Artist News Gigs & Festivals

Brian Eno announces first solo tour

By | Published on Tuesday 6 June 2023

Brian Eno

Brian Eno has announced his first solo tour, nearly 50 years after the release of his first album under his own name. He has announced seven shows around Europe, including two in London at the end of October.

Titled ‘Ships’, the new show is an adaptation of Eno’s 2016 album ‘The Ship’, and will see him joined on stage by the Baltic Sea Philharmonic, guitarist Leo Abrahams and keyboardist Peter Chilvers. Actor Peter Serafinowicz will also make a cameo appearance.

The whole thing has been commissioned for the Venice Biennale Musica festival and will premiere at the Teatro La Fenice in Venice with two performances on 21 Oct.

“The album ’The Ship’ is an unusual piece in that it uses voice but doesn’t particularly rely on the song form”, says Eno. “It’s an atmosphere with occasional characters drifting through it, characters lost in the vague space made by the music. There’s a sense of wartime in the background and a sense of inevitability. There is also a sense of scale which suits an orchestra, and a sense of many people working together”.

“I wanted an orchestra which played music the way I would like to play music: from the heart rather than just from the score”, he goes on. “I wanted the players to be young and fresh and enthusiastic. When I first saw the Baltic Sea Philharmonic I found all that… and then noticed they were named after a sea. That sealed it!”

Baltic Sea Philharmonic conductor Kristjan Järvi adds: “Brian is a great artist who has been an immense personal inspiration for a good part of my life. Now to be presented with an opportunity where we work on the presentation of a piece that reflects and shapes the world that we live in, is very meaningful and truly an honour”.

“The freedom of expression is the key element in this presentation”, he continues. “Every person in this performance is just as important as the next. Everyone matters equally as much as the other and is not replaceable or expendable. To have an orchestra that is really a band rather than an orchestra, which executes a performance but ‘is the performance’ itself, is what Brian and I see as the uniqueness of this collaboration”.

There will be two performances of the show in London at the Royal Festival Hall on 30 Oct at 6.30pm and 9pm. Tickets go on general sale on Friday.