Picture: Roger Eno by Cecily Eno
Picture: Roger Eno by Cecily Eno

Roger Eno

Roger Eno is a British composer and musician whose distinctive style as a recording artist has attracted a cult following. Last year he made his debut on Deutsche Grammophon with Mixing Colours, his first duo album with his brother, Brian, which was released to great acclaim.

Eno was born in the Suffolk market town of Woodbridge. He became immersed in music at school and bought a battered upright piano with money earned every Saturday as a butcher’s boy. His musical education continued at Colchester Institute School of Music. After a brief interlude playing jazz piano in private clubs in London, he returned to East Anglia.

As well as first collaborating with his brother Brian and Daniel Lanois in 1983 on Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks, he has made over a dozen solo albums and other collaborative pieces with the likes of Peter Hammill, The Orb and his first “band”, the ambient supergroup Channel Light Vessel, whose line-up included Laraaji, Kate St. John, Bill Nelson and Japanese cellist Mayumi Tachibana. He’s also teamed up as a session musician and band member with artists as diverse as The Orb, Lou Reed, Jarvis Cocker and Beck, and not to mention his three-year stint as Musical Director for Tim Robbins and his band, The Rogues Gallery.

Known as a solo composer in both theatre and film, Roger scored Trevor Nunn’s highly acclaimed production of Harold Pinter’s Betrayal at London’s National Theatre and, more recently, Nick Hornby’s Emmy winning TV series State of the Union directed by Stephen Frears. Beyond that he has contributed music to many film soundtracks over the years.

On April 16th, Eno will present his latest album “The Turning Year” (Deutsche Grammophon), along with the accompanying EPs at silent green Berlin.


1. I believe that as long as there is hunger/extreme social unfairness in the world no one person should be allowed to be a billionaire.

2. I like fountain pens…..

3. …and Garden gnomes.


1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?

I am continually intrigued with the capabilities of the acoustic piano.I own a 1905 Bechstein model 9,one of the best pianos ever made-this is both
my workhorse and plaything.

2. How and when did you get into making music?

As a child our parents allowed my younger sister and I to draw on the walls of a room in our council house and I’d bash a busted up old piano.
At the age of twelve I got a noise out of a cornet and immediately knew what my future would be.

3. What are 5 of your favourite albums of all time?

I refuse to spend the time eliminating so much great music-it is both unfair and disrespectful.I do not deal with any form of tick box culture.

4. What do you associate with Berlin?

Women walking safely on their own at night,a culture looking to the future,excellence in studio production and a solid work ethic.Great beer and tolerance.

5. What’s your favourite place in your town?

My studio and the river which I can see from one of the studios windows.A beautiful walk around the ‘rim’ of the Waveney valley,surrounding lanes and especially very medieval churches. My garden.

6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?

Become an alcoholic poet for a month or two and then kill myself.

7. What was the last record/music you bought?

Folk songs of East Anglia(my area)sung by farm workers/fishermen and recorded in local pubs.Marco Beasley,Italian tenor with renaissance instrumental backing.

8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?

Again,I don’t think like this-when I’m invited is when I decide if I work with that person or not.As for me,I like working alone,writing loose scores for others to develop.I call this ‘Consensual Music’.

9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?

Playing live with my brother and my daughter at the Acropolis takes some beating but,on the other end of the scale,I LOVE a drunken knees up in a pub.Playing with Tim Robbins was great for this-ecstatic,some of it was,Dionysian.

10. How important is technology to your creative process?

Very low on my list of needs.I like the ability to radically(in the surgical sense)edit as it allows me to get rid of unnecessary notes.But then so does Tip-Ex.
Or an eraser.

11. Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career/art?

My brother is in ‘the same line’ as me and my surviving sister works with deaf and blind people.I’m led to understand that both of them fully accept that this is what I do.I think they may even like some of the results.
What an odd question…….