Art of Record Production Conference
May 17-19, 2019
Berklee College of Music, 921 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02215
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Saturday, May 18 • 11:00 - 11:30
Conduits of Creation: The Role of the Synthesizer in Brian Eno’s Discreet Music

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Today, technology develops autonomously; we embrace its progression, its efficiency, as it propels our culture at breakneck speed toward a future that’s hard to see clearly. Technology has infiltrated commerce, education, government and art of record production through many key contributions. One seminal technological contribution to music making was the synthesizer. It remains a conduit for creation for many musicians and producers, acting as a vehicle of sound exploration. In many cases, the synthesizer facilitated the musician or producer to take a more functionary role within the art of record production by simply becoming a controller, allowing the synthesizer to become the primary compositional voice.

This paper explores the ‘what if’ principle through Brian Eno’s 1975 album Discreet Music. Here, creation, collaboration and connectivity are skillfully distributed between man and machine. Discreet Music masterfully employs an EMS Synthi AKS synthesizer that once set into operation by Eno, creates soundscapes with little or no intervention on the performers part apart from occasionally alternating the timbre of the synthesizer. It examines the roles of collaboration, invention, innovation within technology that helped Eno bypass traditional record production mechanisms. Furthermore, the paper highlights Eno’s contribution to notions of control within electronic music production, his influence within generative music making and questions current creative utopias that allow toward the control over every imaginable parameter within electronic music making through MIDI and automation.

avatar for Neil O'Connor

Neil O'Connor

Digital Media Arts Research Centre, University of Limerick
Composer and Producer Neil O Connor has been involved in experimental & electro-acoustic music for the past 21 years and has performed extensively in Ireland, Europe, Australia, Asia and the US. His work was been shown/performed at MOMA, New York, IRCAM Paris, Institute of Contemporary... Read More →

Saturday May 18, 2019 11:00 - 11:30 EDT
Classroom 511 (5th floor) 921 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02215, USA