Brian Eno

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Posted by kaori 03/03/2009 @ 03:07

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News headlines
Eno launches new Sydney music festival - ABC Online
Brian Eno says he hopes the festival will bring music and art together. (ABC: Brooke Goldfinch) Renowned British musician Brian Eno has launched the inaugural Luminous music festival at the Sydney Opera House. As curator of the 20-day event,...
Damon Albarn, Brian Eno and Helena Kennedy think PR is the answer ... -
But why are we supposed to listen to Brian Eno and Damon Albarn of Blur? If you want some ambient production in the manner of Bowie in Berlin or the dreaded U2 for your next album, then Eno's your man. Maybe you want cod-cockney lyrics, African tunes...
Beyond white noise with father of variation - The Australian
He was practising sampling before the hip-hoppers cottoned on, and claims he was probably the first person to "live sample", during the sessions for his 1980 album Fourth World Volume 1: Possible Musics, recorded with Brian Eno....
David Byrne Curates Bonnaroo Stage - Billboard
Byrne is helming the first artist-curated stage in Bonnaroo's eight-year history, presenting a Friday night (June 12) lineup that will include his own "Songs of David Byrne and Brian Eno" show along with Santigold, the Dirty Projectors, Ani DiFranco,...
Green Scene: Summer concerts start early - Barre Montpelier Times Argus
This time around, Byrne – who'll be joined by his lauded 10-piece band (including dancers) – is touring in support of his excellent 2008 album with British producer extraordinaire, Brian Eno, who added his magic touch to such classic Talking Heads...
Album review: Simple Minds - Scotsman
But you long for a brilliant young producer – or, alternatively, Brian Eno or Daniel Lanois – to shake things up a bit. All these drawbacks are a shame, because they distract attention from the good things about Graffiti Soul....
Coldplay Plays May 23 At Comcast Theatre In Hartford - Hartford Courant
It was also the first album on which Coldplay collaborated with producer Brian Eno, who has also worked with Roxy Music, Talking Heads and U2. "Working with Brian Eno has really helped us quite a lot, and everyone is contributing ideas more and...
A refreshing dose of Eno - Sydney Morning Herald
Brian Eno, famous for his work with David Bowie, U2 and Coldplay, had seen Sine perform on YouTube and wanted them to join the line-up at his inaugural Luminous festival. "I didn't believe it and I started laughing," O'Connell says....
'Green' village gets backing from Brian Eno - Journal Live
Brian Eno, one of the founder members of 70s glam and art rock hitmakers Roxy Music, and now a respected newspaper columnist and record producer, spoke out in favour of the proposed eco-village at Eastgate, Weardale. Speaking last week on the Museum of...

Brian Eno

Brian Eno at The Long Now Foundation, 26 June 2006

Brian Peter George St. John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno (born 15 May 1948), commonly known as Brian Eno (pronounced /ˈiːnoʊ/), is an English musician, composer, record producer, music theorist and singer, who, as a solo artist, is best known as the father of ambient music.

Art school-educated and inspired by minimalism, Eno became prominent in the early 1970s as the keyboards and synthesiser player of the glam rock and art rock band Roxy Music. Upon leaving the group, he recorded four influential rock albums, including Another Green World (1975), his first venture into more abstract musical territory. Eno then concentrated on sound landscapes in records such as Discreet Music (1975) and Ambient 1/Music for Airports (1978), continuing to make ambient music over the next several decades. Before and After Science (1978) was Eno's last solo album emphasising his own singing until 2005's Another Day on Earth.

From 1976 to 1979 Eno worked with David Bowie on the avant-garde "Berlin Trilogy"; helped to popularise the band Devo and the punk rock-influenced "No Wave" genre; and introduced the concepts of chance music to wider audiences, partly through his collaborations with popular musicians. Eno has worked frequently with Harold Budd, John Cale, Cluster, Robert Fripp and David Byrne. He produced three albums by Talking Heads including Remain in Light (1980), five albums by U2 including The Joshua Tree (1987), and albums by James, Laurie Anderson and Coldplay.

As an artist, Brian Eno pursues ventures in parallel to his music career: art installations, a newspaper column in The Observer, and "Oblique Strategies", with Peter Schmidt, a deck of cards wherein each card has a cryptic remark or random insight meant to resolve a dilemma. In 2008, he released Everything That Happens Will Happen Today with David Byrne, designed the sound for the video game Spore and wrote a chapter to Sound Unbound: Sampling Digital Music and Culture, edited by Paul D. Miller (a.k.a. DJ Spooky).

Brian Eno was educated at St. Joseph's College, Birkfield, Ipswich, and at Ipswich Art School in Roy Ascott's Groundcourse, and the Winchester School of Art, graduating in 1969. In school, he used a tape recorder as musical instrument, and experimented with his first, sometimes improvisational, bands. St. Joseph's College teacher and painter Tom Phillips encouraged him, recalling "Piano Tennis" with Eno, in which, after collecting pianos, they stripped and aligned them in a hall, striking them with tennis balls. From that collaboration, he became involved in Cornelius Cardew's Scratch Orchestra. The first, released recording in which Eno played is the Deutsche Grammophon edition of Cardew's The Great Learning (rec. Feb. 1971), as one of the voices in the recital of The Great Learning Paragraph 7. Another early recording was the Berlin Horse soundtrack, by Malcom Le Grice, a nine-minute, 2 x 16mm-double-projection, released in 1970 and presented in 1971.

Brian Eno's professional music career began in London, as a member (1971–1973) of the glam/art rock band Roxy Music, playing the mixing desk, altering the band's sound with a VCS3 synthesizer, tape recorders, etc., and singing back-up. In the event, he appeared on stage as member of Roxy Music, flamboyantly costumed. He quit the band on completing the promotion tour for the band's second album, For Your Pleasure because of disagreements with lead singer Bryan Ferry and boredom with the rock star life.

In 1992, he described his Roxy Music tenure as important to his career: "As a result of going into a subway station and meeting Andy , I joined Roxy Music, and, as a result of that, I have a career in music. If I'd walked ten yards farther, on the platform, or missed that train, or been in the next carriage, I probably would have been an art teacher now".

During this period, Eno also played three dates with Phil Manzanera in the band 801, a "supergroup" that performed more or less mutated selections from albums by Eno, Manzanera, and Quiet Sun, as well as covers of songs by The Beatles and The Kinks.

In 1972, Eno developed a tape-delay system first utilized by Eno and Robert Fripp (from King Crimson), described as 'Frippertronics', and the pair released an album in 1973 called (No Pussyfooting). It is said the technique was borrowed from minimalist composer Terry Riley, whose tape delay feedback system with a pair of Revox tape recorders (a setup Riley used to call the "Time Lag Accumulator") was first used on Riley's album Music for The Gift in 1963. In 1975, Fripp and Eno released a second album, Evening Star, and also played several live shows in Europe.

Eno was a prominent member of the performance art-classical orchestra the Portsmouth Sinfonia - having started playing with them in 1972. In 1973 he produced the orchestra's first album The Portsmouth Sinfonia Plays the Popular Classics (released in March 1974) and in 1974 he produced the live album Hallellujah! The Portsmouth Sinfonia Live At The Royal Albert Hall of their infamous May 1974 concert (released in October 1974.) In addition to producing both albums, Eno performed in the orchestra on both recordings - playing the clarinet. Eno also deployed the orchestra's famously dissonant string section on his second solo album Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy). The orchestra at this time included other musicians whose solo work he would subsequently release on his Obscure label including Gavin Bryars and Michael Nyman. That year he also composed music for the album Lady June's Linguistic Leprosy, with Kevin Ayers, to accompany the poet June Campbell Cramer.

Eno continued his career by producing a larger number of highly eclectic and increasingly ambient electronic and acoustic albums. He is widely credited with coining the term "ambient music", low-volume music designed to modify one's perception of a surrounding environment.

His first such work, 1975's Discreet Music, (again created via an elaborate tape-delay methodology, which Eno diagrammed on the back cover of the LP ), is considered the landmark album of the genre. This was followed by his Ambient series (Music for Airports (Ambient 1), The Plateaux of Mirror (Ambient 2), Day of Radiance (Ambient 3) and On Land (Ambient 4)). Eno was the primary musician on these releases with the exception of Ambient 2 which featured Harold Budd on keyboard, and Ambient 3 where the American composer Laraaji was the sole musician playing the zither and hammered dulcimer with Eno producing.

In 1980 he provided a film score for Herbert Vesely's Egon Schiele Exzess und Bestrafung also known as Egon Schiele Excess and Punishment. The ambent style score was an unusual choice for a historical piece but fits the film's themes of sexual obsession and death and is highly effective, possible his best film score.

Eno describes himself as a "non-musician" and coined the term "treatments" to describe his modification of the sound of musical instruments, and to separate his role from that of the traditional instrumentalist. His skill at using "The Studio as a Compositional Tool" (the title of an essay by Eno) led in part to his career as a producer. His methods were recognized at the time (mid-1970s) 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'.

Eno started the Obscure Records label in Britain in 1975 to release works by lesser-known composers. The first group of three releases included his own composition, Discreet Music, and the now-famous The Sinking of the Titanic (1969) and Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet (1971) by Gavin Bryars. The second side of Discreet Music consisted of several versions of Pachelbel's Canon, the composition which Eno had previously chosen to precede Roxy Music's appearances on stage, to which various algorithmic transformations have been applied, rendering it almost unrecognizable. Side 1 consisted of a tape loop system for generating music from relatively sparse input. These tapes had previously been used as backgrounds in some of his collaborations with Fripp, most notably on Evening Star. Only 10 albums were released on Obscure, including works by John Adams, Michael Nyman, and John Cage. At this time he was also affiliating with artists in the Fluxus movement.

In 1975 Eno performed as the Wolf in a rock version of Sergei Prokofiev's classic Peter and The Wolf. Produced by Robin Lumley and Jack Lancaster, the album featured Gary Moore, Manfred Mann, Phil Collins, Stephane Grapelli, Chris Spedding, Cozy Powell, Jon Hiseman, Bill Bruford and Alvin Lee. In 1980-81 Eno collaborated with David Byrne of Talking Heads (which he had already anagrammatized as 'King's Lead Hat') on My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, which was built around radio broadcasts Eno collected while living in the United States, along with sampling recordings from around the world. He worked with David Bowie as a writer and musician on Bowie's influential 1977-79 'Berlin Trilogy' of albums, Low, "Heroes" and Lodger, on Bowie's later album Outside, and on the song "I'm Afraid of Americans". In 1980 Eno developed an interest in altered guitar tunings, which led to Guitarchitecture discussions with Chuck Hammer, former Lou Reed guitarist. Following on from his No-Wave involvement which brought him in contact with the "renegade" artist Greg Belcastro, who introduced him to the guitar techniques of a fledgling Sonic Youth, Eno has also collaborated with John Cale, former member of Velvet Underground, on his trilogy Fear, Slow Dazzle and Helen of Troy, Robert Wyatt on his Shleep CD, with Jon Hassell, with the German duo Cluster, with composers Harold Budd, Philip Glass and Roberto Carnevale. A new collaboration between David Byrne and Brian Eno titled Everything That Happens Will Happen Today was released digitally on 18 August 2008, with the enhanced CD released in October.

In 1992, Eno released an album featuring heavily syncopated rhythms entitled Nerve Net, with contributions from several former collaborators including Robert Fripp, Benmont Tench, Robert Quine and John Paul Jones. This album was a last-minute substitution for My Squelchy Life, which featured more pop oriented material, with Eno on vocals. (Several tracks from My Squelchy Life later appeared on 1993's retrospective box set Eno Box II: Vocals.) Eno also released in 1992 a work entitled The Shutov Assembly, recorded between 1985 and 1990. This album embraces atonality and abandons most conventional concepts of modes, scales and pitch. Much of the music shifts gradually and without discernible focus, and is one of Eno's most varied ambient collections. Conventional instrumentation is eschewed, save for treated keyboards.

During the 1990s, Eno became increasingly interested in self-generating musical systems, the results of which he called generative music. The basic premise of generative music is the blending of several independent musical tracks, of varying sounds, length, and in some cases, silence. When each individual track concludes, it starts again mixing with the other tracks allowing the listener to hear an almost infinite combination. In one instance of generative music, Eno calculated that it would take almost 10,000 years to hear the entire possibilities of one individual piece. Eno has presented this music in his own, and other artists', art and sound installations, most notably "I Dormienti (The Sleepers)", Lightness: Music for the Marble Palace, Music for Civic Recovery Centre, The Quiet Room and "Music for Prague".

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

Eno returned in June 2005 with Another Day on Earth, his first major album since Wrong Way Up (with John Cale) to prominently feature vocals (a trend continued with Everything That Happens Will Happen Today). The album differs from his 70s solo work as musical production has changed since then, evident in its semi-electronic production.

In early 2006, 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. Eight previously unreleased tracks, recorded during the initial sessions in 1980/81, were added to the album, while one track, Qu'ran, was removed due to requests from Muslims. An unusual interactive marketing strategy that coincided with its re-release, the album’s promotional website features the ability for anyone to officially and legally download the multi-tracks of two songs from the album, "A Secret Life" and "Help Me Somebody". Individuals can then remix and upload new mixes of these tracks to the website so others can listen to and rate them.

In late 2006, Eno released 77 Million Paintings, a program of generative video and music specifically for the PC. As its title suggests, there is a possible combination of 77 million paintings where the viewer will see different combinations of video slides prepared by Eno each time the program is launched. Likewise, the accompanying music is generated by the program so that it's almost certain the listener will never quite hear the same arrangement twice. The second edition of "77 Million Paintings" featuring improved morphing and a further two layers of sound was released on 14 January 2008.

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

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

In December 2008 Paramount Pictures confirmed Brian Eno is scoring music for Peter Jackson’s film adaptation of “The Lovely Bones,” set to be released in December 2009.

From the beginning of his solo career in 1973, Eno was in demand as a producer - though his management now describe him as a "sonic landscaper" rather than a producer. The first album with Eno credited as producer was Lucky Leif and the Longships by Robert Calvert. Eno's lengthy string of producer credits includes albums for Talking Heads, U2, Devo, Ultravox and James. He also produced part of the 1993 album When I Was a Boy by Jane Siberry. He won the best producer award at the 1994 and 1996 BRIT Awards.

Despite being a self-professed "non-musician", Eno has contributed to recordings by artists as varied as Nico, Robert Calvert, Genesis, David Bowie, and Zvuki Mu, in various capacities such as use of his studio/synthesizer/electronic treatments, vocals, guitar, bass guitar, and as just being 'Eno'. In 1984, he (along with several other authors) composed and performed the "Prophecy Theme" for the David Lynch film Dune; the rest of the soundtrack was composed and performed by the group Toto. Eno produced performance artist Laurie Anderson's Bright Red album, and also composed for it. The work is avant-garde spoken word with haunting and magnifying sounds. 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.

Eno co-produced The Unforgettable Fire (1984), The Joshua Tree (1987), Achtung Baby (1991), and All That You Can't Leave Behind (2000) for U2 with his frequent collaborator Daniel Lanois, and produced 1993's Zooropa for the band alone. In 1995, U2 and Eno joined forces to create the album Original Soundtracks 1 under the group name Passengers; songs from OST1 included "Your Blue Room" and "Miss Sarajevo". He also produced Laid (1993), Wah Wah (1994) and Pleased To Meet You (2001) for James.

Eno played on the 1986 album Measure for Measure by Australian band Icehouse. He 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, Eno provided one of several remixes of "Protection" by Massive Attack (originally from their Protection album) for release as a single. The single also included more remixes by DJs J-Swift, Tom D, and Underdog.

In 2007, he produced the fourth studio album by Coldplay entitled Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends, which was released in 2008. Also in 2008, he worked with Grace Jones on her album Hurricane, credited for "production consultation" and as a member of the band, playing keyboards, treatments and background vocals. With frequent collaborator Daniel Lanois, he worked on the twelfth studio album by U2, titled No Line on the Horizon. It was recorded in Morocco, South France and Dublin and due to be released in Europe on 27 February 2009 and worldwide on 2 March 2009.

The works I have made with this system symbolise, to me, the beginning of a new era of music. Until a hundred years ago, every musical event was unique: music was ephemeral and unrepeatable, and even classical scoring couldn't guarantee precise duplication. Then came the gramophone record, which captured particular performances, and made it possible to hear them identically, over and over again.

But now, there are three alternatives: live music, recorded music, and generative music. Generative music enjoys some of the benefits of both its ancestors. Like live music, it is always different. Like recorded music, it is free of time-and-place limitations — you can hear it when and where you want.

Eno has also been active in other artistic fields, producing videos for gallery display and collaborating with visual artists in other endeavours. One is the set of "Oblique Strategies" cards that he and artist Peter Schmidt, produced in the mid-70s, described as "100 Worthwhile Dilemmas" and intended as guides to shaking up the mind in the process of producing works of art. Another was his collaboration with artist Russell Mills on the book More Dark Than Shark. He was also the provider of music for Robert Sheckley's In the Land of Clear Colours, a narrated story with music originally published by a small art gallery in Spain.

In March 2008 Eno collaborated with the Italian artist Mimmo Paladino on a show of the latter's works with Eno's soundscapes at Ara Pacis in Rome.

In 2008, Eno designed the procedurally-generated music for the video game Spore.

In October 2008, Eno collaborated with Peter Chilvers to create an application titled Bloom for the iPhone and iPod Touch platform.

Brian Eno has been active politically throughout his life, frequently writing letters to government ministers and appearing on political debates, and writing newspaper columns on his political views. He was sharply critical of the Thatcher government's decision to reduce funding to the BBC World Service, arguing that the £5million cut to its £25 million budget was damaging, and was the equivalent cost of "just one wing of one F16 fighter jet"- a reference to a large order of military hardware the government had just made.

In 1996, Eno and others started the Long Now Foundation to educate the public about the very long term future of society. He is also a columnist for the British newspaper The Observer.

In 2003, he appeared on a UK Channel 4 discussion about the Iraq war with a top military spokesman; Eno was highly critical of the war. In 2005, he spoke at an anti-war demonstration in Hyde Park, London. In March 2006, he spoke at an anti-war demonstration at Trafalgar Square; he noted that 2 billion people on this planet do not have clean drinking water, and that water could have been supplied to them for about one-fifth of the cost of the Iraq war.

Eno appeared as Father Brian Eno at the "It's Great Being a Priest!" convention, in "Going to America", the final episode of the television sitcom Father Ted, which originally aired on 1 May 1998 on Channel 4.

The Nokia 8800 Sirocco Edition mobile phone features exclusive music composed by Eno. Between 8 January 2007 and 12 February 2007, ten units of Nokia 8800 Sirocco Brian Eno Signature Edition mobile phones, individually numbered and engraved with Eno's signature were auctioned off. All proceeds went to two charities chosen by Eno: the Keiskamma Aids Treatment program and The World Land Trust.

In 2006, 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 2007, he appeared playing keyboards in Voila, Belinda Carlisle's solo album sung entirely in French. In December that year, the newly-elected Leader of Liberal Democrats, Nick Clegg appointed Eno as his youth affairs adviser.

In January 2009, Eno wrote an opinion piece in the CounterPunch web site to condemn Israel's attack on Gaza strip.

On 10 January 2009, Eno took part in a protest through London, joining 20,000 other protesters to condemn Israel's attacks on the Gaza Strip.

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Songs of David Byrne and Brian Eno Tour


The Songs of David Byrne and Brian Eno Tour is a promotional concert tour of music co-written by David Byrne and Brian Eno.

Byrne has assembled a band to tour for the album Everything That Happens Will Happen Today performing music from this collaboration as well as the duo's previous My Life in the Bush of Ghosts and songs from the three Eno-produced Talking Heads albums - More Songs About Buildings and Food, Fear of Music, and Remain in Light. (The two also collaborated for several tracks on Byrne's The Catherine Wheel.) By performing music from all of their collaborations, Byrne hopes to "draw a line linking this new material with what we did 30 years ago, a little bit anyway." Although early reports indicated that Eno would be participating, he will not.

A month after releasing the album, Byrne was skeptical of market saturation, claiming "I sense that a lot of people don't know we have a record out" and hoped to counter-balance that ignorance with this tour. At the same time, the main goal of the performance was not promotion but the show itself.

Songs marked with an asterisk (*) included choreography.

Mid-way through this leg, Byrne expanded some shows to have three encores, such as Omaha, Indianapolis, Toronto, and Raleigh. The first as listed above, the second was "Don't Worry About the Government" and "Burning Down the House", and the third was "Everything That Happens". He also played this extended encore at the Hong Kong and Sydney shows. Byrne expanded his February 28th 2009 show to contain four two song encores.

Refosco previously toured with Byrne's My Backwards Life band in support of Grown Backwards; he also appears on Look into the Eyeball, Grown Backwards, Live from Austin, Texas, and Everything That Happens Will Happen Today playing percussion. The performers started rehearsals the day that the album was released and continued to rehearse more for this tour than is typical for other Byrne presentations. All performers dress alike in cream-colored jumpsuits and overalls. The dancers have choreographed for seven songs and the entire ensemble performed together for the first time on September 9.

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Roxy Music

Roxy Music on stage during concert at London's ExCeL Exhibition Centre, July 2006

Roxy Music are an English art rock group founded in the early 1970s by art school graduate Bryan Ferry (vocals and keyboards). The other members are Phil Manzanera (guitars), Andy Mackay (saxophone and oboe) and Paul Thompson (drums and percussion). Former members include Brian Eno (synthesizer and "treatments"), and Eno's replacement Eddie Jobson (synthesizer and violin). Although the band broke up in 1983, they reunited for a concert tour in 2001, and have announced that they are recording a new album for a yet-to-be-confirmed release date.

Roxy Music attained mainstream popular and critical success in the UK and Europe through the 1970s and early 1980s, beginning with their Top 10 debut album, Roxy Music, in 1972. The band proved to be a significant influence on the early English punk movement, as well as providing a model for many New Wave acts and the experimental electronic groups of the early 1980s. Ferry and co-founding member Eno have also had broadly influential solo careers, the latter emerging as one of the most significant record producers of the late 20th century, with credits including landmark albums by Devo, Talking Heads, U2 and Coldplay. Rolling Stone magazine ranked Roxy Music #98 on its "100 The Greatest Artists of All Time" list.

In November 1970, ceramics teacher and aspiring rock musician Bryan Ferry advertised for a keyboard player to collaborate with him and Graham Simpson, a bass player he knew from his Newcastle art college band, The Gas Board and with whom he collaborated on his first songs. In early 1970 Ferry had auditioned as lead singer for King Crimson (who were seeking a replacement for departed vocalist Greg Lake). Although Robert Fripp and Pete Sinfield decided that Ferry's voice was unsuitable for King Crimson's material, they were impressed with his talent and they subsequently helped the fledgling Roxy Music to obtain a contract with E.G. Records.

Andy MacKay replied to Ferry's advertisement, not as a keyboard player but as a saxophonist and oboist; however, he did possess a VCS3 synthesiser. Mackay had already met Brian Eno during university days, as both were interested in avant-garde and electronic music. It was some time later that they met again; although Eno was a self-confessed non-musician, he could operate a synthesizer and owned a Revox reel-to-reel tape machine, so Mackay convinced him to join the band as a technical adviser. Before long Eno was a performing member of the group. After Dexter Lloyd, a classically-trained timpanist, left the band an ad was placed in Melody Maker magazine saying "wonder drummer wanted for an avante rock group". Paul Thompson responded to the ad and joined the line-up in June 1971. The group's name was partly an homage to the titles of old cinemas and dance halls, and partly a pun on the word rock. Ferry had originally named the band Roxy, but after learning of an American band with the same name he altered the name to Roxy Music.

Around October 1971 Roxy placed an ad in Melody Maker seeking the "Perfect Guitarist" and Phil Manzanera (real name Philip Targett-Adams) was one of about twenty players who auditioned. Manzanera, the son of an English father and a Columbian mother, had spent considerable time in South America and Cuba as a child and although he did not have the same art school background as Ferry, Mackay and Eno, he was perhaps the most musically proficient of and had a wide-ranging interest in music, which was broadended by his childhood sojourns in Latin America. Manzanera was also connected to other notable figures on the British underground scene—e.g he knew both David Gilmour, who was a friend of his older brother's and Soft Machine's Robert Wyatt.

Although Ferry and the group were impressed with Manzanera, the job intially went to David O'List, former guitarist with The Nice, although Manzanera was invited to become their roadie. However in February 1972 O'List abruptly quit the group after an altercation with Paul Thompson which took place at their audition for David Enthoven of EG Management. When O'List didn't show up for the next rehearsal, Manzanera was asked to come along, on the pretext of becoming their sound mixer. When he arrived he was invited to sit in on guitar and quickly realised that it was an unofficial audition. Unbeknownst to the rest of the group, Manzanera had learned their entire repertoire and as a result, he was immediately drafted in as O'List's permanent replacement, joining on February 14, 1972 and two weeks later Roxy Music signed with EG Management.

With this line-up, EG Management financed the recording of the tracks for their first album, Roxy Music, recorded in March-April 1972 and produced by King Crimson lyricist Pete Sinfield. It is notable that both the album and its famous cover artwork were apparently completed before the group signed with Island Records. A&R staffer Tim Clark records that although he argued strongly that Island should sign them, label boss Chris Blackwell at first seemed unimpressed and Clark assumed he was not interested. A few days later however, Clark and Enthoven were standing in the hallway of the Island offices examining cover image for the album when Blackwell walked passed, glanced at the artwork and said "Looks great! Have we got them signed yet?" The band signed with Island Records a few days later. The LP was released in June to good reviews and became an major success, reaching #1 on the UK album chart in late 1972.

The band's fortunes were greatly boosted by the support of Melody Maker journalist Richard Williams and broadcaster John Peel. Williams became an enthusiastic fan after meeting Ferry and being given a demo tape in mid-1971 and he penned the first major article on the band, featured on Melody Maker's "Horizons" page in the 7 August 1971 edition.

During the latter half of 1971 bassist Graham Simpson became increasingly withdrawn and uncommunicative, and near the end of the year—shortly after the group had recorded the tracks for their first LP (financed by EG management) and played a showcase gig for Island Records executives—Simpson suffered a serious breakdown and left the band. He was replaced by Rik Kenton.

To garner more attention to their album, Roxy Music decided to record and release a single. Their debut single was "Virginia Plain", which reached #4 in the British charts. The band's eclectic visual image, captured in their debut performance on the BBC's Top of the Pops, became a cornerstone for the glam trend in the UK; the TOTP video of "Virginia Plain" was later parodied by the British comedy series Big Train. The single sparked a renewed interest in the album.

Soon after "Virginia Plain", Rik Kenton departed the band.

The next album, For Your Pleasure (recorded with guest bass player John Porter), was released in March 1973. It marked the beginning of the band's long, successful collaboration with producer Chris Thomas and recording engineer Bill Price, who worked on all of the group's classic albums and singles in the 1970s. The album was promoted with the non-album single "Pyjamarama", but no album track was released as a single. At the time, Ferry was dating French model Amanda Lear, who was photographed with a black jaguar for the cover of For Your Pleasure (Ferry appears on the back cover as a dapper driver standing in front of a limousine).

Soon after recording For Your Pleasure, Brian Eno left Roxy Music amidst increasing differences with Ferry over the direction and running of the group. The other members of the band are reported to have shared some of Eno's concerns about Ferry's dominance, but they elected to remain in the group. The band would never again settle on a permanent bass player. John Gustafson, John Wetton, Gary Tibbs, and Alan Spenner — among others — would fill the revolving role.

Eno was replaced by 19-year-old multi-instrumentalist Eddie Jobson, formerly of progressive rockers Curved Air, who played keyboards and electric violin. Although some fans lamented the loss of the experimental attitude and camp aesthetic that Eno had brought to the band, the classically-trained Jobson was a dynamic and accomplished musician. His arrival reinvigorated the group, with his keyboard expertise freeing Ferry from his keyboard duties on stage, as well as lending greater refinement to the group's studio recordings. His dazzling electric violin skills added an exciting new dimension to the band's sound, as showcased on the song "Out of the Blue". Eno himself later acknowledged the quality of the two albums that followed his departure, Stranded (1973) and Country Life (1974), and they are widely regarded as being among the most original and consistent British rock albums of the period. Rolling Stone referred to the albums as marking "the zenith of contemporary British art rock". The songs on these albums also cemented Ferry's persona as the epitome of the suave, jaded Euro-sophisticate. Although this persona undoubtedly began as a deliberately ironic device, during the mid-1970s it seemed to merge with Ferry's real life, as the working-class miner's son from the north of England became an international rock star, an icon of male style who had love affairs with many beautiful women, among them Playboy playmate Marilyn Cole (who appeared on the cover of the Stranded album) and fashion models Amanda Lear (who would later date David Bowie) and Jerry Hall (who later became the common-law wife of Mick Jagger).

On the first two Roxy albums, all songs were written solely by Bryan Ferry. Beginning with Stranded, Mackay and Manzanera began to co-write some material. Gradually, their songwriting and musicianship became more integrated into the band's sound, although Ferry remained the dominant songwriter; throughout their career, all but one of Roxy's singles were written either wholly or jointly by Ferry. Stranded was released in November 1973, and produced the top-10 single "Street Life".

The fourth album, Country Life, was released in 1974, and was the first Roxy Music album to enter the U.S. Top 40, albeit at #37. Country Life was met with widespread critical acclaim, with Rolling Stone referring to it "as if Ferry ran a cabaret for psychotics, featuring chanteurs in a state of shock". Their fifth album, Siren, contained their only U.S. hit, "Love is the Drug". (Ferry said the song came to him while kicking the leaves during a walk through Hyde Park.) At this time Ferry was involved in a high-profile relationship with Texas-born supermodel Jerry Hall. Ferry's paean to Hall, "Prairie Rose", directly inspired the Talking Heads song "The Big Country" and was later covered by the Scottish rock group Big Country as a B-side to their single "East Of Eden" in 1984. Hall is also featured on the cover of the Siren LP and in the video for Ferry's 1976 international solo hit, a cover of Wilbert Harrison's "Let's Stick Together".

Following the concert tours in support of Siren in 1976, Roxy Music disbanded. Their live album Viva! was released in August of 1976. During this time Ferry released two solo records on which Manzanera and Thompson performed, and Manzanera reunited with Eno on the critically acclaimed one-off 801 Live album.

Roxy Music reunited in 1978 to record a new album, Manifesto, but with a reshuffled line-up. Jobson was not present (and reportedly not contacted for the reunion) as Ferry decided to perform keyboards himself. After the tour and before the recording of the next album, Flesh + Blood (1980), Thompson broke his thumb in a motorcycle mishap and took a leave from the band (and soon after left permanently). The three remaining members were supplemented by a variety of session players over the next few years, including Andy Newmark, Neil Hubbard, and Alan Spenner.

The changed line-up reflected a distinct change in Roxy's musical approach. Gone were the jagged and unpredictable elements of the group's sound, giving way to smoother (some would say blander) musical arrangements. Rolling Stone panned Manifesto — "Roxy Music has not gone disco. Roxy Music has not particularly gone anywhere else either" — as well as Flesh + Blood ("such a shockingly bad Roxy Music record that it provokes a certain fascination"). Later, with more sombre and carefully-sculpted soundscapes, the band's eighth — and, until their 21st-century reunion, final — album, Avalon (1982), was a major commercial success and restored the group's critical reputation and contained the hit single "More Than This". The trio toured extensively until 1983, when Bryan Ferry dissolved the band and band members devoted themselves full time to solo careers (see below).

Ferry, Manzanera, Mackay, and Thompson re-formed in 2001 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the band and toured extensively. A festival appearance in Portugal and a short tour of the United States followed in 2003. Absent was Brian Eno, who criticized the motives of the band's reunion, saying, "I just don't like the idea. It leaves a bad taste". Later Eno remarked that his comment had been taken out of context. Manzanera and Thompson recorded and toured with Ferry on his 2002 album Frantic. Eno also contributed to Frantic on the track "I Thought".

In 2002, Image Entertainment, Inc., released the concert DVD Roxy Music Live at the Apollo featuring performances of 20 songs plus interviews and rehearsal footage.

In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked the group #98 on its list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

Roxy Music returned to the stage for a live performance at the 2005 Isle of Wight Festival on 11 June 2005, their first UK concert since the 2001–2002 world tour. On 2 July 2005, the band played "Jealous Guy", "Do the Strand", and "Love is the Drug" at the Berlin contribution to Live8; only "Do the Strand" was available on the DVD.

In March 2005 it was announced on Phil Manzanera's official site that the band, including Brian Eno, had decided to record an album of new material. The project would mark the first time Eno worked with Roxy Music since 1973's For Your Pleasure. After a number of denials that he would be involved with any Roxy Music reunion, on 19 May 2006 Eno revealed that he had contributed two songs to the new album as well as playing keyboards on other tracks. He did, however, rule out touring with the band. The record will also be the first since Manifesto on which original drummer Paul Thompson performs.

In early 2006, a lesser-known Roxy track, "The Main Thing", was remixed by Malcolm Green and used as the soundtrack to a pan-European television commercial for the Opel Vectra. The film featured legendary football referee Pierluigi Collina, whose sartorial elegance somewhat echoed Ferry's. The remix was immediately popular across the continent and the United Kingdom, bringing Roxy to a new generation of viewers and fans.

In July 2006, the band toured Europe. They concentrated mostly on places they had never visited before, such as Serbia and Macedonia. Roxy Music's second drummer, Andy Newmark, performed during the tour, as Thompson withdrew due to health issues.

In a March 2007 interview with the Western Daily Press, Ferry confirmed that although the next Roxy Music album is definitely in the making it will not see light for another "year and a half", as Ferry had just released and toured behind his twelfth studio album, Dylanesque, consisting of Bob Dylan covers.

In June 2007 the band hired Liverpool based design agency to develop their new website supporting their new album. Early in the year, Phil Manzanera revealed that the band are planning to sign a record contract. In an October 2007 interview, Ferry said that the album would include a collaboration with Scissor Sisters.

All members of Roxy Music have prolific careers. Ferry's solo career had already begun in 1973 while he was still very much a member of Roxy Music, and his solo albums (mostly containing ironic cover versions of pop standards) alternated with Roxy's releases. Ferry's solo debut, These Foolish Things, is notable as one of the first and best examples of the much-imitated trend that has seen scores of rock musicians recording albums made up of cover versions of songs from earlier eras chosen for their influence on the performer's musical development. Ferry's battle with writer's block, however, was probably a factor in his choice to perform cover songs, although Ferry himself has compared them to the famous "readymades" of Marcel Duchamp. It was released just before David Bowie's Pin Ups, which adopted a similar formula.

Eno launched his own solo career in 1973. His first four albums were comparitively conventional, mixing accessible pop-rock melodies and song structures with experimental sounds and oblique lyrics reminiscent of the work of Syd Barrett and they featured many leading musicians including Manzanera, Mackay and Thompson as well as John Cale and members of Can, Cluster, King Crimson, Henry Cow and Genesis. His solo debut Here Come The Warm Jets (Jan. 1974) was a UK Top 40 album and one of his biggest commercial successes. During this period Eno also collaborated with Robert Fripp on two albums of experimental music, No Pussyfooting and Evening Star, which used a tape-delay system (dubbed "Frippertronics") which became the basis of the next phase of his recording career. Eno also collaborated on albums by John Cale (Fear, Slow Dazzle and Helen of Troy), Genesis (The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway), Robert Wyatt, Jon Hassell, Cluster, Harold Budd and others. In 1976 he established the shortlived Obscure Records label and released the groundbreaking Discreet Music, the first in a series of highly influential recordings which created the genre of ambient music. This also marked the end of the "pop" phase of his career, and he rarely revisited the vocal song format on his own records in later years. By the late 1970s, alongside his own recording career, Eno had also become a sought-after producer of other artists, with credits including albums by DEVO, Talking Heads and Ultravox. He featured prominently on Talking Heads Remain In Light and collaborated with frontman David Byrne on the landmark album My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, one of the first pop-rock recordings to incorporate samples as a compositional tool. Eno is probably best known today as a producer, thanks to his long association with U2 and his production for other acts such as James and Coldplay.

Manzanera and Mackay each recorded solo albums, both of them with Thompson on drums. Manzanera also used some of the studio time during the recording of his solo debut Diamond Head to reconstitute his former band Quiet Sun and cut an album of their (previously unrecorded) material; he played guitar on many of Eno's solo and collaborative recordings of the mid-1970s - notably collaborating within the critically acclaimed, yet short-lived supergroup 801 (named after a term from the Roxy Music song The True Wheel). Manzanera, Mackay, Thompson and Jobson have all taken part in various Ferry solo recordings (some of which included reworkings of old Roxy material), and Manzanera has regularly played with Ferry on his solo tours.

After their last album and tour, Mackay, Manzanera, and Ferry all released solo albums. Ferry's solo career has continued uninterrupted. Andy Newmark participated on all of Ferry's subsequent records and tours. Thompson worked as a session drummer for various artists; his post-Roxy session work included such diverse acts as a punk band The Angelic Upstarts on their 1983 album Reason Why and blues-rocker Gary Moore on his Emerald Aisles Live In Ireland tour in 1985, which was released on video. In 1990–91, Thompson replaced Harry Rushakoff as the drummer in Concrete Blonde, during which time they had their biggest hit with the single "Joey".

In 1984, Manzanera and Mackay teamed with vocalist James Wraith to form The Explorers. Signed to Virgin, the band released a self-titled album and a number of singles (among them "Venus de Milo" and "Falling for Nightlife", the latter of which was not included on the LP version), but none of their material charted in England. Virgin dropped the band while they were in the studio recording a second album. This eventually emerged in 1990 under the name Manzanera / Mackay. In 1987, Manzanera teamed with former Roxy and King Crimson bassist John Wetton for the LP Wetton/Manzanera.

The early style and presentation of Roxy Music was heavily influenced by the art school backgrounds of its principal members. Ferry, Mackay and Eno had all had studied at prominent UK art colleges in the mid-to-late 1960s, when these institutions were introducing courses that broke away from traditional art teaching practice, with its heavy emphasis on painting, and instead focussed on more recent developments—most notably Pop Art—and explored new concepts and approaches such as cybernetics. As writer Michael Bracewell notes in his book Roxy: the band that invented an era, Roxy Music was expressly created by Ferry, Mackay and Eno as a means of combining and exploring their mutual and wide-ranging interests in music, modern art and fashion.

Ferry studied at the University of Newcastle in the Sixties under renowned pop artist and educator Richard Hamilton, and many of Ferry's university friends, classmates and tutors (e.g. Rita Donagh, Tim Head) went on to become prominent artists in their own right. Eno studied at Winchester College and although his iconoclastic approach surfaced early and led to some conflict with the college establishement, it also brought him into contact with important artists and musicians including Cornelius Cardew and Gavin Bryars. His interest in electronic music also led to his first meetings with Andy Mackay, who was studying at Reading University and who had likewise developed a strong interest in avant garde and electronic music.

The three eventually joined forces in London in 1970–71 after meeting through mutual friends and decided to form a rock band.

Roxy Music was one of the first rock groups who created and maintained a carefully crafted look and style that included their stage presentation, music videos, album and single cover designs, and promotional materials such as posters, handbills, cards and badges. They were assisted in this by a group of friends and associates who helped to sculpt the classic Roxy Music 'look'—notably fashion designer Antony Price, hair stylist Keith Mainwaring, photographer Karl Stoecker, the group's "PR consultant" Simon Puxley (a former university friend of Mackay's) and Ferry's art school classmate Nicholas De Ville.

Legendary critic Lester Bangs went so far as to say that Roxy represented "the triumph of artifice". The band's debut album, produced by King Crimson's Pete Sinfield, was the first in a series of increasingly sophisticated album covers, art-directed by Ferry in collaboration with his friend Nick De Ville.

The album artwork for the first five Roxy LPs imitated the visual style of classic "girlie" and fashion magazines, featuring high-fashion shots of scantily-clad models Amanda Lear, Marilyn Cole and Jerry Hall, each of whom had romances with Ferry during the time of their contributions (as well as model Kari-Ann Muller who appears on the cover of the first Roxy album but who was not otherwise involved with anyone in the band, and who later married Mick Jagger's brother Chris). The title of the fourth Roxy album, Country Life, was intended as a parody of the well-known British rural magazine of the same name, and the visually punning front cover photo featured two models (two German fans, Constanze Karoli — sister of Can's Michael Karoli — and Eveline Grunwald) clad only in semi-transparent lingerie standing in a forest. As a result, in many areas of the United States the album was sold in an opaque plastic wrapper because retailers refused to display the cover. Later, an alternate cover (featuring just a shot of the forest) was used.

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Ambient music

Ambient music is a musical genre that focuses on the timbral characteristics of sounds, particularly organised or performed to evoke an "atmospheric", "visual" or "unobtrusive" quality. Ambient evolved from the early 20th century music of the impressionists, composers such as John Cage, Morton Feldman and minimalist composers of the 1960s and 1970s to rock musician Brian Eno, who is responsible for coining the phrase ambient music in the manifesto liner notes of his 1978 album, Ambient 1: Music for Airports.

Ambient music has influenced many other genres, most remarkably some forms of rhythmic music presented in chill-out rooms at raves and other dance events, with the intention of creating an calmer, relaxed atmosphere for ravers to take a break from dancing.

Early 20th century French composer Erik Satie created an early form of ambient music that he referred to as "furniture music" (Musique d'ameublement), in reference to something that could be played during a dinner whose sound would simply create an atmosphere for that activity rather than be the specific focus of attention.

Brian Eno is generally credited with coining the term "ambient music" in the mid-1970s to refer to music that, as he stated, can be either "actively listened to with attention or as easily ignored, depending on the choice of the listener", and that exists on the "cusp between melody and texture." Eno, who describes himself as a "non-musician", termed his experiments in sound as "treatments" rather than as traditional performances. Eno used the word "ambient" to describe music that creates an atmosphere that puts the listener into a different state of mind; having chosen the word based on the Latin term "ambire", "to surround".

Early albums such as Ummagumma by Pink Floyd and by the "kosmische Musik"-oriented krautrock artists, like Tangerine Dream, Popol Vuh, and Cluster have greatly influenced the genre. Among the first electronic ambient albums were Affenstunde (1970) and In Den Garten Pharaos (1971) by Popol Vuh. Other notable albums include Sonic Seasonings (1972) by Wendy Carlos and L'apocalypse des Animaux (1973; recorded in 1970) by Vangelis. Additional early artists, such as Klaus Schulze (a former member of Tangerine Dream and Ash Ra Tempel), Jean Michel Jarre, and Kraftwerk in the 1970s and 1980s, were influential.

By the early 1990s artists such as the The Orb, Aphex Twin, Slowdive, the Irresistible Force, Geir Jenssen's Biosphere, and the Higher Intelligence Agency were being referred to by the popular music press as ambient house, ambient techno, IDM, shoegaze or simply "ambient".

Early Warp records artists, (as well as later ones such as Aphex Twin), FSOL Future Sound of London (Lifeforms, ISDN) Autechre, (Incunabula, Amber), Boards of Canada, Massive Attack, Portishead, and The KLF all took a part in popularising and diversifying ambient music.

Chillout is generally linked to club culture and is sometimes used as a term which includes ambient music as a subset of itself. UK techno developed in particular at Warp Records in Sheffield, where previous electronic pioneers such as Cabaret Voltaire and Autechre laid the groundwork for ambient techno to develop, and for Aphex Twin and Boards of Canada to develop later. Intelligent Dance Music is another term synonymous with this scene. Glitch music is a subset of this work. Some club groups have created live ambient music, mixing dub techniques with ambient textures and dance grooves.

Several second-wave black metal artists (most notably Burzum) experimented with dark ambient textures on some of their albums. The two genres still remain linked, however loosely, to this day, as evidenced by the music of Xasthur.

Ambient music has been used in many video games, television shows and motion pictures and is notable for contributing to their atmosphere, or soundscapes. David Lynch's 1984 film Dune, for example, forgoes the epic sci-fi adventure style theme music popularized by Star Wars in favor of a more atmospheric music score by Toto and Brian Eno. Electronic musician Paddy Kingsland is noted for the music style he brought to several serials of the television series Doctor Who which had until then relied mostly on stock music cues or minimal music for much of its history. The video game trilogy Fallout and its spinoffs use ambient music that sometimes contains gentle rumblings to portray the bleakness of the post-apocalyptic world which the games are set in.

Ambient Dub was a phrase first coined by the now defunct Beyond record label from early 1990s in Birmingham, England. Their defining series of albums "Ambient Dub 1, 2, through to 4" inspired many, including sound engineer and producer Bill Laswell, who used the same phrase in his music project Divination, where he collaborates with different musicians on each album (though sometimes the same ones are on more than one of the albums such as Tetsu Inoue and others). Laswell also presented Ambient dub and Ambient house music on albums by his collaboration project Axiom Dub, featuring recording artists the Orb, Jah Wobble, Jaki Liebezeit and DJ Spooky.

Organic ambient music is characterised by integration of electronic, electric, and acoustic musical instruments. Aside from the usual electronic music influences, organic ambient tends to incorporate influences from world music, especially drone instruments and hand percussion. Organic ambient is intended to be more harmonious with nature than with the disco. Some of the artists in this sub-genre include Robert Rich, Steve Roach, Vidna Obmana, O Yuki Conjugate, Ma Ja Le, Neal Merrick Blackwood, Vir Unis, James Johnson, Loren Nerell, Tuu and Robert Scott Thompson.

Some works by ambient pioneers such as Brian Eno, Laraaji or Popul Vuh who use a combination of traditional instruments (such as piano or hammered dulcimer or hand percussion, though usually processed through tape loops or other devices) and electronic instruments, would be considered organic ambient music in this sense. In the 70s and 80s Klaus Schulze often recorded string ensembles and performances by solo cellists to go along with his extended Moog synthesizer workouts.

The music is composed from samples and recordings of naturally occurring sounds. Sometimes these samples can be treated to make them more instrument-like. The samples may be arranged in repetitive ways to form a conventional musical structure or may be random and unfocused. Sometimes the sound is mixed with urban or "found" sounds. Examples include much of Biosphere's Substrata, Mira Calix's insect music and Chris Watson's Weather Report. Some overlap occurs between organic ambient and nature inspired ambient. One of the first albums in the genre, Wendy Carlos' Sonic Seasonings, combines sampled and synthesized nature sounds with ambient melodies and drones for a particularly relaxing effect. The album Second Nature by Bill Laswell, Tetsu Inoue, and Atom Heart is an ambient album that uses processed nature sounds, with reverb and echo to create a hypnotic environment. Aquatemple has contributed to the hybridization of these genres with their debut album Opulent Oceanic Odyssey. Aquatemple has been credited for birthing "Aquatica" as a new sub genre within ambient music.

There are also a few black metal bands, such as Burzum and Beherit, who produce ambient music, albeit not always with such a dark atmosphere. Illbient is another kind of dark ambient music that has more of a beat but still creates the spooky disturbing feelings.

A rarefied, more specific re-orientation of ambient house, ambient techno is usually applied to artists such as B12, early Aphex Twin, the Black Dog, Higher Intelligence Agency, and Biosphere. It distinguished artists who combined the melodic and rhythmic approaches of techno and electro—use of drum machines; well-produced, thin-sounding electronics; minor-key melodies and alien-sounding samples and sounds—with the soaring, layered, aquatic atmospheres of beatless and experimental ambient music. Most often associated with labels such as Apollo, GPR, Warp, and Beyond, the terminology morphed into "intelligent techno" after Warp released its Artificial Intelligence series, although the music's stylistic references remained largely unchanged.

Ambient house is a musical category founded in the late 1980s that is used to describe acid house featuring ambient music elements and atmospheres. Tracks in the ambient house genre typically feature four-on-the-floor beats, synth pads, and vocal samples integrated in an atmospheric style. Ambient house tracks generally lack a diatonic center and feature much atonality along with synthesized chords.

Ambient industrial is a hybrid genre of ambient and industrial music; the term industrial being used in the original experimental sense, rather than in the sense of industrial metal or EBM. A "typical" ambient industrial work (if there is a such thing) might consist of evolving dissonant harmonies of metallic drones and resonances, extreme low frequency rumbles and machine noises, perhaps supplemented by gongs, percussive rhythms, bullroarers, distorted voices and/or anything else the artist might care to sample (often processed to the point where the original sample is no longer recognizable). Entire works may be based on radio telescope recordings, the babbling of newborn babies, or sounds recorded through contact microphones on telegraph wires.

Among the many artists who work in this area are Coil, CTI, Lustmord, Susumu Yokota, Hafler Trio, Nocturnal Emissions, Zoviet France, PGR, Thomas Köner, Controlled Bleeding, and Deutsch Nepal. However many of these artists are very eclectic in their output, with much of it falling outside of ambient industrial per se.

Space music, also spelled spacemusic, includes music from the Ambient genre as well as a broad range of other genres with certain characteristics in common to create the experience of contemplative spaciousness. Space music ranges from simple to complex sonic textures sometimes lacking conventional melodic, rhythmic, or vocal components, generally evoking a sense of "continuum of spatial imagery and emotion", beneficial introspection, deep listening and sensations of floating, cruising or flying.

Space music is used by individuals for both background enhancement and foreground listening, often with headphones, to stimulate relaxation, contemplation, inspiration and generally peaceful expansive moods and soundscapes. Space music is also a component of many film soundtracks, commonly used in planetariums, and used as a relaxation aid and for meditation.

Hearts of Space is a well-known radio show and affiliated record label, specializing in Space Music since 1984, having released over 150 albums devoted to the music style. Notable artists who have brought elements of Ambient music to Space music include Michael Stearns, Constance Demby, Jean Michel Jarre, Robert Rich, Steve Roach, Numina, Dweller at the Threshold, Deepspace, Telomere, Jonn Serrie, Klaus Schulze and Tangerine Dream (as well as the group's founder Edgar Froese).

Isolationist ambient music is also known as isolationism, could be differentiated from other forms of ambient music in its use of repetition, dissonance, microtonality, and unresolved harmonies to create a sense of unresolved unease and desolation. The term was popularized in the mid-1990s by the British magazine The Wire and the Ambient 4: Isolationism compilation from Virgin, this began as more or less a synonym for ambient industrial, but also inclusive of certain post-metal streams of ambient, such as Final, Lull, Main, Sleep Research Facility, or post-techno artists such as Autechre and Aphex Twin. It may be less appropriate to call Isolationist Ambient a genre than than using it to describe the style or "feel" of particular works by an artist working in an ambient mode. This is because many artists better known for other styles of work can occasionally create pieces that "sound" Isolationist. (For example; Labradford, Seefeel, Techno Animal, Voice Of Eye, KK Null, etc.) There are many labels releasing work that could be termed Isolationist Ambient, among these are Malignant Records, Cold Spring, Manifold Records, Soleilmoon, Dark Vinyl, and The Sombient label with the "drones" compilation series. Some of the artists known for this style of ambient music include Lull, Final, Deutsch Nepal, Inanna, Negru Voda, Sleep Research Facility, Thomas Koner, Robert Fripp and Chuck Hammer Guitarchitecture.

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Everything That Happens Will Happen Today

Everything That Happens Will Happen Today cover

Everything That Happens Will Happen Today is the second album made in collaboration between David Byrne and Brian Eno, released on August 18, 2008. It is the first joint effort between the two since 1981's My Life in the Bush of Ghosts and Eno's work producing and co-writing with Talking Heads. Byrne and Eno worked on creating the blend of electronic and Gospel music throughout 2007 and early 2008 over e-mail and have used word-of-mouth and Internet sales to market the music. Byrne toured for this album, performing songs from both this release and from the duo's previous collaborations, through late 2008 and early 2009.

In December 2007, David Byrne announced on the BBC Radio music show The Weekender that he was working with former collaborator Brian Eno on a brand new album of "proper songs," describing it as a "completely different thing" from the experimental My Life in the Bush of Ghosts. While the two discussing the 2006 remix of that album at a dinner party, Eno suggested adding lyrics and vocals some songs that he had written and intended to finish, some of which were eight years old.

He later explained, "In a nutshell, Brian wrote most of the music, and I composed most of the vocal melodies and lyrics, and then sang them." If Byrne's vocal harmonies were radical enough, Eno would revise the instrumentation to accompany it, but Byrne avoided writing instrumentation and chose to adapt to the instrumentals as written. Using a style similar to the Talking Heads album Speaking in Tongues, Byrne scatted and murmured some lyrics before they were completed and Eno also contributed some vocal harmonization he credits as "inhuman piano." In composing lyrics for the album, Byrne attempted to "write a little bit based on what I think the person on the other end is going to like" and compared the process to collaborating with Fatboy Slim.

Both musicians continued to work on their own projects during the composition of Everything That Happens Will Happen Today - including Byrne conducting the second season of Big Love and completing the musical and album Here Lies Love and online single "Toe Jam" with Fatboy Slim. Eno produced Coldplay's Viva la Vida and U2's No Line on the Horizon. Chris Martin of Coldplay even wrote a song to the instrumental track for "One Fine Day", but acquiesced when he heard Byrne's song saying that he "couldn't do better than that." Once that song was finished, the two began in earnest writing the rest of the tracks. As the project progressed, Byrne got to working several hours a day on the album and he later described the process as easy "once you get the technical glitches worked out." He even credited the time between their last collaboration and the transatlantic distance as a strength, since it allowed the two to keep their own schedules.

Eno has also said the album is about "paint a picture of the human trying to survive in an increasingly digital world" and Byrne considered his job as lyricist to "bring more humanity" to Eno's instrumentals, which can be "cold and academic." Themes of humanity struggling with technology are apparent on several tracks and Byrne has characterized the "overall vibe" of the album as "We're going to get through this. Humanity will prevail." The lyrical content includes "a sinister inflection" but "many songs feel fairly uplifting and the overall tone is hopeful." Byrne attempted to write in a style that was "simple but not corny, basic but heartfelt;" one of his inspirations in writing lyrics was the story of Valentino Achak Deng in Dave Eggers' What Is the What: The Autobiography of Valentino Achak Deng and the two are thanked in the liner notes.

By March 2008, the duo had recruited multi-instrumentalist and previous Eno collaborator Leo Abrahams to play guitar, percussion instruments, and piano and Seb Rochford to play drums with Byrne in New York City. Jarvis Cocker of Pulp also added uncredited guitar in London. Abrahams continued to perform in his home studio and only played guitar with Byrne on one occasion. Abrahams and Rochford would continue working on the tracks in Abrahams' studio through May, with all collaborations being carried on via e-mail. Other musicians worked with Byrne in New York City and Eno in London, such as frequent Byrne collaborator Mauro Refosco and Eno's daughters Darla and Irial. In addition to the tracks that were released, the musicians had some other instrumentals that Byrne did not complete.

Throughout the spring and summer, Abrahams recorded drums at his home studio and Cherif Hashizume recorded more Cafe Music Studios, while Robert Harder at Harder Sound recorded the drums on "My Big Nurse", "Never Thought", "The Painting", and "Life Is Long". Mixing continued through June 2008 in New York by Patrick Dillett at Kampo Studios, who recorded brass and percussion and sent the audio to Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound for mastering. On July 28, 2008, details of the album became of public knowledge when Byrne posted on his blog that he and Eno had finished the new album, titled Everything That Happens Will Happen Today, and that it would be released on August 18, 2008. The album website was launched on the same day, with an introduction and a promotional video of Byrne announcing the new album.

The album was self-released on August 18, 2008 exclusively through the album's website. It was made available there free for streaming and for purchase as a download of DRM-free MP3s. The duo planned to release the album from other online digital music services starting the following month, and it was sold by the Amazon MP3 and iTunes Store by the end of the year. No record label was involved in releasing the digital format and independent distributors were allowed to handle the physical product, which was released on November 25 as an enhanced CD and a deluxe-packaged CD in a tin.

In addition, customers are entitled to lossless FLAC versions of the album at no extra cost for all download formats of the album. By mid-December 2008, 12% of customers chose to download the FLAC option.

In addition, the CD was released in Japan with a bonus track and obi strip in November 2008 through Beat Records. On February 17, 2009, the album was released on 180-gram vinyl LP.

The first single off the album, "Strange Overtones", was released on August 4, 2008 as a free digital download only through the album's website. The track has been described as "a song about writing a song" and features thematic elements of humanity versus technology. It was downloaded over 40,000 times within the first three days it was available. In September 2008, Jon Yeo created a music video for the track featuring the paintings of Brian Eno.

The physical releases of the album came with graphics and packaging designed by Stefan Sagmeister. Sagmesiter received a Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package Grammy Award in 2005 for art direction on the Talking Heads' Once in a Lifetime box set and designed the cover to Byrne's Feelings. His inspiration for the packaging was based on the song "Home" and the artwork reflects an urban scene of a house by a roadside; the liner notes provide closeups on the home and the artwork on the CD is the grass from the lawn. Sagmeister proceeded to create not only an image for the cover, but an entire three-dimensional model for the house. Upon repeated listenings to the album, he became convinced that there was a sinister element to the setting and provided clues to the "dark edge" of the scene, such as a discarded condom wrapper in the gutter. The deluxe package comes in a tin with a microchip that plays a sound of someone walking down a hallway in the house and slamming a door when the package is opened. This design of a pixelated, dimetric projection domestic scene has been compared to The Sims.

The release of Everything That Happens Will Happen Today is atypical considering the multiple formats which were released over a period of half a year. Consequently, the album is difficult to measure in terms of sales records and the critical reception was distributed over several months.

Reviews have been mostly positive; for instance, with 23 reviews, the album has received a 75% on Metacritic. Positive reviews have labeled it "exceedingly pleasant," "maddeningly infectious," and "vibrant." The music has been compared to the tone of Paul Simon and U2 and the arrangement has been compared to The Beach Boys.

In addition, several reviewers have noted parallels between this album and Byrne's Big Love: Hymnal, particularly their common spiritual themes and atmospheric moods.

Although the artists have not released sales figures, they have indicated that the album was purchased across the globe during the first 24 hours it was available and that the servers hosting the album delivered "several terabytes" by September 6. A report in late December asserted that they had sold "nearly 20,000 downloads." By October 2008, Byrne explained that they had recouped their losses on the album and that sales had "paid back the recording costs and costs for building the Web site." Their business model also allowed them to self-release and plan a tour immediately after finishing the music production, rather than wait months for record label advancement.

In the first week of December, Everything That Happens Will Happen Today reached the top spot on the College Music Journal AAA charts and third on the CMJ Radio 200. The album entered the Billboard 200 for the week of January 17, 2009, debuting at 182 with 4,008 copies sold.

While Byrne and Eno did a few interviews for the album and subsequent tour, the two attempted to market Everything That Happens Will Happen Today via word-of-mouth and Internet hype rather than a traditional marketing scheme. Eno was convinced in part because of his own preferences for digital music from the iTunes Store rather than CDs as well as the success of Radiohead's In Rainbows from 2007. Byrne was also impressed by that band's release strategy as a means of valuing music. The duo carefully avoided Internet leaks by not giving out promotional copies of the album to journalists, but Byrne did preview the song "One Fine Day" prior to the release by performing it with a choir of senior citizens.

Byrne has outlined the relative merits of different distribution models with this one reflecting his "self-distribution model" in which "the artist stands to receive the largest percentage of income from sales per unit — sales of anything. A larger percentage of fewer sales, most likely, but not always. Artists doing it for themselves can actually make more money than the massive pop star, even though the sales numbers may seem minuscule by comparison." A month after releasing the album, Byrne was skeptical of market saturation claiming "I sense that a lot of people don't know we have a record out" and hoped to counter-balance that ignorance with his tour. He also described the digital music market as "so infinite it's easy for music to get lost out there" and has noted that this business model would not work for performers who aren't already established.

The duo enlisted a music marketing startup company - Topspin Media - to design their site, delivery options for the digital music, and promotional web widgets. Like the entirety of the recording process, the marketing was self-financed and controlled by the artists. The company used viral marketing techniques to collect potential customers' e-mail addresses and encourage them to post the album streaming on their blogs. By early November, the collected e-mail addresses amounted to 37% of the album sales. Topspin have also created a Flickr pool encouraging users to upload screenshots of the widget posted to web sites. No ads were taken out for the album.

Byrne and Eno were praised by Fast Company for their innovative use of Internet marketing and distribution for this album as well as several other releases and the promotion of this album has been lauded as a way of undermining copyright infringement.

Byrne assembled a band to tour for the album, performing music throughout the latter half of 2008 and early 2009 across North America, Europe, and Australasia. In planning the set lists for the tour, Byrne assembled songs "from this new record, as well from collaborations Brian and I have done in the past which includes one song from Bush of Ghosts three songs from the three Talking Heads records we did together" - More Songs About Buildings and Food, Fear of Music, and Remain in Light. (The two also collaborated for several tracks on Byrne's The Catherine Wheel.) By performing music from all of their collaborations, Byrne hoped to "draw a line linking this new material with what we did 30 years ago, a little bit anyway." Although early reports indicated that Eno would be participating, he did not.

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Source : Wikipedia