Thursday Afternoon

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Thursday Afternoon
Studio album by Brian Eno
Released 1985
Recorded 1984 & 1985
Genre Ambient
Length 60:54
Label EG,[1] Polydor
Producer Brian Eno, Roger Eno, Daniel Lanois
Brian Eno chronology
The Pearl
(1984)
Thursday Afternoon
(1985)
Hybrid
(1985)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[2]
Pitchfork Media 8.8/10[3]
Uncut 4/5 stars[4]
Mojo 5/5 stars[5]

Thursday Afternoon is a 1985 album by the British ambient musician Brian Eno consisting of one 60-minute eponymous composition. It is the rearranged soundtrack to a video production of the same title made in 1984.

Background[edit]

Since recording Discreet Music in 1975, Eno had shown a strong interest in creating music that can influence the atmosphere of the space in which it is played, rather than be focused on directly. The Thursday Afternoon video was conceived as a series of seven "video paintings" which can be looked at in passing without demanding full attention from the viewer. Each of the segments depicts simple imagery that has been treated with visual effects, much in the same way as Eno's music is often made up of simple instrumental performances that have been treated with audio effects.

The music on this album consists of multiple tracks of processed piano and electronic textures. The layers of the composition are phased so that their relationships to each other are constantly changing in a way similar to his previous Discreet Music piece. The album was also one of the first to take advantage of the (then new) extended running time of the compact disc format, containing only one 60-min track.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Thursday Afternoon" – 60:00

Video[edit]

The original video, made at the request of and released by the Sony Corporation of America, was filmed in San Francisco in April 1984, and treated and assembled at Sony in Tokyo. Produced by Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois, it features seven "video paintings" of actress and photographer Christine Alicino, a friend of Eno's, and has a running time of 82 minutes. It was filmed in "vertical format," which necessitated the viewer either lie on their side or turn the television on its side, which often proved impractical for many viewers, and in most affected the picture tube's color purity adjustments. The DVD reissue presents it in both portrait and landscape formats so that this is no longer necessary.

The content is a series of images that stay static for some time and then slowly move forward, often to pause again. Various video techniques were implemented, such as image feedback, to create a very different interpretation of video and the nude.

Eno himself was aware of the newness of what he was doing. "I was delighted to find this other way of using video because at last here's video which draws from another source, which is painting .... I call them 'video paintings' because if you say to people 'I make videos', they think of Sting's new rock video or some really boring, grimy 'Video Art'. It's just a way of saying, 'I make videos that don't move very fast".[6]

The soundtrack was recorded at Dan Lanois's studio in Canada,[7] and is a longer, different mix. Three time-lapse GIFs give an impression of the subject matter and its treatment, although not the slow-moving speed of the video: 97K,[8] 99K,[9] 249K.[10]

The CD album[edit]

At just one track of 60 mins in length, the music is ambient: beatless, flowing and ethereal.[11] Remixing and rearranging from the soundtrack to suit the CD media, Eno explains "the music wasn't recorded digitally. It was recorded on a 24-track analogue machine, and then digitally mastered."[12]

An acoustic piano plays a series of notes and simple chords against a background of synths, which eventually dominate the entire soundscape. Though the composition sounds "static", in the sense that its length makes it seem like a solid "lump" of sound, it features many unstable elements that change in both timbre and volume over its entirety.[13]

Credits[edit]

Additional personnel

Versions[edit]

Video[edit]

  • Released on – VHS, Beta (NTSC, cat# 2929), Laser disc, Videodisc (probably a bootleg)
  • Japan – Sony, OOZM 70 (VHS) / OOQM 70 (Beta)
  • UK – Hendring, Hen 2 133 (VHS)
  • Germany – Video Edition Markgraph, VEM 101 (VHS)

DVD[edit]

The video has been repackaged with his Mistaken Memories of Mediaeval Manhattan (a 1981, 47-minute ambient video created by Eno) as 14 Video Paintings, All Saints Records, 2005 & 2006, (HNDVD 1508) [14] (Region 1 NTSC & Region 2 PAL).

Music[edit]

Country Label Cat. No. Media Release Date
UK EG Records EGCD 64 CD 1985
Germany EG Records 827,494 2 CD 1985
UK Virgin ENOCD11 CD 2005
Japan EMI 68746 CD 2005
UK Polydor 827,494-2 ? ?
US Caroline 1518-2 ? ?

References[edit]

  1. ^ Discogs - 14 releases of Thursday Afternoon
  2. ^ Thursday Afternoon at AllMusic
  3. ^ pitchfork - Brian Eno Music for Films - Apollo - Thursday Afternoon - More Music for Films
  4. ^ Uncut (p.117) – 4 stars out of 5 – "Magnificently evocative..."
  5. ^ Mojo (Publisher) (p.114) – 5 stars out of 5 – "[A] seamless 61 minutes of random piano notes falling, like raindrops from a leaf, onto a shimmering synthesizer puddle."
  6. ^ "NME: Proxy Music". Music.hyperreal.org. 9 November 1985. Retrieved 2012-11-14. 
  7. ^ "Account Suspended". Grantavestudio.com. Retrieved 2012-11-14. 
  8. ^ "Gif file". Music.hyperreal.org. Retrieved 2012-11-14. 
  9. ^ "Gif file". Music.hyperreal.org. Retrieved 2012-11-14. 
  10. ^ "Gif file". Music.hyperreal.org. Retrieved 2012-11-14. 
  11. ^ "MOJO: To Infinity and Beyond". Music.hyperreal.org. 1 June 1974. Retrieved 2012-11-14. 
  12. ^ "E&MM: The Sound of Silence". Music.hyperreal.org. Retrieved 2012-11-14. 
  13. ^ "The Observer: Over and Over". Music.hyperreal.org. 23 February 1986. Retrieved 2012-11-14. 
  14. ^ "14 Video Paintings by BRIAN ENO – DVD – Boomkat – Your independent music specialist". Boomkat. Retrieved 2012-11-14. 

External links[edit]