122 Facts About Brian Eno


Brian Peter George St John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno is a British musician, composer, record producer and visual artist best known for his contributions to ambient music and work in rock, pop and electronica.


Brian Eno has been described as one of popular music's most influential and innovative figures.


In 2019, Brian Eno was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Roxy Music.


Brian Eno joined glam rock group Roxy Music as its synthesiser player in 1971, recording two albums with the group before departing in 1973.


Brian Eno then released a number of solo pop albums beginning with Here Come the Warm Jets and began exploring a minimalist direction with the influential recordings Discreet Music and Ambient 1: Music for Airports, coining the term "ambient music".


Alongside his solo work, Brian Eno collaborated frequently with other musicians in the 1970s, including Robert Fripp, Harmonia, Cluster, Harold Budd, David Bowie, David Byrne and Judy Nylon.


Brian Eno established himself as a sought-after producer, working on albums by John Cale, Jon Hassell, Laraaji, Talking Heads, Ultravox, and Devo, as well as the no wave compilation No New York.


In subsequent decades, Brian Eno continued to record solo albums and produce for other artists, most prominently U2 and Coldplay, alongside work with artists such as Daniel Lanois, Laurie Anderson, Grace Jones, Slowdive, Karl Hyde, James, Kevin Shields, and Damon Albarn.


An advocate of a range of humanitarian causes, Brian Eno writes on a variety of subjects and is a founding member of the Long Now Foundation.


Brian Peter George Eno was born on 15 May 1948 in the village of Melton, Suffolk, the son of William Arnold Eno, a postal worker and clock and watch repairer, and Maria Alphonsine Eno, a Belgian national.


Brian Eno is the eldest of their three children; he has a brother, Roger, and sister Arlette.


The surname Brian Eno is derived from the French Huguenot surname Hennot.


In 1959, Brian Eno attended St Joseph's College in Ipswich, a Catholic grammar school of the De La Salle Brothers order.


In 1964, after earning four O-levels, including one in art and maths, Brian Eno had developed an interest in art and music and had no interest in a "conventional job".


Brian Eno enrolled at the Ipswich School of Art, taking on the newly established Groundcourse foundation art degree established by new media artist Roy Ascott.


In 1966, Brian Eno studied for a diploma in Fine Arts at the Winchester School of Art, from which he graduated in 1969.


At Winchester Brian Eno once attended a lecture by future Who guitarist Pete Townshend, a former student of Ascott's; he cites this as the moment when he realised he could make music without formal training.


Whilst at school, Brian Eno used a tape recorder as a musical instrument and in 1964 he joined his first group, the Black Aces, a four-piece with Brian Eno on drums that he formed with three friends he met at the youth club he visited in Melton.


In late 1967, Brian Eno pursued music once more, forming the Merchant Taylor's Simultaneous Cabinet, an avant-garde music, art, and performance trio with two Winchester undergraduates.


In 1969, after separating from his wife, Brian Eno moved to London where his professional music career began.


Brian Eno became involved with the Scratch Orchestra and the Portsmouth Sinfonia; Eno's first appearance on a commercially released recording is the Deutsche Grammophon edition of The Great Learning by Cornelius Cardew and the Scratch Orchestra which features Eno as one of the voices on the track "Paragraph 7".


At one point, Brian Eno had to earn money as paste-up assistant for the advertisement section of a local paper for three months.


Brian Eno quit and became an electronics dealer by buying old speakers and making new cabinets for them before selling them to friends.


In 1971, Brian Eno co-formed the glam and art rock band Roxy Music.


Brian Eno had a chance meeting with saxophonist Andy Mackay at a train station, which led to him joining the band.


Brian Eno later said: "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 Eno played on their first two albums, Roxy Music and For Your Pleasure, and is credited as "Brian Eno" with playing the VCS 3 synthesiser, tape effects, backing vocals, and co-producer.


Brian Eno cited disagreements with Ferry and the frontman's insistence on being in command of the group, which affected Eno's ability to incorporate his own ideas.


Almost immediately after his exit from Roxy Music, Brian Eno embarked on his solo career.


Brian Eno released four albums of electronically inflected art pop: Here Come the Warm Jets, Taking Tiger Mountain, Another Green World, and Before and After Science.


Brian Eno deployed the orchestra's dissonant string section on Taking Tiger Mountain.


Brian Eno went on to work with several performers in the orchestra on his Obscure label, including Gavin Bryars and Michael Nyman.


Brian Eno released a number of eclectic ambient electronic and acoustic albums.


Brian Eno coined the term "ambient music", which is designed to modify the listener's perception of the surrounding environment.


In January 1975 Brian Eno was hit by a taxi while crossing the street and spent several weeks recuperating at home.


Brian Eno's girlfriend brought him an old record of harp music, which he lay down to listen to.


Brian Eno realized that he had set the amplifier to a very low volume, and one channel of the stereo was not working, but he lacked the energy to get up and correct it.


In 1980 to 1981, during which time Brian Eno travelled to Ghana for a festival of West African music, he was collaborating with David Byrne of Talking Heads.


In 1983, Brian Eno collaborated with his brother, Roger Brian Eno, and Daniel Lanois on the album Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks that had been commissioned by Al Reinert for his film For All Mankind.


In September 1992, Brian Eno released Nerve Net, an album utilising heavily syncopated rhythms with contributions from several former collaborators including Fripp, Benmont Tench, Robert Quine and John Paul Jones.


Brian Eno released The Shutov Assembly in 1992, recorded between 1985 and 1990.


In one instance of generative music, Brian Eno calculated that it would take almost 10,000 years to hear the entire possibilities of one individual piece.


Brian Eno achieves this through the blending of several independent musical tracks of varying length.


Brian Eno has presented this music in his own art and sound installations and those in collaboration with other artists, including I Dormienti, Lightness: Music for the Marble Palace, and Music for Civic Recovery Centre.


In 1993, Brian Eno worked with the Manchester rock band James to produce two albums, Laid and Wah Wah.


In 1996, Brian Eno scored the six-part fantasy television series Neverwhere.


In 2004, Fripp and Brian Eno recorded another ambient music collaboration album, The Equatorial Stars.


Brian Eno returned in June 2005 with Another Day on Earth, his first major album since Wrong Way Up to prominently feature vocals.


In early 2006, Brian Eno collaborated with David Byrne again, for the reissue of My Life in the Bush of Ghosts in celebration of the influential album's 25th anniversary.


In late 2006, Brian Eno released 77 Million Paintings, a program of generative video and music specifically for home computers.


In 2007, Brian Eno's music was featured in a movie adaption of Irvine Welsh's best-selling collection Ecstasy: Three Tales of Chemical Romance.


Brian Eno appeared playing keyboards in Voila, Belinda Carlisle's solo album sung entirely in French.


Also in 2007, Brian Eno contributed a composition titled "Grafton Street" to Dido's third album, Safe Trip Home, released in November 2008.


In June 2009, Brian Eno curated the Luminous Festival at Sydney Opera House, culminating in his first live appearance in many years.


Brian Eno scored the music for Peter Jackson's film adaptation of The Lovely Bones, released in December 2009.


Brian Eno released another solo album on Warp in late 2010.


The album included five compositions that were adaptions of those tracks that Brian Eno wrote for The Lovely Bones.


Brian Eno later released Drums Between the Bells, a collaboration with poet Rick Holland, on 4 July 2011.


In November 2012, Brian Eno released Lux, a 76-minute composition in four sections, through Warp.


Brian Eno performed with Taha at the Stop the War Coalition concert in London in 2005.


In 2019, Brian Eno participated in DAU, an immersive art and cultural installation in Paris by Russian film director Ilya Khrzhanovsky evoking life under Soviet authoritarian rule.


Brian Eno provided original music for Ben Lawrence's 2021 documentary Ithaka about John Shipton's battle to save his son, Julian Assange.


The first album with Brian Eno credited as producer was Lucky Leif and the Longships by Robert Calvert.


Brian Eno produced part of the 1993 album When I Was a Boy by Jane Siberry.


Brian Eno won the best producer award at the 1994 and 1996 BRIT Awards.


Brian Eno describes himself as a "non-musician", using the term "treatments" to describe his modification of the sound of musical instruments, and to separate his role from that of the traditional instrumentalist.


Brian Eno's methods were recognised at the time as unique, so much so that on Genesis's The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, he is credited with 'Enossification'; on Robert Wyatt's Ruth Is Stranger Than Richard with a Direct inject anti-jazz raygun and on John Cale's Island albums as simply being "Eno".


Brian Eno produced performance artist Laurie Anderson's Bright Red album, and composed for it.


Brian Eno played on David Byrne's musical score for The Catherine Wheel, a project commissioned by Twyla Tharp to accompany her Broadway dance project of the same name.


In 1978, Brian Eno discovered and promoted the No Wave movement by attending a five night underground no wave music festival at Artists Space in New York City that featured ten local bands, including Rhys Chatham's The Gynecologists, Communists, Glenn Branca's Theoretical Girls, Terminal, Chatham's Tone Death and Branca's other band Daily Life.


Brian Eno, who had originally come to New York to produce the second Talking Heads album More Songs About Buildings and Food, was impressed by what he saw and heard, and advised by Diego Cortez to do so, was convinced that this movement should be documented and proposed the idea of a compilation album, No New York, with himself as a producer.


Brian Eno co-produced The Unforgettable Fire, The Joshua Tree, Achtung Baby, and All That You Can't Leave Behind for U2 with his frequent collaborator Daniel Lanois, and produced 1993's Zooropa with Mark "Flood" Ellis.


In 1995, U2 and Brian Eno joined forces to create the album Original Soundtracks 1 under the group name Passengers, songs from which included "Your Blue Room" and "Miss Sarajevo".


Brian Eno produced Laid, Wah Wah, Millionaires and Pleased to Meet You for James, performing as an extra musician on all four.


Brian Eno is credited for "frequent interference and occasional co-production" on their 1997 album Whiplash.


Brian Eno played on the 1986 album Measure for Measure by Australian band Icehouse.


Brian Eno remixed two tracks for Depeche Mode, "I Feel You" and "In Your Room", both single releases from the album Songs of Faith and Devotion in 1993.


In 1995, Brian Eno provided one of several remixes of "Protection" by Massive Attack for release as a single.


Brian Eno worked on the twelfth studio album by U2, again with Lanois, titled No Line on the Horizon.


In 1994, Microsoft designers Mark Malamud and Erik Gavriluk approached Brian Eno to compose music for the Windows 95 project.


Brian Eno has spoken of an early and ongoing interest in exploring light in a similar way to his work with sound.


Brian Eno started experimenting with the medium of video in 1978.


Brian Eno describes the first video camera he received, which would initially become his main tool for creating ambient video and light installations:.


The Panasonic industrial camera Brian Eno received had significant design flaws preventing the camera from sitting upright without the assistance of a tripod.


The pieces Brian Eno produced with this method, such as Mistaken Memories of Mediaeval Manhattan and Thursday Afternoon, were labelled as 'Video Paintings.


Brian Eno continued his video experimentation through the 80s, 90s and 2000s, leading to further experimentation with the television as a malleable light source and informing his generative works such as 77 Million Paintings in 2006.


Brian Eno started to release excerpts of results from his 'generative music' systems as early as 1975 with the album Discreet Music.


Several of the released excerpts originated as, or are derivative of, soundtracks Brian Eno created for art installations.


Brian Eno has created installations combining artworks and sound that have shown across the world since 1979, beginning with 2 Fifth Avenue and White Fence, in the Kitchen Centre, New York, NY.


Brian Eno proposes a use for music and video that is antithetical to behavior control-oriented "Muzak" in that it induces and invites the viewer to enter a meditative, detached state, rather than serve as an operant conditioner for work-force efficiency.


Brian Eno's underlying strategy is to create works which provide natural levels of variety and redundancy which bring attention to, rather than mimic, essential characteristics of the natural environment.


Brian Eno manipulated colour as though painting, observing: 'video for me is a way of configuring light, just as painting is a way of configuring paint.


Since On Land, Brian Eno has sought to blur the boundaries between music and non-music and incorporates environmental sounds into his work.


Brian Eno treats synthesised and recorded sounds for specific effects.


Brian Eno used these in unconventional ways to create new and unexpected experiences and modes of engagements, offering an extension of and refuge from, everyday life.


Brian Eno likens his role in creating this piece to one of a gardener planting seeds.


Turner asked Brian Eno to provide a version for the Montefiore hospital in Hove.


In 2013, Brian Eno created two permanent light and sound installations at Montefiore Hospital in Hove, East Sussex, England.


Brian Eno composed most of the music for the Electronic Arts video game Spore, assisted by his long-term collaborator, the musician and programmer Peter Chilvers.


Brian Eno started the Obscure Records label in Britain in 1975 to release works by lesser-known composers.


The second side of Discreet Music consisted of several versions of German baroque composer Johann Pachelbel's Canon, the composition which Brian Eno had previously chosen to precede Roxy Music's appearances on stage and to which he applied various algorithmic transformations, rendering it almost unrecognisable.


In 1995, Brian Eno travelled with Edinburgh University's Professor Nigel Osborne to Bosnia in the aftermath of the Bosnian War, to work with war-traumatised children, many of whom had been orphaned in the conflict.


Osborne and Brian Eno led music therapy projects run by War Child in Mostar, at the Pavarotti centre, Bosnia 1995.


In March 2008, Brian Eno collaborated with the Italian artist Mimmo Paladino on a show of the latter's works with Brian Eno's soundscapes at Ara Pacis in Rome, and in 2011, he joined Stephen Deazley and Edinburgh University music lecturer Martin Parker in an Icebreaker concert at Glasgow City Halls, heralded as a "long-awaited clash".


In 2013, Brian Eno sold limited edition prints of artwork from his 2012 album Lux from his website.


In 2016, Brian Eno was added to Edinburgh University's roll of honour and in 2017, he delivered the Andrew Carnegie Lecture at the university.


Brian Eno is frequently referred to as one of popular music's most influential artists.


Whilst inspired by the ideas of minimalist composers including John Cage, Terry Riley and Erik Satie, Brian Eno coined the term ambient music to describe his own work and defined the term.


In March 1967, at the age of 18, Brian Eno married Sarah Grenville.


Brian Eno has referred to himself as "kind of an evangelical atheist" but has professed an interest in religion.


In 1991, Brian Eno appeared on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs.


Brian Eno's chosen book was Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity by Richard Rorty and his luxury item was a radio telescope.


In 2007, Brian Eno joined the Liberal Democrats as youth adviser under Nick Clegg.


In 2017, Brian Eno signed an open letter as a member of the Labour Party and has stated that voting for the Liberal Democrats is "voting Tory without admitting it".


In 2006, Brian Eno was one of more than 100 artists and writers who signed an open letter calling for an international boycott of Israeli political and cultural institutions.


In 2014, Brian Eno again protested publicly against what he called a "one-sided exercise in ethnic cleansing" and a "war [with] no moral justification," in reference to the 2014 military operation of Israel into Gaza.


In 2013, Brian Eno became a patron of Videre Est Credere, a UK human rights charity.


Brian Eno was appointed President of Stop the War Coalition in 2017.


Brian Eno has had a long involvement with the organisation since it was set up in 2001.


Brian Eno is a trustee of the environmental law charity ClientEarth, Somerset House, and the Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose, set up by Mariana Mazzucato.


In November 2019, along with other public figures, Brian Eno signed a letter supporting Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn describing him as "a beacon of hope in the struggle against emergent far-right nationalism, xenophobia and racism in much of the democratic world" and endorsed him for in the 2019 UK general election.


Brian Eno is an early and prominent member of Democracy in Europe Movement 2025 where he contributes, issues statements, and takes part in media events and discussions.