Brian Eno draws his musical ideas from a great many sources. Genres like rhythm and blues, rock and roll, progressive rock, punk, new wave, African, Middle Eastern, oriental, experimental new music, post-Cage avant-garde ideas, and electronic have influenced Eno in many ways. Some of his greatest minimalist musical influences have been La Monte Young, Terry Riley, and Steve Reich. Steve Reich’s music has been the greatest influence of all.
It can be pretty difficult to compare and contrast any two of Eno’s projects due to how vast of a stylistic composer he is. If we were to look at Roxy Music from 1972 and his Discreet Music from 1975 we would see some major differences. For example, The Roxy Music starts out very straight forward with a defined rock and roll feel. It almost leads you to believe that this is a typical rock song with an A B A B C B format, however his bridge/instrumental sections seem to take a whole new direction and could very well be its own song all together. On the other hand, his Discreet Music is an eerie instrumental with sweeping flutes and synth sounds. This seems to be a much more mature sound for him that the seemingly simplistic rock of Roxy Music. These two examples are so different and show how diverse of a composer Eno really is.
Eno does not just stop with writing music that spans so many genres; he also creates an entire experience with listening and seeing his music. He incorporates art, environments and almost plays on our emotions. He seems to create a feeling for the participant to experience when observing his creations. I believe that because he has married these elements together he has been an amazing influence to so many other artists. Eno’s music envelops its listeners and draws them in. If we look at the work that Coldplay, U2 Paul Simon, and David Bowie have made with the help of Eno we see that they too want to create the same experience and have enlisted Eno’s help to do so. Eno has influenced them to create something that is so much bigger than pop music. It is even bigger than music alone, no matter what genre. He has influenced these artists to create a brand or a life style that, as a listener, I know what I am getting from them all the time and I know that I will not simply just listen to the music, I will experience the art.
Ankeny, Jason. “Brian Eno – Music Biography, Credits and Discography : AllMusic.” AllMusic : Music Search, Recommendations, Videos and Reviews. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 May 2013. <http://www.allmusic.com/artist/brian-eno-mn0000617196>.
Tamm, Eric. BRIAN ENO HIS MUSIC AND THE VERTICAL COLOR OF SOUND . Winter Park: unpublished Full Sail University, 2003. Print.