New Resonances: When Do I Disappear?

Brian Eno appears in conversation at New Resonances: When Do I Disappear?, part of a series which questions the relationship between music and the architectures and geographies it is made in.

Eno’s most recent music release was the box set ‘Music For Installations’ in May 2018. The six-disc compilation collates a broad selection of his previously unreleased works used in installations around the world, ranging from a 20-minute drone first presented at a gallery in Venice in 1985, to an ambient soundscape recorded for an art installation in Kazakhstan in 2017. Much of the music collated consists of field recordings from “generative music” works, a term coined by Eno in 1995, which he describes as “music that makes itself”. 

The idea of generative music is that once put into motion, the audio devices in play will produce potentially un-ending and continuous, non-repeating music that the artist himself could not have imagined. Eno cites the apparent random nature of wind chimes as an early example of this concept, which led to his experiments with tape loops in the 1980s, and more recently, his influence on the development of phone apps that use algorithms to turn a user’s selections into amorphous soundscapes. 

“When Do I Disappear?” is a conversation between Brian Eno and Richard Sennett – a lifelong music performer himself who is best known as a writer investigating the creation of cities and urban cultures. They pose the question: when does the composer, performer, architect, or audience disappear?

New Resonances takes place at The Whitechapel Gallery on October 11-13.

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