Another Green World

Some nice things that people have said about my book on Brian Eno, Another Green World. 


“The journalist Geeta Dayal…writes often about sound, technology and how those subjects intersect through the story of electronic music. (Her book on Brian Eno’s album “Another Green World” is key to understanding a part of that story.)” Full article


“In Geeta Dayal’s book about the album, also titled “Another Green World,” the bassist Percy Jones recalls, “There was this one time where he gave everybody a piece of paper, and he said write down 1 to 100 or something like that, and then he gave us notes to play against specific numbers.” Phil Collins, who played drums on the album, reacted to these instructions by throwing beer cans across the room. “I think we got up to 24 and then gave up and did something else,” Jones said. Full article


“It’s an apt move, as Eno often foregrounds the creative process himself, and it results in a probing and thoughtful book that never falls into formula. Instead, Dayal portrays her subject as a deft artist embracing studio technology and balancing his past accomplishments with all the endless possibilities of the future.” Full article


“The book on Brian Eno’s Another Green World by frequent Slate contributor Geeta Dayal shows how Eno’s music, and not his alone, can be at once composed and collaborative, “both process and product,” so that listeners feel like musicians too.

Dayal’s prose is careful, clear, literate, and eclectic in its references, like Eno’s music…” Full article

The book was also listed as one of Slate‘s Ten Best 33 1/3 Books.


“I just finished listening to an audiobook of Geeta Dayal’s great 33 1/3 on Brian Eno’s Another Green World and am more than ever finding that record to contain all the secrets of the universe.” Full article


“The book itself is a masterpiece; it’s not just a book about the making of a record, it’s a book about how to make art and how to think about how to make art.” Full article


To The Best of Our Knowledge, an NPR program produced by Wisconsin Public Radio, aired a fascinating documentary about arts criticism that included a long interview about the Eno book. Audio


“The guest remembers it differently: in Geeta Dayal’s Another Green World, Eno’s then-girlfriend Judy Nylon says she put the harp music on intending to balance it with the pouring rain outside, and that Eno caught on immediately.” Full article


“What, then, can Dayal say about the record that is new? One way is to pack an improbable amount of research into such a limited word count: tracking down archival interviews with Eno, any books or films he may have been reading or watching at the time, and interviewing his collaborators. All of which Dayal does, but really her answer is to focus on process: her own as much as Eno’s. […] As a study of Another Green World it’s impressively holistic, hungry to catalogue every possible point of departure for thinking about the record … the best short introduction to Eno’s work and ethos going.” Full review


“The Nylon version of the anecdote comes from Geeta Dayal’s fine book about Eno and his 1975 masterpiece, Another Green World. Released as part of Continuum Books’ 33 1/3 series on classic albums, the book mostly sidesteps the finished LP to make the process the hero. Eno’s use of collaboration, chance, and cybernetics to force creativity makes for a fascinating story, enlivened by the sometimes bemused but always fond recollections of participants from the ’70s and after. […] Eno himself apparently loved the book, buying copies for friends. This isn’t surprising– an interest in process has been a constant of his work for four decades. […] Dayal’s book leaves you with the feeling that Another Green World is a record whose dislocated, spectral qualities are ghost-impressions of the other records its processes might have created.” Full article

KEXP: Best Music Books of 2009

“Continuum, the publisher of these small but jam-packed with fact and fascination jewels lucked out with Geeta Dayal’s scientific yet sublime study of the origins of ambient via Brian Eno’s Another Green World.” Full review


“In Geeta Dayal’s book about the making of Brian Eno’s classic 1975 record Another Green World, she cites cybernetics as a defining influence on the creative process – “cybernetic systems were used to model practically every phenomenon, with varying degrees of success – factories, societies, machines, ecosystems, brains – and Eno became a big fan of linking its powerful toolset to the studio environment, and to music composition. Eno was nothing if not interdisciplinary, and cybernetics may be one of the most interdisciplinary frameworks ever devised. Its theories connect engineering, math, physics, biology, psychology and some of this inevitably trickled into the arts.” Full article


“The challenge of 33 1/3 is to go beyond the common knowledge about an already obsessed-over album. Dayal takes the task in stride, packing in more information about Eno’s transition from glam rocker to ambient music maven than you might think possible in so short a space. The prose is elegant, the sheer scope of the work impressive, and the meditation on the source of creativity is both well done and light-handed.” Full article






“Continuum’s 33 1/3 series is another one where female authors are largely conspicuous by their absence — of the 83 books in the series, we count eight with female authors, which makes for a better ratio than three out of 60 for Pitchfork’s list, but still doesn’t exactly make 33 1/3 a bastion of equality. Happily, one of the eight is Geeta Dayal’s masterful take on Brian Eno’s ever-wonderful Another Green World.”
Full article


“Rather than focus on studio gadgetry and track-by-track analyses, Dayal concerns herself with Eno’s creative process, tracing his relentless experimentation back to his days at Ipswich Art College, where he was influenced by the likes of La Monte Young, members of the Fluxus movement and, most importantly, John Cage. Dayal explores Eno’s use of cybernetics, the Oblique Strategy cards he invented and implemented in his work, and some of the many odd experiments he used to push himself and those around him in unexpected directions. Dayal’s unique and fresh take, which also delves into Discreet Music, is a must read for Eno fans and makes a great primer for the uninitiated.” Full review


“The latest book in the music-snob-approved 33 1/3 series takes a look at Brian Eno’s 1975 ambient classic. Writer Geeta Dayal probes the stories and sounds behind the U2 producer’s best solo album, a tranquil meditation on a cold world, told through synthetic noise. It’s a perfect wintertime record; this book makes an accommodating companion.” Full review


“Dayal’s writing feels, to me, a lot like sitting around with a music nerd friend and intricately picking apart the glories of your favourite album in a meandering, discuss-as-you-think-of-it manner.” Full article


“Geeta Dayal’s 33 1/3 book Brian Eno’s Another Green World explores the musician at the time of his metamorphosis from rocker to ambient artist. Bringing together musicians who played on the album, Dayal lays out a track-by-track history and analysis not only of the seminal album but also Eno’s creative process.” Full article


“Dayal’s book ultimately winds up being less a World tell-all than a portrait of an artist at a particular point in his career, stuffed with enough carefully chosen quotes and reportage to show that she spend a long time sorting out how to approach her subject — something she alludes to in her introduction.” Full review


“It doesn’t much matter because Dayal’s is a book about process, not a “making of.” Among the now 70 entries in 33 1/3—a series that invites writers to wax on key albums in a slim back-pocket book—Dayal’s is a stand-out.” Full review


“I read the book with both pride in what my former student has accomplished and fascination with what she had to teach me about an artist who ranks very highly on my personal list of music preferences. I often use Eno’s music as a backdrop when I am writing and I like to listen to this strangely familiar (and I do mean strange) music when I have trouble relaxing in strangely familiar hotel rooms while traveling. I knew I liked Eno, but I didn’t have a language to explain why. I had to share my excitement about this book with my readers.”
Interview (Part 1) / Interview (Part 2)


“An appraisal of Brian Eno’s 1975 album covering his influences – British scratch orchestras, John Cage, Steve Reich, cybernetic systems – the recording studio, Eno’s collaborators, his experimental techniques and virtuosity at the synthesiser. Abstruse boffin or amiable buffoon? Dayal’s little book tells you plenty about the present Lib Dem adviser on youth culture.” (5 out of 5 stars) Full review


“Dayal’s pleasing contribution to Continuum’s 33 1/3 series gives the background to the creative process behind Brian Eno’s classic 1975 album Another Green World.” Full review


“As I read Dayal’s skilled tale of Eno in these events, I was helplessly drawn into this awe-inducing history of synchronistic creation and self-challenge.” Full review

PITCHFORK: Holiday Gift Guide 2009

“While we’re talking up pseudo-Pitchfork-related things, Continuum’s incomparable 33 1/3 series, in which authors present unique and wide-ranging takes on a series of classic albums, has a lot of recent gems on offer– among them our managing editor Mark Richardson on the Flaming Lips’ Zaireeka, Pitchfork senior writer Matt LeMay on Elliott Smith’s X/O, and The Pitchfork 500 contributor Geeta Dayal on Brian Eno’s Another Green World.”


“I recommend Geeta Dayal’s Another Green World, another excellent entry in the 33 1/3 series. It’s as much a philosophy book as a “Behind the Music” breakdown, and an invitation to think creatively about creativity.” Full review


“Describing production and creative processes and how they produced the warm evocative songs on Another Green World would be difficult for anyone not versed in electronic music. But Dayal writes about the production of this album in an accessible and interesting way. The story of this album is not just the story of how an album was made, but a story about the creative process and having faith in one’s ideas…Dayal makes it clear how important this album was both to Eno’s development and to the development of late 20th century music in general.  Readers interested in Eno will love this book…” Full review


“As I was reading the brilliant 33 1/3 take on Eno’s “Another Green World,” one of my favorite albums of all time, writer Geeta Dayal pointed me to another Eno classic called “Discreet Music.” The album consists of a 30:35 title track on one side, and three different interpretations of Pachelbel’s Canon in D on the other side of the record … Its soothing textures and systematic phases are truly calming. I’m listening to it as I write this, and it is truly effective in removing distractions and centering the mind.” Full review


“The author’s economical prose takes the reader from Eno’s childhood years in Eastern England to his art school tape experiments. She provides a succinct overview of Eno’s musical career, not forgetting to mention collaborations and collective exercises such as the Scratch Orchestra and ACNE…Dayal’s Another Green World is an informative and concise introduction to an artist whose imprint on modern culture is incalculable.” Full review


Favorite Music Reads of the ’00s, #8: Preface to Another Green World, part of Continuum’s 78 RPM 33 1/3 series, by Geeta Dayal. Full review