Quite singular, Brian Eno should be banned from the Sacred Temple of the Classical Forum (forum ?), while Scott Joplin is welcome to It. Out of my comprehension.
‘Non-musician musician’ Brian was always attracted by technology (started to work on audio and video-cassettes in early 80s. His classical references (John Cage and Terry Riley) were already paving the way to ‘pure sound’ and its relationship to the human mind.
True, he cooperated with a host of pop music artists (Peter Gabriel, Roxy Music, the italian Teresa De Sio): well, Boulez cooperated with Frank Zappa. True, he wrote music films for directors like the italian Nanni Moretti, for X-Files, for videogames and the opening of Windows-something: well, Bernstein worte sound tracks as well. True, he conceived ambient music utilized in airports: well, Haendel wrote music for a boat trip and fireworks.
Now, ambient music, severed from its practical uses, is avantgarde music appealing to subliminal levels on the basis of taoism (nature and ancestor spirits); it’s an original form where light and soft effects without a real melody and a rhythm are paired by ostinato pedals. This music is aimed either at commenting images of films, or at describing environments influencing listeners’ perception of them.
The way it is created seems simple but my impression is, it’s not quite that: first, you give up to lyrics, to a definite melody, to rhythm. Then you should have the overall music idea, in terms of effect desired (a lot of try and error, I presume), then the execution and after all the post-production optimization via electronics and special effects. No specific theory (like serialism or so) is involved, making it, to me, more difficult to deliver.