Oblique Strategies – Brian Eno & Peter Schmidt

Ik zag het toevallig ergens bij Whatspace voorbij komen en bedacht me ineens hoeveel gebruik ik hier ooit van maakte. Dus ook even delen hier. Er zijn van die momenten […]

Ik zag het toevallig ergens bij Whatspace voorbij komen en bedacht me ineens hoeveel gebruik ik hier ooit van maakte. Dus ook even delen hier. Er zijn van die momenten dat je midden in een creatief proces ineens stilvalt en niet weet hoe verder te gaan. Of erger nog, je weet niet hoe te beginnen. Da Vinci helpt je wel op weg door te  ‘doen wat je kent’, maar soms is er grover geschut nodig. Brain Eno (wereldberoemd als producer van Paul Simon, Coldplay en U2 maar ook bekend als toetsenist van Roxy Music en natuurlijk als geluidskunstenaar) maakte samen met Peter Schmidt (toen bekende schilder in Engeland) in 1975 het kaartenpaket Oblique Strategies waarin oplossingen werden gegeven om ideeën op gang te brengen.

Hier willekeurig kaartensysteem (aanrader!) , hieronder staan ze allemaal onder elkaar.


Abandon normal instruments

Accept advice


A line has two sides

Allow an easement (an easement is the abandonment of a stricture)

Are there sections? Consider transitions

Ask people to work against their better judgement

Ask your body

Assemble some of the instruments in a group and treat the group

Balance the consistency principle with the inconsistency principle

Be dirty

Breathe more deeply

Bridges -build -burn


Change instrument roles

Change nothing and continue with immaculate consistency

Children’s voices -speaking -singing

Cluster analysis

Consider different fading systems

Consult other sources -promising -unpromising

Convert a melodic element into a rhythmic element


Cut a vital connection

Decorate, decorate

Define an area as ‘safe’ and use it as an anchor

Destroy -nothing -the most important thing

Discard an axiom

Disconnect from desire

Discover the recipes you are using and abandon them

Distorting time

Do nothing for as long as possible

Don’t be afraid of things because they’re easy to do

Don’t be frightened of cliches

Don’t be frightened to display your talents

Don’t break the silence

Don’t stress one thing more than another

Do something boring

Do the washing up

Do the words need changing?

Do we need holes?

Emphasise differences

Emphasise repetitions

Emphasise the flaws

Faced with a choice, do both (given by Dieter Rot)

Feedback recordings into an acoustic situation

Fill every beat with something

Get your neck massaged

Ghost echoes

Give the game away

Give way to your worst impulse

Go slowly all the way round the outside

Honor thy error as a hidden intention

How would you have done it?

Humanise something free of error

Imagine the music as a moving chain or caterpillar

Imagine the music as a set of disconnected events

Infinitesimal gradations

Intentions -credibility of -nobility of -humility of

Into the impossible

Is it finished?

Is there something missing?

Is the tuning appropriate?

Just carry on

Left channel, right channel, centre channel

Listen in total darkness, or in a very large room, very quietly

Listen to the quiet voice

Look at a very small object, look at its centre

Look at the order in which you do things

Look closely at the most embarrassing details and amplify them

Lowest common denominator check -single beat -single note -single riff

Make a blank valuable by putting it in an exquisite frame

Make an exhaustive list of everything you might do and do the last thing on the list

Make a sudden, destructive unpredictable action; incorporate

Mechanicalise something idiosyncratic

Mute and continue

Only one element of each kind

(Organic) machinery

Overtly resist change

Put in earplugs

Remember .those quiet evenings

Remove ambiguities and convert to specifics

Remove specifics and convert to ambiguities

Repetition is a form of change


Short circuit (example; a man eating peas with the idea that they will improve his virility shovels them straight into his lap)

Shut the door and listen from outside

Simple subtraction

Spectrum analysis

Take a break

Take away the elements in order of apparent non-importance

Tape your mouth (given by Ritva Saarikko)

The inconsistency principle

The tape is now the music

Think of the radio

Tidy up

Trust in the you of now

Turn it upside down

Twist the spine

Use an old idea

Use an unacceptable colour

Use fewer notes

Use filters

Use ‘unqualified’ people


What are you really thinking about just now? Incorporate

What is the reality of the situation?

What mistakes did you make last time?

What would your closest friend do?

What wouldn’t you do?

Work at a different speed

You are an engineer

You can only make one dot at a time

You don’t have to be ashamed of using your own ideas

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