display | more...
It was briefly broadcast at New York's La Guardia airport.

Eno sez: 'Ambient Music must be able to accomodate many levels of listening attention without enforcing one in particular; it must be as ignorable as it is interesting.'

I've been falling asleep to Music for Airports every night for one year, all but the one night I fell asleep listening to air traffic controllers.

Album: Ambient 1: Music for Airports
Artist: Brian Eno
Label: Virgin EG Records Ltd
Released: 1978
Summary: Absolutely sublime music. This album is as essential as it is timeless.

I'm not even going to pretend to be objective about this one. Ambient 1: Music for Airports is one of my favourite albums of all time. It is both a timeless classic, and historical as taking music in a completely new direction. At a time when most records were getting louder and louder, Brian Eno was starting to release music designed to be played quietly, based on the furniture music of classical composer Eric Satie. Music for Airports is one of the first ambient albums, and certainly the first to use that phrase.

It would be worth finding this album for the first track alone, especially as it is over sixteen minutes long. This piece mainly consists of a gentle, repetitive melody played on a piano, with other instruments interweaving with it. The result is completely calming. Just having it on in the background gives the room a warm feeling, much like ambient lighting does (hence the name of the genre). When you actually sit down and listen to it, however, it doesn't appear too simple or repetitive. It remains tranquil, warm and inviting.

The second piece of music is played on some sort of synthetic choir. It is gentle and breathy, and invokes the feeling of floating. The price for this is a loss of the familiarity that the first track provides. Instead of making you feel safe in a warm, familiar place, this piece takes you on a strange and unfamiliar journey.

The only problem I have with the second track is that it has a lot of silence. It constantly feels like it has gone, only to return again, but never staying. Thankfully, the piano returns to join the choir in the third track. This eliminates the awkwardness of the second piece, as it quietly sustains notes through the choir's silences.

The fourth track consists solely of a synthetic pad, but is still warm and played in a natural, organic way. I'm convinced that this piece of music in particular must have influenced Robyn Miller when he wrote the soundtrack for the computer game Myst, as it has a very similar vibe.

In general, this album is relaxing and meditative. It's great to listen to while lying down with your eyes closed after a particularly stressful day, and it's equally useful for brightening up the room in which you are working or resting.

I'm not saying that everyone should own Music for Airports, but everyone should at least listen to a few minutes of the first track in their lifetime.

"I'm happy for you, Honk." She kissed him gently on the cheek, afraid she wouldn't be able to handle anything more intimate.


He was excited. More excited than she had seen him in years. She didn't want to take that away from him. She wanted him to be happy.


"You're definitely sure, are you El?" he asked. "It's not too late. We could run down to the ticket office right now."


The enthusiasm hadn't left his voice since it ignited yesterday. She wanted to hold on to it, to hold it to her own spirit, to not let him go. But she knew their paths had diverged - had been diverging for years, or he would not have found this suddenly so exhilarating.


"I have my own life here," she said. "I have my own friends ...and roots. I'm sorry you didn't feel like there was much to hold you here, but this is a new opportunity for you, a chance for a new life."


Honk thought he'd be sad, or at least more so, there in his last moments before he left her behind. But he wasn't. His head was lost in the clouds, lost in Germany and all its possibilities. He could barely see the ground at all.


"El?" He looked around. "El!" he shouted. She was just here a second ago. I would have noticed if she left. Wouldn't I? Honk stood on his tiptoes and looked all around. Jumped up a few times. She was lost among the crowds of travellers. I don't have time to wait. They're leaving soon. I'll call her when we land.


She saw him give up looking for her. She saw him turn around. She saw him hurry away. It was better this way. She didn't want the expression on her face to be his final memory of her.


She called Chris. Chris wasn't picking up. She called Morgan.


"Hello?" he said.


He sounds distracted. "Morgan!"


"Yes?" he asked. "El, is that you?"


"Morgan!"


"Is something wrong El? Did something happen?"


"He's gone."


"Yes, I know. You going to be okay?"


"I think so. Yeah, I definitely think so. I just needed a moment."


"I'll be here," he said. "I'm here right now."


"Thanks Morg." She ran out of things to say. "I'll call back later. I need to gather my thoughts."


Eleanor didn't leave. Not right away. She sat there watching the other people moving on with their lives. The other people saying goodbye. And the other people saying hello. She wanted to be among those saying hello. Not the ones saying goodbye.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.