A Mesmerizing Music Video for Brian Eno’s “Emerald and Stone” Made with Paint, Soap & Water

Bri­an Eno turned 75 years old this past spring, but if he has any thoughts of retire­ment, they haven’t slowed his cre­ation of new art and music. Just last year he put out his lat­est solo album FOREVERANDEVERNOMORE, videos from whose songs we fea­tured here on Open Cul­ture. How­ev­er com­pelling the offi­cial mate­r­i­al released by Eno, the bod­ies of fan-made work it tends to inspire also mer­its explo­ration. Take French visu­al artist Thomas Blan­chard’s short film “Emer­ald and Stone” above, which visu­al­izes the epony­mous track from Eno’s 2010 album Small Craft on a Milk Sea, a col­lab­o­ra­tion with Jon Hop­kins and Leo Abra­hams.

“Emer­ald and Stone,” which you’ll want to watch in full-screen mode, con­sists entire­ly of “riv­et­ing imagery built from a sim­ple con­coc­tion of paint, soap and water.” So says Aeon, in praise of the film’s “ephemer­al dream­world of flow­ing music and visu­als that’s easy to sink into.”

Its drift­ing, glit­ter­ing bub­bles have a plan­e­tary look, con­tribut­ing to a visu­al aes­thet­ic that suits the son­ic one. Like many of the oth­er com­po­si­tions on Small Craft on a Milk Sea, “Emer­ald and Stone” will sound on some lev­el famil­iar to lis­ten­ers who only know Eno’s ear­li­er work devel­op­ing the genre of ambi­ent music in the nine­teen-sev­en­ties and eight­ies.

That same era wit­nessed — or rather, heard — the rise of “new age” music, which played up its asso­ci­a­tions with out­er space, seas of tran­quil­i­ty, the move­ment of the heav­en­ly bod­ies, and so on. Eno’s work was, at least in this par­tic­u­lar sense, some­what more down-to-earth: he called his break­out ambi­ent album Music for Air­ports, after all, hav­ing cre­at­ed it with those util­i­tar­i­an spaces in mind. Appro­pri­ate­ly enough, Blan­chard’s short for “Emer­ald and Stone” evokes the cos­mos with­out depart­ing from the fine grain of our own world, and appears abstract while hav­ing been made whol­ly from every­day mate­ri­als. Eno him­self would sure­ly approve, hav­ing premised his own on not escap­ing real­i­ty, but plac­ing it in a more inter­est­ing con­text.

via Aeon

Relat­ed con­tent:

The Bri­an Eno Discog­ra­phy: Stream 29 Hours of Record­ings by the Mas­ter of Ambi­ent Music

Watch Videos for 10 Songs on Bri­an Eno’s Brand New Album, FOREVERANDEVERNOMORE

“Day of Light”: A Crowd­sourced Film by Mul­ti­me­dia Genius Bri­an Eno

Bri­an Eno Explains the Ori­gins of Ambi­ent Music

Watch Bri­an Eno’s Exper­i­men­tal Film “The Ship,” Made with Arti­fi­cial Intel­li­gence

Bri­an Eno on the Loss of Human­i­ty in Mod­ern Music

Based in Seoul, Col­in Marshall writes and broad­casts on cities, lan­guage, and cul­ture. His projects include the Sub­stack newslet­ter Books on Cities, the book The State­less City: a Walk through 21st-Cen­tu­ry Los Ange­les and the video series The City in Cin­e­ma. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

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