Achieving something undiscovered: Rolex mentor and protégé Ben Frost & Brian Eno
Given Brian Eno stature in the music world, it would’ve been easy enough for him to simply play the producer role for his Rolex Arts Initiative protégé Ben Frost . It would’ve been a huge deal for the young, Australian composer and musician to get the same treatment as bands such as Talking Heads, U2, Robert Fripp and Coldplay, but the father of ambient music wanted to do something entirely new.
“We set out to achieve something in some form that doesn’t even have a name yet,” Eno says. “Where we curate, edit, oversee something that suits our own desire for originality, that is more than just a record, is very much part of the post- Internet world, and that works as the result of us being together, not me working or doing whatever it is I do and him just looking on.”
So the two spent time in one another’s studios, experiencing the other artist, and, because both work in an electronic realm, processing each other. Eno chose to work with Frost because their music was somewhat similar, but their communities were anything but. Eno works in London, in his native England. Frost, on the other hand, has found a home in Reykjavik, Iceland where formed the Bedroom Community record label/collective with Valgeir Sigurðsson and the American, contemporary-classical composter Nico Muhly.
“That (move) was a result of reading about the clichés of Icelandic music, that it was glacial, bleak, epic, and I imagined I would be affected by that,” he says. “The more I travel, the more I realize that, in fact, I have very distinct boundaries in terms of what I’m interested in aesthetically and that doesn’t really change wherever I am.”
That sentiment was apparent when Eno introduced a new work by Frost at the New York Public Library in November. The young composer’s predilection for the darker, more violent side of music was still center stage, if a bit Eno influenced.
This post is sponsored by Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative in partnership with Sundance Channel.