“Ambient 1: Music For Airports” (conceived by Eno as an atmosphere, or a surrounding influence: a tint) broke new ground when it came out as it introduced the new term “ambient” to the musical lexicon, its modus operandi formalising the use of steady states as the basis for ambient’s unique kind of “ignoresting music.”
The recording features four movements utilising brief, simple melodic gestures that are looped to create a series of individual elements or strands heard simultaneously. As Eno did on “Discreet Music”, the length of the gestures and the loops is such that synchronisation is completely coincidental.
The created sonic aura is one of repetition and minimalism, not meant for attentive listening. The music was actuallly designed to be continuously looped as a sound installation, with the intent to defuse the tense, anxious atmosphere of an airport terminal. Despite its minimal approach and slowly evolving sound design, the 48-minute album features a constant fading in and out of sound textures. Most notably are the serene wordless “aaaaah” vocal pads in two pieces interacting with repeated piano motifs.
All in all, the music of “Ambient 1: Music For Airports”, subtle, non-distractive and elegant, is a gently morphing breathing space and comfortable atmosphere to feel at easy with.
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