I don’t know if you heard the rumor over the weekend that Brian Eno had died, but it was a hoax, and a fairly poor one at that–it didn’t even heat up the discussion section of his Wikipedia entry when it was added to his bio. While I was over there I found this 1996 quote from him about the back story behind his “Microsoft Sound,” which is the real reason I’m even posting about a rumor that didn’t get off the ground:
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 3¼ 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.