Brian Peter George St. Jean le Baptiste de la Salle Eno, usually given as Eno, (born May 15, 1948), is an electronic musician who started his musical career with Roxy Music. He then went on to produce a number of highly eclectic and increasingly ambient electronic and acoustic albums. He is widely cited as coining the term "ambient music" in his Ambient series (Music for Airports, The Plateaux of Mirror, Day of Radiance and On Land). Eno describes himself primarily as a non-musician and is indeed best known for "treating" instruments rather than playing them himself. His skill at using "The Studio as a Compositional Tool" (the title of an essay by Eno) led in part to his career as a producer. His methods were recognized at the time (mid-70s) as being unique, so much so that on one album he contributed to (Genesis' The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway) he is credited with "Enosification."
He collaborated with David Byrne, formerly of Talking Heads, on My Life in the Bush of Ghosts which was one of the first albums not in the rap or hip hop genres to extensively feature sampling. Eno collaborated with David Bowie as a writer and musician on Bowie's influential "Berlin trilogy" of albums, Low, Heroes and Lodger, on Bowie's later album 1. Outside, and on the song "I'm Afraid of Americans". Eno has also collaborated with Robert Fripp of King Crimson, Robert Wyatt on his Shleep CD, with Jon Hassell, with the German duo Cluster, with composer Harold Budd and others.
In 1975, Eno released Discreet Music. The second side consisted of several versions of Pachelbel's canon to which various algorithmic transformations have been applied, rendering it almost unrecognisable. Side 1 consisted of a tape loop system for generating music from relative sparse input. These tapes were later used as backgrounds in some of his collaborations with Robert Fripp, and the methodology (not entirely original with Eno) was used by Fripp (on his Frippertronics albums) and others.
Eno has acted as a producer for a number of bands, including U2, Devo, and James. He has contributed to albums by artists as varied as Nico, Robert Calvert, Genesis, Edikanfo, and Zvuki Mu. He won the best producer award at the 1994 and 1996 BRIT awards. He is an innovator across many fields of music and recently he has collaborated on the development of the Koan algorithmic music generator.
Eno started the Obscure label in Britain in the early 70s to release works by less-known composers. Only 10 albums were released. Works released included early albums Michael Nyman, Gavin Bryars (the famous "The Sinking of the Titanic"), John Cage, and others. At this time he was also active in the Fluxus movement and his work with the Portsmouth Symphonia came out of this (The Portsmouth Symphonia was a group of amateur musicians playing well-known classical pieces of music. The results were often amusing, but more in the way of slapstick than anything else.)
In 1996 Brian Eno, and others, started the Long Now Foundation to educate the public into thinking about the very long term future of society. Brian Eno is also a columnist for the British newspaper, The Observer.
Eno has also been active in other artistic genres, producing videos for gallery display and collaborating with visual artists in other endeavors. One is the set of "Obscure Strategy" cards that he produced in the mid-70s, which was described as "100 Worthwhile Dilemmas" and intended as guides to shaking up the mind in the process of producing artistic endeavors. Another was his collaboration with artist Russell Mills on the book More Dark Than Shark. He was also the provider of music for Robert Sheckley's "In the Land of Clear Colours," a narrated story with music originally published by a small art gallery in Spain.
His younger brother, Roger Eno is also a musician, who combines ambient styles with classical music instruments on some of his albums.
The band A Certain Ratio took their name from the lyrics of Eno's song "The True Wheel" (on Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy)).
1973 No Pussyfooting (with Robert Fripp)
1973 Portsmouth Symphonia Plays the Popular Classics (with Portsmouth Symphonia)
1974 Here Come The Warm Jets
1974 Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy)
1975 Evening Star (with Robert Fripp)
1975 Another Green World
1975 Discreet Music
1977 Cluster & Eno (with Cluster)
1978 Before and After Science
1978 Ambient #1 / Music for Airports
1978 Music for Films
1978 After the Heat (with Roedelius and Dieter Moebius aka Cluster)
1980 Ambient #2 / The Plateaux of Mirror (with Harold Budd)
1980 Fourth World, Vol. 1: Possible Musics (with Jon Hassell)
1981 Ambient #3 / Day of Radiance (by Laraaji with Eno producing)
1981 My Life In The Bush of Ghosts (with David Byrne)
1982 Ambient #4 / On Land
1983 Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks
1984 Begegnungen (with Roedelius and Dieter Moebius aka Cluster)
1984 The Pearl (with Harold Budd)
1985 Thursday Afternoon (soundtrack to an art gallery video)
1985 Hybrid (with Daniel Lanois and Michael Brook)
1985 Begegnungen II (with Roedelius and Dieter Moebius aka Cluster)
1990 The Shutov Assembly
1990 Wrong Way Up (with John Cale)
1992 Nerve Net
1995 Spinner (with Jah Wobble)
1997 The Drop
2001 Drawn From Life (with Peter Schwalm)
2003 January 07003 | Bell Studies for The Clock of The Long Now
2004 The Equatorial Stars (with Robert Fripp)