The stages Brian Eno roars again in Venice

Brian Eno (Woodbridge, United Kingdom, 1948) coined for himself the fortunate concept of the "non-musician" to justify many artistic decisions

The stages Brian Eno roars again in Venice

Brian Eno (Woodbridge, United Kingdom, 1948) coined for himself the fortunate concept of the "non-musician" to justify many artistic decisions. For example, preferring atmosphere over structure, or trusting more in chance than in a traditional method of composition, which has ended up bringing him closer to figures like John Cage than to the rock star archetype, and everything that without stopping him from making fantastic albums of songs and producing bands like Talking Heads or U2. But, above all, the status of non-musician granted Eno the freedom of not having to validate himself in conventions such as playing certain instruments, being a virtuoso or performing live. He did the playing live at the very beginning of his career, when he was the synthesizer wizard at Roxy Music, and he has occasionally appeared at festivals or singular events. One of his last appearances was in 2021, in a concert with his brother Roger in front of the Acropolis in Athens.

But since being a non-musician implies not abiding by any rules and always making the most unexpected decision, it will be in 2023, and at 75 years old, when Eno finally undertakes his first concert tour that will total a total of five dates - and six performances - during the last fortnight of October, an event so limited, rare and with an exquisite approach that it has generated a logical and excessive expectation. For him it may be an unexpected turn to add more luster to his legend and an almost perfect career.

“Micro-music” is the common thread of the concerts at the 67th edition of the Venice Music Biennale, which will be held from October 16 to 29. On the 21st, Eno will premiere a commissioned work at the Teatro La Fenice.

What Eno will do is present a show titled Ships, in which he will play some important pieces from his career, but which will fundamentally be based on the material from his album The Ship (Warp, 2016), an ambient exercise with floating and tormented voices. that never end up becoming songs, and hence their mysterious charm. He will do so in the company of a faithful group of collaborators such as guitarist Leo Abrams, keyboardist Peter Chilvers and his faithful Roger Eno, to whom we must add an important complement, a cherry on top that will give the presentation a solemn classic packaging: the participation of the actor Peter Serafinowicz -as a supplementary voice to that of Eno- and the Baltic Sea Philharmonic, directed by Kristjan Järvi, to emphasize the twilight atmosphere, inspired by an imaginary war, that hovered above The Ship.

In a press release, the artist explained that he is looking for a group of young and instinctive musicians who know how to ignore the rigidities of a score and play from the heart, letting themselves be carried away by the current of sound, a quality that he found in this ductile Scandinavian orchestra. . The premiere of Ships will be at the Biennale Musica 2023 in Venice, on October 21, where Eno will receive the Golden Lion in recognition of his entire musical career, and in a general framework in which the importance of music will be delved into electronic throughout history, with the participation of pioneers of synthesized sound such as Morton Subotnik and legends of abstract techno from the 90s onwards such as the duo Autechre or the Berlin producer Robert Henke.

Once he premieres his show, specially commissioned by the Biennale, Eno will continue his tour in symphony auditoriums in October, passing through Berlin (24th), Paris (26th), Utrecht (28th) and London, with two concerts in a row at the Royal Festival Hall on the 30th. Whether there will be continuity, only Eno knows: maybe he will have fun and want to continue the tour; or perhaps he prefers to leave us wanting more, a privilege that only a star who is also a non-musician can afford.