Eno, Brian (Peter George St. John le Baptiste de la Salle)

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Eno, Brian (Peter George St. John le Baptiste de la Salle)

Eno, Brian (Peter George St. John le Baptiste de la Salle), English composer, musician, and producer; b. Woodbridge, Suffolk, May 15, 1948. Although interested in tape recorders and recorded music at an early age, he received no formal music training, studying art at Ipswich and Winchester art schools (1964–69). He then became involved in avant-garde experiments, performing works by LaMonte Young and Cornelius Cardew. He helped found the art-rock band Roxy Music in 1971, leaving it 2 years later for a solo career that resulted in 4 modestly successful progressive-rock albums during the mid-1970s. In 1975, while confined to bed after being struck by a London taxi, he was also struck by the pleasures of minimalism, shifting his style to what he has termed “ambient,” a sort of high-art Muzak. He has collaborated with David Bowie, Talking Heads, U2, and Harold Budd. In 1979 he became interested in video, subsequently producing “video paintings” and “video sculptures” used as ambient music in galleries, museums, airport terminals, and private homes. In the late 1990s he began experimenting with combinatorial composition which resulted in a series of works which change characteristics in playback. His music has significantly influenced both New Wave and New Age genres. With R. Mills, he publ. More Dark than Shark (London, 1986). Among his works are Another Green World (1975), Discreet Music (1975), Before and after Science (1977), Music for Airports (1978), The Plateaux of Mirror (with H. Budd; 1980), and On Land (1984).


E. Tamm, B. E.: His Music and the Vertical Color of Sound (Boston, 1989).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire