Brian Eno is one of the best known figures in British music, from a 40-year career as a performer, song-writer, producer and visual artist. He has been involved in a wide range of music stretching from pop to experimental, and is considered to be the father figure of ambient music.
Eno was born in 1948 in Essex, and studied art at Colchester Institute. Early interest in music and art was encouraged by painter Tom Phillips and he subsequently became involved with Cornelius Cardew and the Scratch Orchestra, where he met other members of the English experimental school, including Michael Nyman and Gavin Bryars.
As a result of a chance meeting, he was inducted as a member of the cult glam rock band Roxy Music in 1971, initially processing the sound, but in due course playing keyboards and contributing vocals. He left the band in 1973, tired of the rock star lifestyle, to start a solo career. The mid-70s saw the release of four successful solo albums of intelligent pop rock, culminating in 1977′s Before and After Science.
His involvement with the English experimental scene resulted in the founding of a record label, Obscure Records, to release the work of lesser known composers. Altho the label release very few records, they included seminal releases such as Gavin Bryars’ Sinking of the Titanic, and Harold Budd’s The Pavilion of Dreams.
The label also released Eno’s Discreet Music, which was subsequently seen to offer the template for Eno’s ambient music style, although an earlier collaboration with Robert Fripp, (No Pussyfooting), had already experimented in this direction. Subsequent ambient works and collaborations include Music for Airports (1978), The Plateaux of Mirror and Day of Radiance (both 1980), On Land (1982) and Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks (1983).
In addition he has become known as one of the most significant record producers of his generation, involving long term collaborations with, amongst others, Talking Heads, David Bowie, U2 (including The Joshua Tree), and more recently Coldplay (Viva La Vida and Mylo Xyloto).
He continues to write and perform music, his most recent releases being Another Day On Earth (2005) and three albums for Warp Records Small Craft on a Milk Sea (2010), Drums Between the Bells and Panic of Looking (both 2011). He has produced two albums on collaboration with German musician J Peter Schwalm in 2000 and 2001.