidence of the human race having ever existed. Either that or until you get bored and turn it off. Whichever comes first.

“‘Reflection’ is the most recent of my ambient experiments and represents the most sophisticated of them so far”, says Eno, explaining his ambitions for the app-version of his new record. “My original intention with ambient music was to make endless music, music that would be there as long as you wanted it to be. I wanted also that this music would unfold differently all the time – ‘like sitting by a river’: it’s always the same river, but it’s always changing”.

He continues: “Recordings – whether vinyl, cassette or CD – are limited in length, and replay identically each time you listen to them. So in the past I was limited to making the systems which make the music, but then recording 30 minutes or an hour and releasing that. ‘Reflection’ in its album form – on vinyl or CD – is like this. But the app by which ‘Reflection’ is produced is not restricted: it creates an endless and endlessly changing version of the piece of music”.

“The creation of a piece of music like this falls into three stages: the first is the selection of sonic materials and a musical mode – a constellation of musical relationships”, he carries on further still. I’ll tell you what; this quote is starting to feel endless. “These are then patterned and explored by a system of algorithms which vary and permutate the initial elements I feed into them, resulting in a constantly morphing stream (or river) of music. The third stage is listening. Once I have the system up and running I spend a long time – many days and weeks in fact – seeing what it does and fine-tuning the materials and sets of rules that run the algorithms. It’s a lot like gardening: you plant the seeds and then you keep tending to them until you get a garden you like”.

The album is out on 1 Jan.