Lightforms Soundforms

lightforms soundforms - brian eno - short

At the end towards the sea of las Ramblas, on the right side, there was a series of installations hosted by Centre d’art Santa Mònica: Lightforms / Soundforms – generative images, lights and ambient music by Brian Eno.

77 Million Paintings

Is a large generative audio-visual installation. The textures load randomly and combine with colors and sounds, also loading randomly. The database of the installation is very vast, so Brian Eno calculated that it can actually generate 77 million different, unique, non-repetitive ‘moods’ of  image, color and sound.

“I got interested in the idea of music that could make itself, in a sense, in the mid 1960s really, Eno says, when I first heard composers like Terry Riley, and when I first started playing with tape recorders.” Initially Eno began to experiment with tape loops in the creation of these music systems. Later he created systems that incorporated the use of several CDs with material he had specifically created for random playback, in order to make music of indeterminate duration. Then in 1995 he began working with the company Intermorphic to create generative music with programmed algorithms. The cooperation with Intermorphic led Eno to release Generative Music 1 (requires the Intermorphic’s Koan Player software for PC), so as to make it possible to offer his generative explorations to the public as intended – enabling generative playback.


Eventually Eno also explored the Adobe Flash format to release 77 Million Paintings in 2006. For PC and Mac, again, this enabled Eno to offer his generative explorations to the public as intended. Essentially 77 Million Paintings returns to the methodology of random playback utilized in his earlier work with tape loops and CD (as in it does not incorporate programmed algorithms).

Light Boxes

“The Lightboxes are paintings of lights that constantly evolve. They can be viewed as moving paintings, or visual music.” And they also are part of the visual design of the Reflection Apple App format in 2016.

biran eno - apple

While working together on the generative soundtrack for the video game Spore (2008) Brian Eno and Peter Chilvers began to release generative music in the Apple App format starting with the release of Bloom (2008) on up to their last release: Reflection (Apple App generative version: 2016).

The creative side involves creating scenes – ‘Scapes’ – by choosing backgrounds and colors, then dragging shapes onto them in various combinations. The result is ambient music that’s not under your direct control, but rather plays itself based on the scene you’ve created.

Centre d’Art Santa Mònica

Is a public venue in Barcelona and opened in 1988, exhibiting contemporary art. It is located on Rambla de Santa Mònica and hosts a number of travelling expositions of contemporary Spanish and international artists every year. Entrance is free. The building is a 1626 Renaissance convent that became a monument of national interest in 1984.

brian eno - thursday afternoon 61 minute version
Here is a link to Brian Eno – Thursday Afternoon (61 Minute Version) sound.

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