Our current KEXP Documentary series is Electronic Innovators, featuring profiles of acts like Portishead, Amon Tobin, Kraftwerk, Daft Punk and more. This week we look at an artist who is the quintessential example of the inventor-musician. The “Godfather of Ambient Music,” Brian Eno started out as a rock star in the glam-pop band Roxy Music in the 70s. And after two albums with the group left to pursue a solo career.
In 1973, Eno released his first solo record, Here Come The Warm Jets. Eno’s first ambient album was Music for Airports in 1978. His use of the studio-as-instrument was revolutionary. His ambient compositions were very atmospheric, with little or no pop element or vocals. These explorations impressed not only electronic music fans, but also made a name for Eno as a producer of pop music. He has been sought out as a producer for huge acts like U2, Talking Heads and David Bowie. He even won a Grammy in 1998 for producing the U2 album The Joshua Tree. And his soundtrack work can be heard in the movies Dune, 9 1/2 Weeks, Wall Street and Castaway.
Eno feels he “had no credentials” to become a musician. And he feels he’s confused everyone by also becoming a visual artist — whose work is exhibited all over the world. To this day Eno continues to produce both music and art. The latest record being the 2011 release with poet Rick Holland, Drums Between The Bells. Get a closer look at Eno, the man behind the legend in our KEXP radio story.
KEXP Documentaries are created by Michele Myers. This series was co-produced by Decibel Festival‘s Sean Horton. With assitance from John Felthous, Eve Cooke and Mary Janisch. Lesson Plans are created by Tiffany Grobelski and Michele Myers. Executive Producer is Kevin Cole. If you would like to follow along more closely in the creation of these radio stories, we post historical music facts, research materials, songs and videos on our Facebook page and on Twitter.