Brian Eno

On this date in 1948, Brian Peter George St. John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno was born in Woodbridge, England, and grew up in rural Suffolk. He graduated from the Winchester School of Art in 1969, where he studied painting. Eno felt that his work was influenced by avant-garde music, but did not go into music because he didn't play an instrument. He did work with sound by using cassette tapes and synthesizers, and in 1971, he joined the group Roxy Music, where he manipulated sound and sang back-up. Eno's on-stage garb in the early portion of his career was influential on the growing glam rock scene. After Eno left Roxy, he went on to record several solo albums. In 1975, he developed the idea of ambient music, which was designed to blend with the surroundings. Eno has worked as a producer on many albums, including several albums for both U2 and Coldplay and one collaboration with Paul Simon. He also works with generative music, or music that is created according to a rule, for example a computer program. His 2006 work "77 Million Paintings" combines generative music with generative video for a viewing experience that will be different every time. Eno created the score for Peter Jackson's 2009 film "The Lovely Bones."

"[W]hat I want to indicate by that word godless is not only god in the religious sense but I am trying to accept and enjoy the idea that we never will reach that condition of agreement of certainty, that actually we're unanchored, we're floating around, and we're actually guessing. That's what we're doing. Everyone is making guesses, and trying to make the best of it, watching what happens and being empirical about it. There won't be a plan, so godless, like most of those words, have a lot of resonance for me. They are words I find myself using in conversation sometimes, over and over again."

—-Brian Eno explaining his music's godless qualities in an unpublished interview given in the early 1990's

Compiled by Eleanor Wroblewski; Photo by 360b /

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