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Brian Eno


As soon as you externalize an idea you see facets of it that weren’t clear when it was just floating around in your head.



For the world to be interesting, you have to be manipulating it all the time.


The more time you spend on an old idea, the more energy you invest in it, the more solid it becomes, and the more it will exclude new ideas.


1. Freeform capture.


Grab from a range of sources without editorializing. According to Tamm, one of Eno’s tactics “involves keeping a microcassette tape recorder on hand at all times and recording any stray ideas that hit him out of the blue – a melody, a rhythm, a verbal phrase.” He’ll then go through and look for links or connections, something that can form the foundation for a new piece of music.


2. Blank state.



Start with new tools, from nothing, and toy around. For example, Eno approaches this by entering the recording studio with no preconceived ideas, only a set of instruments or a few musicians and “just dabble with sounds until something starts to happen that suggests a texture.” When the sound texture evokes a memory or emotion that impression then takes over in guiding the process.


3. Deliberate limitations.


Before a project begins, develop specific limitations. Eno’s example: “this piece is going to be three minutes and nineteen seconds long and it’s going to have changes here, here and here, and there’s going to be a convolution of events here, and there’s going to be a very fast rhythm here with a very slow moving part over the top of it.”





“Creativity is just connecting things.” 


Steve Jobs