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  • Writer's pictureTapetown

The "Oblique Strategies" Technique

Brian Eno is a highly respected music producer who has worked with a diverse range of artists such as David Bowie, Talking Heads, and U2. One of the techniques he's known for is the use of "Oblique Strategies," a deck of cards with aphorisms that he created with artist Peter Schmidt.

The idea behind the Oblique Strategies is to help artists break out of creative ruts by introducing random or unexpected elements into their process. Each card in the deck contains a phrase or instruction designed to prompt creative thinking or to challenge conventional approaches to recording and production.

For example, a card might read "Use an old idea" or "Turn it upside down." When faced with a creative block or a difficult decision in the studio, Eno and his collaborators would draw a card from the deck and use it as a starting point for new ideas or approaches.

The Oblique Strategies technique has been used by countless musicians and producers over the years, and has become a beloved tool for creative problem-solving and experimentation. It encourages artists to embrace chance and uncertainty, and to be open to new possibilities and approaches.

In addition to the Oblique Strategies, Eno is known for his innovative use of technology and his emphasis on creating unique sonic landscapes. He's credited with inventing the concept of "ambient" music, and has pushed the boundaries of what is possible in terms of sound design and production.

Overall, Brian Eno's approach to recording and production is characterized by a sense of adventure, experimentation, and playfulness. He's known for encouraging artists to take risks and to embrace the unknown, and his work continues to inspire and influence musicians and producers around the world.


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