Sonic Icebergs Rising: How Brian Eno came up with 'Ambient' music

by phil on Saturday Feb 21, 2009 4:15 PM

All heroes should write diaries. Not memoirs, but diaries. Diaries help you get inside their heads and copy their algorithms for emulation purposes. This is why I read Brian Eno's diary.

Every time I pick it up, I find something inspiring. This is from page 294, how he came up with the idea for ambient music:

This became clear to me when I was confined to bed, immobilized by an accident in early 1975. My friend Judy Nylon had visited, and brought with her a record of 17th-century harp music. I asked her to put it on as she left, which she did, but I it wasn't until she'd gone that I realized that the hi-fi was much too quiet and one of the speakers had given up anyway. It was raining hard outside, and I could hardly hear the music above the rain - just the loudest notes, like little crystals, sonic icebergs rising out of the storm. I couldn't get up and change it, so I just lay there waiting for my next visitor to come and sort it out, and gradually I was seduced by the listening experience. I realized that this was what I wanted music to be - a place, a feeling, an all-around tint to my sonic environment.

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