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Love Eno - consistently intelligent approach, always makes for a good read.
...that line jumped out as me as being a particularly crass and unnecessary statement in what was otherwise an interesting read.
only 16% of Americans believe in non-divine evolution, which is probably miles less than anywhere else in the developed world.
American's WILL vote for a President who doesn't believe in Evolution (some of the Republican candidates even this year are 'I.D' proponents), and so do believe in 'the Rapture'. Scary stuff.
Look, I'm a card-carrying Eno superfan (or at least used to be), but damn.
The reason those dumb 'mercuns don't fully grasp evolution theory isn't because they can't understand how complexity arises from simplicity; it's because the sheer, massive scope of time involved is difficult to comprehend when all of recorded human history can be found in just three millennia and human life span is 100 years at most.
Which is why I find this particular piece ironic. "The composer as architect metaphor was a transitory historical blip"? Really? And that makes Eno, Reich, Riley and Cage, erm... what? Eno's touch points for this very piece range from the late '60s to...gasp... the early '70s. (Yes, I know all but Cage are still active, but you see my point.) I confess I never listen to classical music, but I have to imagine the most minor of Mozart's works will outlast, say, The Drop or Drums Between the Bells by an eternity. Hell, my favorite of Eno's "serious" works is Side 2 of Discreet Music, and the "seed" for that generative work work is no less than Pachelbel's Canon in D.
Maybe I just misinterpreted that "blip" line and am taking this piece the wrong way. But I think Eno could help his case for composer as gardener by putting out a really kickass album any time now.
in mistaking Eno's take on something as necessarily being about him, rather than music as a whole.
If he is talking about music as a whole, who exactly is making music this way today and pushing the process in that direction? I know he's encouraging an approach of surrender over control, but music as architecture is certainly not over by any stretch. He sets it up here as a dichotomy I don't think needs to exist.
I usually love reading Eno's stuff but I think my problem here is he's forced by the context (the Garden Marathon) to explore the analogy of gardening and music... and to me, gardening is the furthest thing possible from surrender I can imagine (just check out my lawn sometime to see what surrender looks like). Generative music still comes down to control (selection of the musical seeds, the algorithms, etc), and even then most of the time the results can be really tedious (much of Bell Studies) rather than surprising or revelatory (Neroli). In the Guardian recently he a similar argument but instead used the analogy of surfing rather than gardening and saw control and surrender as complementary rather than opposing forces, and it made for a much more compelling argument:
...And the shot at the 'murcans in this speech was cheap: it added nothing to the argument and was ingratiation at best. Yessir, the rest of the world are staunch Darwinists, right?
''Brian Eno —who consulted closely in the creation of SO?LARIS...''
So I suspect that Eno wasn't actually involved with the recording or the writing of the record, which is bloody brilliant.
Every time he opens his mouth, little baldy gobbets of poncey smugness fall out.