Brian Eno was first introduced to me as “The Godfather of Ambient.” It is a brilliant description, but what does that even mean?
The Ambient genre was not only coined by Brian Eno, but was brought to you by him. How exactly does one describe ambient? Essentially-it is low key music made to modify one’s perception of a surrounding environment. Landscape music, if you will.
We are familiar with the feelings that can overcome us when we listen to the tremor of a strong voice, an intense drum beat, a sad bass or a fuzzy guitar. Those sounds are conspicuously influential, because they are bold and in your face. Knowing this, one must admit then-there is genius in subtle manipulation. This is where Eno entered the picture.
His discography boasts names such as Talking Heads (David Byrne), David Bowie, DEVO, U2. Even Bauhaus covered Eno. His production style and techniques a huge part in the way our music sounds. From Punk, Electronic and hip-hop (You know all that seamless sampling, guys).
Oh, and you know that… six-second start up music-sound of the Windows 95 OS, AKA “The Microsoft Sound”? Not impressed! What? You weren’t even born before 1995? Check this out: that “Windows sound” is approximately 3 1/4 seconds long. This is what Eno said about it “I made eighty-four 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.”
That is Eno. He IS binary code. He paints music. His medium is sound. Sure-he is an odd cat and his nuanced ways about production may be incomprehensible to many. However, those ways changed the form in which music is approached, composed, performed, and perceived. But he is neither arrogant, nor a mystic. He is a community man, he believes that collectively through people and sound, great things will be achieved.
If you are ever feeling lost about your life calling. Take heart: “As a result of going into a subway station and meeting [saxophonist Andy], I joined Roxy Music, and, as a result of that, I have a career in music. If I’d walked ten yards further on the platform, or missed that train, or been in the next carriage, I probably would have been an art teacher now”.
-Brian Peter George St John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno
Do YOU Eno? Wear him on your chest with pride! Put him on your chest! Put him on your wall!
Until next blurb, Kittens!