Brian Eno – 40 Years of Changing Music

Brian Eno is undoubtedly a unique and experimental artist. His influence as an artist includes the following: R&B, Rock n’ Roll, Progressive Rock, Punk, New Wave, African/Middle Easter/Oriental Styles, minimalism, post-Cage-avant-garde ideas, and electronic music. Not only does Brian Eno do music, but he also delved into visual art in the form of video and sculptures, and is an author. It is safe to say that Brian Eno comes at music with a very experimental and diverse mind set.

Two of Brian Eno’s personal albums/work that stick out to me are Discreet Music, and Here Come the Warm Jets. Discreet Music is a very unique album. The first thirty minutes of the album is just an ambient song, the title track, which consists of ambient sounding chords, and haunting melodies, which pulls the listener into a trance mood, which captivates your mind into being opened up into a state of relaxation. On the second side of the record there are three variations on Pachelbel’s Canon in D (commonly heard song at weddings). This part of the album is so very beautiful because it includes beautiful melodies and wondrous arranging. The ambiences factor is still in place and it can make a listener be at an easy state of mind. Here Come the Warm Jets is different and similar in many ways. It is different in the fact that it has more songs; the album isn’t completely instrumental, it is not an ambient album, and it has a very David Bowie/Rock and Roll sound. The similarities to it are that it has beautiful instrumentations and the melodies are so well done it feels as if the band that recorded this with him was orchestrated. There are some elements of the ambient synths used to create lush harmony and melodies, but it is still infused with the energy of the band. This makes it different in the fact that Discreet Music is to relaxation, where as Here Come the Warm Jets is to less relaxation and more energy driven.

Brian Eno’s projects are very different than most artists’ projects. Besides the fact that Brian Eno is a musical genius and takes influences from such strange genres and types of music, he still can make a song sound naturally made; meaning that even though he might have different cultural influences and genres not related to one another in the same song, the song still sounds like it’s identity is original and to me, that is the most different characteristic about his music. I also enjoy the fact that he doesn’t just do vocal and “rock band” based music, but delves into experimental and ambient instrumental music with weird clashing of instruments and paired harmonic content that may not be “main stream” when it comes to music being written at that time. Brian Eno’s projects also boast creative uses of the studio. He used the studio as an instrument, like the Beatles and Brian Wilson. This led to parts of his music being very different and unique because these effects that took place during some of his songs, can only be created within a studio/computer.

To me, Brian Eno’s whole experimental/mind-trip approach to the arts is pretentious to me because it feels like he tries hard to be something different, which isn’t a bad thing, but I enjoy music when it is naturally spewing from someone and not brought out by use of uncommon elements. I cannot deny that Brian Eno’s Discreet Music album is very beautiful and to me I would consider it a captivating song. I wouldn’t say Brian Eno is my favorite artist, but Discreet Music is my favorite project of his.