Every now and then, I get invited to events that I’m not really clear on what they are exactly.  Maybe it’s from my years of never being invited to anything but I usually end up going and can usually find something relatively smart to say about the night.

Tonight was not that night.

To kick off the month long High Performance Rodeo festival, I was invited to attend the opening talk/presentation of Brian Eno.  (Most likely) like you, I had no idea who he was but the ticket price was high, so I assumed it won’t really matter. If everyone else was going, I wanted to be there too.   One of my favourite things to do when I’m going to a mystery show is to do nothing at all.  No research, no prep-work.  It’s a luxury usually stolen from us by movie trailers and tv commercials.

To say I was confused would be the understatement of this seven-day old year. To be honest, the most frustrating part was the chorus of nodding heads around me.  Everyone seemed to be getting what Eno was talking about except for me.  During the entire presentation I began question every aspect of my educational history trying to figure out what went wrong and why my head wasn’t nodding.  Was it because I did French immersion?  Should I have taken more science? Or Art? How could entire room full of people know what Eno was talking about and I not have a clue?

What’s important to remember is that I’m not giving a negative review.  The Calgary Arts community terrifies me and the last thing I need right now is an angsty poem or audio-visual presentation tacked to my door.  I’m taking a 100% blame for the overabundance of confusion that came with Eno’s extremely well spoken two-hour presentation, which featured countless slides filled with graphs, trumpets, diagrams of light years and something to do with a screw driver. Even now, I’m struggling to describe what I witnessed.

It wasn’t a matter of me not enjoying it, instead it was like moving to Russia and being thrown into Parliament.  People ate it up.  Loved it.  Cheered for more.  Me?  Well I was left confused. Maybe I’m too young or maybe my background didn’t allow for the workings of Brian Eno to cross my path but either way, I felt like it was great taste of what was to come at this year’s High Performance Rodeo….whatever that means.

Mike Morrison


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