A post over at Channel 9 chronicles the visit from forward-thinking prog-guitar maestro Robert Fripp to Microsoft's campus to record the new sounds that are going to be used for the next version of Microsoft's operating system, Windows Vista.
Some of these sounds will replace the ubiquitous sounds that Brian Eno created years ago for Windows 95. Eno told XFM that he was paid $35k for the six second sound. He also somewhat explained these dealings in this interview, excerpted here:
The idea came up at the time when I was completely bereft of ideas. I'd been working on my own music for a while and was quite lost, actually. And I really appreciated someone coming along and saying, "Here's a specific problem -- solve it.''
The thing from the agency said, "We want a piece of music that is inspiring, universal, blah- blah, da-da-da, optimistic, futuristic, sentimental, emotional,'' this whole list of adjectives, and then at the bottom it said "and it must be 3 1/4 seconds long.''
I thought this was so funny and an amazing thought to actually try to make a little piece of music. It's like making a tiny little jewel.
In fact, I made 84 pieces. I got completely into this world of tiny, tiny little pieces of music. I was so sensitive to microseconds at the end of this that it really broke a logjam in my own work. Then when I'd finished that and I went back to working with pieces that were like three minutes long, it seemed like oceans of time.
Watch and listen... clear, confident and connected...