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Eno on the Microsoft Sound: 'Here's a specific problem -- solve it.'

Q and A With Brian Eno

Brian Eno, from 1996, speaking on the creation of “The Microsoft Sound” (the gentle little tune that plays when you boot your Windows PC).

I thought you’d enjoy it as an example of how a novel bit of work and some limitations can re-align your perspective and even help you get unstuck about unrelated projects.

(Thanks, Mike)

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 3 1/4 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 84 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.

=)'s picture

Is that mean that Brian...

Is that mean that Brian Eno created boot-sound only for Win'95?




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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