BEEP discografie entry for Thursday Afternoon
Thursday Afternoon
Brian Eno

click on image to enlarge
Year: 1985
Categorie: Solo/Ambient
Cover Art Credits:
Russel mills
Producer info:
Brian Eno
Recording Location info:
Grant Avenue,Toronto
Catalog info:
CD: EG  827 494-2
    Carol 1518-2 
    EG Records EGCD 64
1.- Thursday afternoon       61:00 <--  ALSO  <--  sound 
         61 mins version

Additional information:
Edited and shortened version of the music to the 
video with same title.
Origination team  Brian Eno, Daniel Lanois & Roger
Mix team          Brian Eno, Daniel Lanois & 
                  Michael Brook
Engineers         Daniel Lanois (Grant 
                  Tim Hunt      (Marcus,London)
Digital engineer  Nigel Gayler (Decca,London)
Dig Consultant    Carlos Olms

Liner Notes:

Despite his considerable and varied musical output, there has been an underlying 
consistency at the foundation of all of Brian Eno's work. This consistency is the 
product of his curiosity about the nature of the medium in which he is working - a 
curiosity that has often succeeded in generating results just beyond current 
assumptions of what was possible.

This experimental attitude asks several questions: what can be done now that could not
be done before? What kinds of music does that suggest? And what kinds of listening 
behaviour? These questions, in turn, point up a central assumption of Eno's work: not
only is music always evolving new forms of structures, it is also continually changing
its social function, occupying new niches in the cultural landscape. We make music in 
new ways, and we hear music in new places. Technological change is, of course, a major 
factor in this evolution. The development of recording processes extended the cultural 
niche of music beyond live performance and into all sorts of times and spaces, turning 
music into a durable, transportable art in much the same way as writing transformed the 
spoken word. And, besides extending those listening options, specific recording 
techniques have suggested entirely new ways of composing music.

Much of Eno's work is predicated on an intuitive response to this evolution. 
"Music for Airports", for example, is a series of pieces that could only have been 
generated in a multi-track studio and which are designed to take advantage of recently 
created listening spaces made available for background music. As he has often done in 
his work, Eno recognised the unused capacity of a new cultural landscape and took 
advantage of it. "Thursday Afternoon" is perhaps the first recording specifically for 
the compact disc and it utilized two new freedoms of that format: it is 61 minutes long 
(a duration that only the compact disc could accommodate) and its is occasionally very 
quiet (made possible by the disc's lack of surface noise). It seems likely that, just as 
the 78-rpm record set the scene for the 3-minute song, so the compact disc will foster 
an interest among composers in long-duration pieces like this one. Perhaps less p
redictable is how composers will respond to the prospect of silence within recording.

Compositionally, "Thursday Afternoon" belongs to the family of works which also includes
"Discreet Music" and "Music for Airports". Like them it is an even-textured, spacious 
and contemplative piece in which several musical events appear and recur more or less 
regularly. Each event, however, recurs with a different cyclic frequency and thus the 
whole piece becomes an unfolding display of unique sonic clusters. Eno has characterised 
this style of composition as "holographic", by which he means that any brief section of 
the music is representative of the whole piece, in the same way that any fragment of a 
hologram shows the whole of the holographic image but with a lower resolution. Eno's 
intention with these pieces is that they should function as tapestries; large-scale, 
non-intrusive atmospheres which lend a consistent mood to the environments in which 
they are heard. Perhaps, then, they should be seen as more closely related to painting 
(and in particular that school of painting that verges into environmental design) than 
to any traditional notion of music.
C. S. J. Bofop, August 1985

From the inset in Eno's album "Thursday Afternoon":
The music on this disc was originally recorded for the video made in April 1984 at the 
request of Sony Japan. The video THURSDAY AFTERNOON is on vertical format i.e. the TV 
set has to be turned onto its right side. It consists of seven video-paintings of 
Christine Alicino filmed in San Francisco and was treated and assembled at Sony in Tokyo.

The following is an extract from the video's inlay card:
These pieces represent a response to what is presently the most interesting challenge of 
video: how does one make something that can be seen again and again in the way that a 
gramophone record can be listened to repeatedly? I feel that video makers have generally 
addressed this issue with very little success: their work has been conceived within the 
aesthetic frame of cinema and television (an aesthetic that presupposes a very limited 
number of viewings) but then packaged and presented in a format that clearly intends 
multiple viewings, the tape or disc ... Unfortunately, the cinematic heritage seems 
inimical to the idea of multiple-view video tapes or discs. It relies heavily for its 
impact on a dramatic momentum which is sustained by frequent scene changes, fast editing
and the narrative development of the plot. As a result, being in some way a function of 
surprise, this impact is eroded by repeated viewings. The usual response to this problem 
has been to load the video with more scene-changes, faster edits, stranger camera angles 
and more exotic special effects, in short, more surprises - presumably, in the hope of 
delaying the inevitable decline in interest in the work as it becomes more familiar. 
This is the condition of pop-video, and it has almost nowhere left to go in this 
So long as video is regarded only as an extension of film or television, increasing 
hysteria and exoticism is its most likely future. Our background as television viewers 
has conditioned us to expect that things on screens change dramatically and in a 
significant temporal sequence, and has therefore reinforced a rigid relationship between 
viewer and screen - you sit still and it moves. I am interested in a type of work which 
does not necessarily suggest this relationship: a more steady-state image-based work 
which one can look at and walk away from as one would a painting: it sits still and you