- Name: Brian Wayne Transeau
- Birthdate: October 4, 1971
- Birthplace: Rockville, MD
- Education: Berklee School of Music, Boston, MA (1 year)
- Current residence: Los Angeles, CA
His concept of epic house inspired by the classical training he received from an early age, Brian Transeau revitalized the British dance community in the mid-’90s and provided a point of entry for later dream-house merchants like Robert Miles, Sash! and BBE (though Transeau had, for the most part, left the style behind by the time of its pop success during 1997-98). After his debut album appeared in late 1995 (as BT), Transeau hit the dance charts when his remix of Tori Amos’ “Blue Skies” became one of the most-played American club tracks of the following year. Though he attempted to leave dream-house behind on second album ESCM, Transeau continued to do well with club-goers and critics in Britain as well as America.
Born and raised in Rockville, MD, Brian Transeau was playing piano from the age of two and began his classical training while only thirteen. Even while he was studying string arrangement and orchestration, Transeau listened to Depeche Mode and Yes. He attended Berklee School of Music in Boston (in place of his senior year of high school) for one year but then dropped out and moved to Los Angeles; he was soon back in Rockville, where he hooked up with longtime friend Ali Shirazinia’s new Deep Dish production team. He had already played synthesizer for albums by Salt-N-Pepa and Tyler Collins before debuting on Deep Dish Records with two 1993 singles, “A Moment of Truth” and “Relativity.”
The tracks became club hits in Britain for their epic, symphonic qualities that worked well as a sort of climax at clubs like Cream and Ministry of Sound. After producing “Embracing The Future” in 1994 (ultimately rejected by Deep Dish Records and signed to MusicNow), the white label pressing fell into the hands of Sasha who called up Transeau and flew him to the UK, where he was quickly signed to Oakenfold’s Perfecto Records. With BT’s continued success with 1995 singles like “Embracing the Future” and “Loving You More,” and his remix work for Mike Oldfield, Seal and Billie Ray Martin, his profile escalated. His debut album Ima was a hit with British audiences, though Transeau’s name remained largely unheard in his native land.
A 1996 production largely changed that. Transeau’s “Blue Skies” featuring Tori Amos became a massive club hit in America and Great Britain. By 1997, England received a wave of pop hits in the same line pioneered by Transeau; dubbed dream-house, artists like Robert Miles and Sash! typified the approach with a wash of new-age or prog-influenced synthesizers and a chugging beat indebted to trance. Transeau himself attempted to distance himself from the style with his 1998 album follow-up ESCM. Movement in Still Life followed in mid-2000.
John Bush, All Music Guide
Emotional Technology Bio
Initially known as the pioneer of trance music, BT has arrived as one of the most cutting-edge artists and producers for a multitude of musical styles. Whether he’s crafting perfect pop hooks with *NSYNC, composing intricate scores with eighty-piece orchestras for films like The Fast and the Furious, collaborating with Sting on a track from his forthcoming album, or remixing emotional and languid epics for Sarah McLachlan, Tori Amos, Madonna or Seal, BT consistently balances creative and memorable songwriting, sonic innovation, and the latest technology for a cutting-edge, yet organic sound.
His new album, Emotional Technology, is the latest milestone in his sonic trek and electronic innovation. “It’s a huge leap forward for me,” says BT, “I’ve grown as an artist, a vocalist and a producer, which is all reflected in the new album. Not only did I sing on six tracks, I also experimented more with traditional and aleatoric/contemporary string writing, and break-step beats, and learned more about coding for proprietary sound-design systems such as Kyma.”
BT felt compelled to sing on Emotional Technology as it is the most personal and intimate statement of his impressive career, which now spans over ten years. One listen to the album’s first single, ‘Simply Being Loved (Somnambulist),’ gives a great perspective of the intense and dramatic musical and stylistic growth of BT as an artist.
The euphoric and inspired ‘The Force of Gravity,’ his collaboration with JC Chasez (*NSYNC), is reminiscent of some of his greatest dance floor moments like ‘Godspeed,’ ‘Dreaming’ or ‘Loving You More.’ There is also the 80’s synth-laden, ‘Superfabulous,’ featuring sexy barbs traded by actress Rose McGowan (Charmed), Scott McCloud (Girls Against Boys) and BT.
‘Dark Heart Dawning’ is a complex and compelling musical journey that mixes BT’s evocative, raw vocals, moody strings, the redemptive voices of gospel singers, powerful instrumentation by Richard Fortus, Tommy Stinson and Brain of Guns ‘N Roses, and cuts by DJ Swamp. “I’d feel uncomfortable with someone else singing a song like ‘Dark Heart Dawning’ because the lyrics are so personal,” BT says. “It would feel like dictating a journal entry to someone.”
BT, born Brian Transeau, grew up outside Washington D.C. where the first evidence of his musical talent manifested as mastery of composers such as Chopin and Bach by age six. A great break in musical direction came when he heard electronic music as an adolescent. “This is what my heroes Debussy, Stravinsky and the like were looking for. Technology-based music is the only idiom that packs such infinite sonic possibilities. After being introduced to artists like Cabaret Voltaire and Depeche Mode, I turned my back on classical music for quite awhile.”
BT’s sense of individualism also inspired his scholastic decisions. He dropped out of the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston in 1990 to shop his electronic music in Los Angeles. Many doors were slammed in his face because few understood his new unique sound, but he refused to compromise his vision. He returned to the D.C. area and launched Deep Dish Records with long-time high school friends, and recent Grammy award winners, Deep Dish.
Within the year, BT’s first releases garnished the attention of English dance pioneer, Sasha, who gave BT his first taste of stardom and the rewards of dance culture. “The first venue he took me to was a barn in Brighton, England,” BT recalls, “It was the most amazing party. Three thousand people were sweating and crying over my songs like ‘Embrace The Future.’ I had found my people.”
BT’s mix of epic and classically inspired journeys and beats quickly took on the name Trance, and became one of the most popular and dominant electronic music genres played in clubs from London to Tokyo and New York. BT’s talent and persistence had finally paid off and he later released his epic albums, IMA, ESCM, and the wildly diverse Movement In Still Life, featuring the hit single, ‘Never Gonna Come Back Down.’
BT has also gained the reputation as a talented and versatile film score composer. He scored movies such as the blockbuster hit The Fast and the Furious, Doug Liman’s Go, Under Suspicion, starring Morgan Freeman and Gene Hackman, and he’s currently working on the highly anticipated Monster starring Charlize Theron and Christina Ricci.
“To marry melody, harmony and memorable songwriting with the most bleeding-edge technology possible is my passion. These are the things that excite me.”