Composer, producer, and ambient musician Brian Eno recently announced a new compilation album. The project, entitled Film Music 1976-2020, is a collection of songs that have been used in cinema and television. It is scheduled for digital release on 13 November, 2020. A double LP and CD will be available from January 2021.
Eno’s career in film soundtrack began in the 70’s, when he scored the soundtrack to several small-release films.
In 1984 he contributed heavily to the track “Prophecy Theme” on David Lynch’s Dune. The song’s drawn-out notes and occasional harmonies immediately distinguish it from the rest of the Toto-scored soundtrack. In terms of the Dune soundtrack reflecting the film, it provides the essential cavernous underworld to balance out the harsh, authoritarian, surface of the planet.
From there, he went on to produce tracks for avant-garde horror director Dario Argento, as well as Michael Mann’s Heat, and even a cover of the soul classic “You Don’t Miss Your Water” in Married to the Mob.
Film Music 1976-2020 isn’t Eno’s first compilation of music intended for soundtracks. In 1978, he released a studio album, Music for Films. However, the songs in the album were not in response to or commissioned by any specific film (aside from the final track, Final Sunset). Ever the painter, he sought to make a film out of a soundtrack. Many songs on the album did end up being selected for film soundtracks soon after.
Other notable additions to Film Music 1976-2020 include songs from Momoru Oshii’s Ghost in the Shell. The track, “One Minute Warning”, brings an uptempo percussive track reminiscent of the drum-heavy Akira soundtrack. Eno’s signatures here lie in the piercing but underlying rings, as well as some heavily modulated but still organic glitches that give direction to the rhythmically repetitive track.
If you’re not interested yet, then just know that “Deep Blue Day”, which Danny Boyle used to soundtrack Ewan McGregor’s dive into a public toilet in Trainspotting.