Brian Eno- 40 years of changing music

Brian Eno is a creative man. Creativity typically comes from some form of inspiration separate from the creative person. In Brian Eno’s case he has all sorts of inspirational influences. At its root it could be said that Brian Eno is primarily influenced by electricity. He began his career with Roxy Music playing keyboards and synthesizers. Synthesis in general is another word that can describe Brian Eno’s work. He consistently strives to find new and interesting ways to put things together. In addition to using electricity to put together sounds he was also influenced by more organic forms of music. A simple harp playing softly helped him come up with his ambient sound styles, displaying the profound influence that strings have had on him as a musician. The contrast between electronics on classical string arrangements can be heard throughout his body of work. For example, Roxy Music is heavily electronically driven, which Eno was highly responsible for. The style of Roxy Music can be described as upbeat, gleeful, and goofy, particularly in the vocals. It sounds like those musicians were just having a lot of fun. However, when listening to projects like U2’s Joshua Tree, there are more passionate emotions at work. While Eno was not part of U2 his influence is still present in the electronic ambience, and it is clear that he took a more serious approach to U2’s music. Perhaps he realized that while Roxy Music was fun, there were other ways to produce music to achieve different results. On the opposite end of Eno’s work there is the ambient sounds of Music for Airports. This is one example of how Eno’s music differs from other musicians. He made music that can be listened to for an indefinite amount of time without apparently repeating itself. Roxy Music is an example of his artfully fun attitude which has a distinct sound and characteristic to it. The first time I heard Roxy Music I thought, “What is this…? This is strange.” I didn’t really want to like it initially because of how strange it sounded to me, but after a few listens I came to enjoy it and understand it a little better, although I think it could take a lifetime to really comprehend what is going on there. Roxy Music for fun; U2 for popular social impact; Music for Airports for airports- those are the impressions that I get from Eno’s music. Each one has its purpose, between entertainment, business, society, and creativity, which everyone in the industry can take notes on.


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