Brian Eno, with ruler in hand, working on an installation at the Exploratorium
Brian Eno, seated onstage during Speaking of Music at the Exploratorium, 1988
Brian Eno, seated onstage with leg over chair arm during Speaking of Music at the Exploratorium, 1988
Brian Eno working on one of his installations at the Exploratorium, 1988
Brian Eno writing, seated on the ground outside the Exploratorium, 1988
Brian Eno and Charles Amirkhanian seated on the floor reviewing albums, 1988

KPFA-FM Music Dept. ➔ Speaking of Music: An Evening With Brian Eno (February 26, 1988)

Analog Audio

Event Type
Interview and Music
Program Series
Speaking of Music
Program Length
190 min
1988-06-13 | broadcast
| 1988-02-26 | created
The legendary perspicacity of composer, artist, and producer Brian Eno was everywhere evident in his February 26, 1988 appearance before a sold out audience at the Palace of Fine Arts Theater, in San Francisco, as part of the San Francisco Exploratorium’s Speaking of Music series, hosted by Charles Amirkhanian. This is an extraordinary visit with the Englishman who has been widely influential in the development of post-rock music. Eno discusses his video work, “Latest Flames,” commissioned by the Exploratorium, and his development and influences in music. Treasured insights into the life and work of this remarkable artist include: “Music for Airports” is music to make you not care if you die; his success is due to the fact that his parents never seemed too interested in what he was doing; “primitive art” just means it has a level of complexity of which you are unaware; classical music in Europe is pathetic, “it is like wall to wall carpeting”; and MTV music videos are the result of “absolutely huge budgets and absolutely minute intelligence.” Eno also discuses his work with the Talking Heads, and his admiration for the singer Robert Wyatt, as well as playing a selection of the music that he had listened to as a child. The program concludes with a lengthy period during which Eno answers numerous questions from the enthusiastic audience.

This was the first of two consecutive appearances at the Exploratorium.
Modern Art
Popular music
Musical Selections
Duke of Earl [excerpt] (1:03) / Gene Chandler -- Mother-in-Law [excerpt] (1:10) / Ernie K-Doe -- Send Me Some Lovin' [excerpt] (1:36) / Little Richard -- Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On) [excerpt] (ca. 1980) (1:20) / Talking Heads -- The Great Curve [excerpt] (ca. 1980) (2:22) / Talking Heads -- Experiences No. 2, for solo voice [excerpt] (1948) (1:29) / John Cage -- The Age of Self [excerpt] (ca. 1984) (2:31) / Robert Wyatt -- [unidentified piano and theremin (?) music] (1:42)
Talking Heads (Born ; Great)
Robert Wyatt, voice (Experiences ; Age)
Art, Modern
Popular music
Video art
Light art
Ambient music
Doo-wop (Music)
Rock music
Music -- Philosophy and aesthetics
Funding for the preservation of this program made possible through a grant by the National Endowment for the Arts.