Music for Airports

music for airports

‘Ambient 1: Music for Airports‘ is an ambient album by Brian Eno released in 1978. Of four albums released on Eno’s own, then new, Ambient label, ‘Music for Airports’ was the first to carry explicitly the name ‘ambient’ – a term which he coined to differentiate his minimalistic approach to the album’s material and ‘the products of the various purveyors of canned music.’ Notice of similarly quiet, unobtrusive music had been given on his albums such as ‘Evening Star,’ ‘Discreet Music,’ ‘Music for Films,’ and Harold Budd’s ‘The Pavilion of Dreams’ (which Eno produced), but in this album it was given precedence as a fully developed concept.

The music was designed to be continuously looped as a sound installation, with the intent to defuse the tense, anxious atmosphere of an airport terminal. Eno conceived this idea while being stuck at Cologne Bonn Airport in Germany in the mid 70s. He had to spend several hours there and was extremely annoyed by the uninspired sound atmosphere. It was installed at the Marine Air Terminal of New York’s LaGuardia Airport.

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