Watch Another Green World, a Hypnotic Portrait of Brian Eno (2010)

In Sep­tem­ber 1975, Bri­an Eno released his album Anoth­er Green World. The fol­low­ing month, the BBC’s acclaimed doc­u­men­tary series Are­na first aired, using Anoth­er Green World’s title track as its theme music. 35 years lat­er, the show final­ly got around to doc­u­ment­ing Eno him­self. This 2010 episode, also called Anoth­er Green World, cap­tures the “intel­lec­tu­al guru of the rock world” (as a Desert Island Discs DJ calls him) at work in his stu­dio, in con­ver­sa­tion with a vari­ety of interlocutors—including jour­nal­ist Mal­colm Glad­well, record pro­duc­er Steve Lil­ly­white, and evo­lu­tion­ary biol­o­gist Richard Dawkins—and cycling around the green hills that roll around his neigh­bor­hood. Bono from U2, sev­er­al of whose records Eno pro­duced, calls the man “a mind-expand­ing drug,” and lis­ten­ing to Eno expound here upon his var­i­ous ideas about and expe­ri­ences with art, music, tech­nol­o­gy, jour­nal­ing, and his native Eng­land, I’d have to agree.

The faint­ly hyp­not­ic tone and pace of the episode — a sen­si­bil­i­ty not far removed from Eno’s famous “ambi­ent” records like Dis­creet Music and Music for Air­ports — might also have some­thing to do with that. We learn about Eno’s school days, his love of singing, his descent from a long line of “post­men with pas­sion,” his get­ting more girls than Bryan Fer­ry in their days with Roxy Music, his pref­er­ence for incon­sis­tent instru­ments, his his­to­ry with Catholi­cism, his enthu­si­asm for Stafford Beer’s man­age­ment book Brain of the Firm, his work with audio­vi­su­al instal­la­tions, and his ever-present inter­est in how com­plex­i­ty aris­es from sim­plic­i­ty. But we also feel like we’ve seen some­thing not just about Eno, but Eno-like, where form meets func­tion as close­ly as in all of Are­na’s most mem­o­rable episodes and all of Eno’s most mem­o­rable projects. Or maybe I just like the sound of the rain out­side dur­ing the stu­dio seg­ments — a sound which had a lot to do with Eno’s devel­op­ment of ambi­ent music in the first place.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

The Genius of Bri­an Eno On Dis­play in 80 Minute Q&A: Talks Art, iPad Apps, ABBA, & More

Bri­an Eno Once Com­posed Music for Win­dows 95; Now He Lets You Cre­ate Music with an iPad App

Bri­an Eno on Cre­at­ing Music and Art As Imag­i­nary Land­scapes (1989)

Col­in Mar­shall hosts and pro­duces Note­book on Cities and Cul­ture and writes essays on lit­er­a­ture, film, cities, Asia, and aes­thet­ics. He’s at work on a book about Los Ange­lesA Los Ange­les PrimerFol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall.

by | Permalink | Comments (0) |

Sup­port Open Cul­ture

We’re hop­ing to rely on our loy­al read­ers rather than errat­ic ads. To sup­port Open Cul­ture’s edu­ca­tion­al mis­sion, please con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion. We accept Pay­Pal, Ven­mo (@openculture), Patre­on and Cryp­to! Please find all options here. We thank you!

Leave a Reply

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.