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2005 - 16 July - Brian Eno

PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2005 9:26 pm
by Ian M
Another great show with Eno. nice selection of tracks, with Eno's usual acute observations. Loved that Books track among others. Quite why they don't give him a radio show or at least a regular guest slot on somebody else's is a mystery to me (apart from maybe his reluctance to do it). Very entertaining. Though parmesan cheese on its own??

2005 - July 16 - Brian Eno - bulletin

PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2005 12:09 pm
by Charlie
Relaxed and funny, enthusiastic and inquisitive, Brian Eno is the definitive radio ping pong player. His open-mindedness is particularly impressive. There's a sense that he can hear virtues in literally everything he hears, from formula dance music to the most abstract experiments. He listens with ears wide open, alert, unprejudiced, not needing any information to guide his reactions and always able to find the words to express them.

This was our third radio encounter. On each of his previous visits, Brian had shyly played a work in progress, but seemed loathe to let these precious and fragile babies out into the real world. But finally, more than twenty years after his last solo album featuring his own singing, he has chosen eleven songs for a new album called One Day on Earth.

When he arrived at the radio studio, before the show went on air, I was effusive. 'It's great to see you again, Brian.' His response, 'you too', sounded like 'U2', so I said 'David Bowie'. To which he countered, 'Talking Heads.'

Thus did we race through the names of the three musical adventurers whose best records were made with Brian Eno as producer. As we began to talk on air, I suggested that even with the advantage of twenty five years' hindsight, he could hardly have picked three better people to work with, and mentioned rumours that he had recently been collaborating with Paul Simon. 'Yes, and Grace Jones and Travis.' I could not resist suggesting that Travis hardly belonged in such company, but with typical courtesy Brian chose not to chide me for expressing an ill-informed prejudice, and simply said that the two days he had spent with them had been very interesting.

Having had no prior discussion to confirm what topics we might cover (or avoid), the conversation could have gone in any direction, but the advantage of the ping pong structure is that the records provide a thread for what is said.

Brian introduced his first choice by observing that some of the best music he hears these days is in his local newsagent in Queensway, West London, which plays nothing but modern Arabic pop music. If Brian hears a song he particularly likes, he buys the CD and takes it home, unable to read the Arabic script and having no idea who the singers might be. We asked listeners if they could identify the singer of his first choice, and several recognised Amr Diab, whose flamenco-flavoured 'Nour El Ain' has been one of the biggest Arabic pop hits of the past ten years. Brian's choice turned out to be a song from Amr's latest album.

Knowing Brian's weakness for Middle Eastern and Asian female vocalists, I introduced him to Noor, a Pakistani singer pictured on her album cover in the shortest skirt either of us had ever seen. Not for the first time, I wished there could be a way for listeners to hear what is said by a guest while the records are playing. 'I'd love to producer her,' Brian murmured, gazing at her in wonder, but then admitted that he could not imagine what he could improve. He detected the use of an auto-tuner, a device that enables a producer to manipulate the voice, making it jump from one note to another in a way the singer could not naturally achieve.

Brian introduced us to a group from Massachusetts called The Books, whose fascinating song makes me want to hear the rest of the album, which I plan to track down as soon as I've sent off this bulletin. He also played a song from a compilation CD made by a friend, for which Brian had no track information at all. Not knowing what was going to come, I invited listeners to guess who it might be. The voice was reminiscent of Stevie Winwood and the arrangement suggested the Neville Brothers. Along with a few listeners, I pinpointed the vocalist as being David Hidalgo from Los Lobos, but it took a message in our website's feedback forum from Bob Doran in Humboldt County, California to identify the exact source - 'Same Brown Earth' by Hidalgo's side project, Latin Playboys, in cahoots with saxophonist Steve Berlin and lyric writer Louie Perez. Another one I need to find.

As if it were not enough for Brian to bring himself, his selection and his acute observations, he also produced a boulder of Parmesan cheese, apparently hewn out of a quarry somewhere between Queensway and Marylebone. Generous to a fault, Brian shared it with the rest of us. More accustomed to seeing bowls of Parmesan shavings in Italian restaurants, to be sprinkled on pasta dishes, I was not familiar with the concept of eating chunks of it by itself. Wasn't it bitter? Too right, it was bitter. All part of the plot for the dastardly demon of radio ping pong.

email from Brian

PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2005 12:51 pm
by Charlie
that was real fun...thank you so much. I never leave your programme without several new musical thoughts ringing in my ears. And in the case of Noor, not only my ears...


brian eno

PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2005 9:55 pm
by antonija
If someone had asked me my three life wishes many years ago they would have been: 1. Peace on Earth 2. Eco-friendly environment 3. Brian Eno to be music producer for the band I manage.

And I still haven't grew up.

brian eno

PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2005 10:01 pm
by antonija
that was to say how much I appreciate and admire his work and his contribution to the world of music...(so, you don't get me wrong :-)


PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:34 pm
by David Godwin
.....a little late, but one album that seems to have been missed entirely in the recent discussion is Jane Siberry's truly wonderful "When I Was a Boy". I know that Eno's input here seems to be subject to various reports - some say that he produced it, others say that he "contributed" to it, but all I know is that this is an album that I never tire of, but seems to be rarely mentioned. I don't think that he has mentioned it in his ping pongs - a great shame, I think.

Re: 2005 - 16 July - Brian Eno

PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2019 4:22 pm
by Alan
A recording of this programme is available here

Charlie Gillett talks to Brian Eno 16 July 2005