Thursday, October 30, 2008

Rock Revival's Time Capsule (1994): Brian Eno Composes 3 1/4 Second Masterpiece For Microsoft

What a fascinating collaboration between commerce and the avant garde!

In 1994 Microsoft Corp approached none other than Brian Eno to compose music for Windows 95, a piece that became known as "The Microsoft Sound", yes, that sound, you know it, you've heard it a thousand times

Here's a quote from Eno himself from the San Francisco Chronicle:

“ The idea came up at the time when I was completely bereft of ideas. I'd been working on my own music for a while, and was quite lost, actually, and I really appreciated someone coming along and saying, "Here's a specific problem — Solve it!" The thing from the agency said, "We want a piece of music that is inspiring, universal, blah-blah, da-da-da, optimistic, futuristic, sentimental, emotional", this whole list of adjectives, and then, at the bottom, it said: "and it must be 3¼ seconds long". I thought this was so funny, and an amazing thought, to actually try to make a little piece of music. It's like making a tiny little jewel. In fact, I made eighty-four pieces. I got completely into this world of tiny, tiny, little pieces of music. I was so sensitive to microseconds, at the end of this, that it really broke a logjam in my own work. Then, when I'd finished that and I went back to working with pieces that were, like, three minutes long, it seemed like oceans of time."

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