Brian Peter George Eno was influenced by the world and everything in it! In 1975 Eno was walking home from the studio after finishing a recording session that night. As he walked away a random thought came to Eno “What if this was my last recording? Right before it happened Eno had the thought of the possibility of that being his last recording. Eno said; “If that song was the last thing that I ever record, would I mind having that as my last piece of work?” and it almost was. A hundred yards later he slipped on the rainy sidewalk and fell into the street. As Eno thought about how he brought that onto himself a taxi hit him at approximately 40 miles per hour. The car ran Eno’s legs and snapped his head back into a parked vehicle like a dart.
Eno survived but had a long ways until full recovery. Once Eno was stable enough he was sent home where he was disoriented with pills and pain. On day Eno decided to get up and play some music because he thought that would help him deal with the pain. He dragged himself to the turntable and he dropped the needle on an 18th century harp record. Eno made it back to bed to then notice that only one speaker worked and the volume of the music was very low. There was no way he could get back up so he just enjoyed the notes that he could listen to over the rainstorm sound outside his house. He was intrigued with how some notes where noticeable and then they fade into an ambience composed of the sound of the rain and the colors of the lights becoming a new atmospheric whole. This is what we know today as Ambient Music.
One of the projects that set apart Eno recordings from other recordings is the 1973 ambient music album “No Pussyfooting”. This album was created in collaboration with Robert Fripp. Robert used his Frippertronics technique, which consists of two reel-to-reel tape recorders side by side. Fripp played his guitar over Eno’s loops playing from deck 1 that will play back by deck 2 and then routed back in the deck 1 to create a long tape delay. Eno recorded Fripp’s guitar with and without loops creating a dense multilayer piece of ambient music.
Another project that sets Brian Eno apart is “Music For Airports” This was the first of four albums released in Eno’s “Ambient” series, a term which he coined to differentiate his minimalistic approach to the album’s material and “the products of the various purveyors of canned music”. The idea for this album came to Eno while waiting at the Cologne Bonn Airport in Germany in the mid-1970s. He had to spend several hours there and was extremely annoyed by the uninspired sound atmosphere. The two albums are Ambient Music but they are both very unique.
As a listener Eno has amazed my ears with such a unique combination of sounds. As a professional I can now say that I have someone I can look up to when it comes to creativity and using the studio as an instrument. Eno’s approach to crafting music is definitely inspiration for any upcoming producer, thanks for reading!
Better branding through music: Original airport theme songs – USATODAY.com. Retrieved August 16, 2014, from http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/travel/columnist/baskas/2008-03-12-airport-theme-songs_N.htm
Music for Airports liner notes. Retrieved August 16, 2014, from http://music.hyperreal.org/artists/brian_eno/MFA-txt.html
Howard, D. N. (2004). Sonic alchemy: visionary music producers and their maverick recordings. Milwaukee, WI: Hal Leonard Corp..