Mistaken Memories Of Mediaeval Manhattan
Brian Eno (1981)
Last night, I spent a few hours laying back on the sofa with the lights out watching a few hours of MTV that someone had recorded in 1982. It's a nice way to relax and escape the world for a little while. The recordings are uncut with the original commercials and VJ segments intact, so when I allow myself to get lost in the moment, it can really feel like I've been taken 40 years back in time.
During one of the segments between the music videos, the late great JJ Jackson had an update on some of the new albums, tours and projects that were on the horizon. In this news update, Mr. Jackson mentioned a Brian Eno project that I hadn't heard of before.
Following the Brian Eno news, Mr. Jackson mentioned that The Beatles first session with producer George Martin took place 20 years ago tomorrow, which would mean that this recording is from June 5th, 1982.
He described the Brian Eno project as a forty minute video documenting 24 hours of the New York City skyline that's backed by music from his most recent album, which was called On Land. He then chuckled at the idea that you would have to turn your television set on its side to watch it because the video was shot vertically instead of horizontally. Today, we're accustomed to flipping our mobile phones depending on the orientation of the video that we're watching, but the reason that JJ Jackson finds this idea to be so ridiculous is the fact that a living room television in 1982 weighed about a hundred pounds and was usually set inside of a large wooden cabinet. Nobody was flipping their tv on its side to watch anything.
The one thing he didn't mention was the name of this Brian Eno project, but it didn't take too long to figure it out. It's called Mistaken Memories Of Mediaeval Manhattan. Mr. Eno referred to this project, which was filmed in 1980 and 1981, as a Video Painting when it was shown at art exhibitions around the world. He re-assembled the footage in 1987, and I was very happy to find that it has made its way to YouTube in recent years. Click here if you want to watch the video as it was originally filmed. Otherwise, click play below to view it with the screen rotated.
I tried to embed it without the black bars on the left and right, but I can't figure out how to make it work. Sorry.