November 15, 2016
“The latest work in a long series.”
Ambient forefather Brian Eno will release new album Reflection via Warp Records on January 1st 2017.
Continuing his investigation into ambient music which, as he writes “started (as far as record releases are concerned) with Discreet Music in 1975.”
Writing about the release, Eno exhibits a cautiousness about the genre he is credited with creating: “I don’t think I understand what that term [ambient] stands for anymore – it seems to have swollen to accommodate some quite unexpected bedfellows – but I still use it to distinguish it from pieces of music that have fixed duration and rhythmically connected, locked together elements.”
Instead, he says, the pieces on Reflection are “Generative”. He writes: “By that I mean they make themselves. My job as a composer is to set in place a group of sounds and phrases, and then some rules which decide what happens to them. I then set the whole system playing and see what it does, adjusting the sounds and the phrases and the rules until I get something I’m happy with. Because those rules are probabilistic ( – often taking the form ‘perform operation x, y percent of the time’) the piece unfolds differently every time it is activated. What you have here is a recording of one of those unfoldings.”
Accompanied by an extensive text, the album, like it’s title, appears to have provided space for Eno to reflect and rediscover himself in relation to the process of making music:
Perhaps you can divide artists into two categories: farmers and cowboys. The farmers settle a piece of land and cultivate it carefully, finding more and more value in it. The cowboys look for new places and are excited by the sheer fact of discovery, and the freedom of being somewhere that not many people have been before. I used to think I was temperamentally more cowboy than farmer… but the fact that the series to which this piece belongs has been running now for over 4 decades makes me think that there’s quite a big bit of farmer in me.
Brian Eno’s Reflection will be released on double vinyl and can be pre-ordered from Eno’s online shop ahead of its New Year’s Day release here.