Friday Favorite: Brian Eno – Ambient 1: Music For Airports

The end of the year always means one thing in the world of music blogs: best of the year lists. Favorite albums, songs, live shows, interviews, collaborations – whatever music commentators feel they can weigh their expertise on they will weigh. One album that hit the lists was Everything That Happens Will Happen Today, the newest in a seriously impressive, long list of albums from British producer and music composer Brian Eno.

I’m embarrassed to admit that I had to hear about Brian Eno through Coldplay. Last year’s impressive Viva La Vida was produced by Eno (and many claim is the cause for the album’s step up from their past work). After discovering that he was a prominent force in the music world I began to look into Eno’s resume – from producing big names like U2 and Talking Heads to collaborating on Bowie’s “Berlin Trilogy” – this man is a modern day music legend. He even “composed” the six second start up sound you hear with every Windows OS. 
So I found myself acquiring a copy of his sixth solo studio album, Ambient 1: Music For Airports. The album is one of a collection of four, and if you can believe it, coined the term “ambient” music (see Monday’s post). The album is a mere four songs (although they clock in at roughly 17, 9, 12, and 20 minutes respectively).
After spending hours trapped in the Berlin airport, Eno decided to compose an album of ambient tracks that could be played to relax the airport tension so many travelers tend to feel. Which is exactly what the album did, briefly, at New York City’s LaGuardia airport.
The tracks are labeled according to record location, “1-1” (track one, side one), “2-1” (track two, side one), “1-2” (track one, side two), and “2-2″ (track two side, two”. I bet you’re getting the feeling that this isn’t your average LP. The First and last tracks are long, minimalist piano music that is absolutely soothing. I tend to throw “1-1” on (standout track) while doing homework or hoping to fall asleep. The middle two tracks feature synthesized choir voices which for me is less appealing. All four tracks feature the use of phasing, which I’m not musical enough to thoroughly explain. 
What I can tell you – If you don’t know Eno’s name yet, learn it. Give his solo work a try, but if ambient music doesn’t appeal to you, lookout for his name on the liner notes for production credit. The man has a way with notes.

One response to “Friday Favorite: Brian Eno – Ambient 1: Music For Airports

  1. – The Home of Cinematic Rock Music; news, reviews and an insight into the growing British music scene!

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