Sunday Sounds: Brian Eno

Brian Eno - ThenEvery so often, a musician/composer will decide to take a turn in their career, and take more of a back seat role. French composer Erik Satie adopted this role in 1917 when he started to create what he dubbed “Furniture Music,” something to be used as a background rather than the focus of attention. No, not like elevator music, unless it’s made specifically to be played in an elevator to ease and/or play along with the sudden sense of rising and falling.

In 1978, Brian Eno took it upon himself to create a soundtrack for airports after a frustrating bout at Cologne Bonn Airport in Germany. Eno realized how stressful air travel can be, and wanted to help alleviate some of that stress by creating something meant to be calming to passengers and an aural counterpart to the airport experience, but not noticeable enough to be stimulating. Not enough to be noticed. He basically wanted wallpaper created by sound.

It’s a definite departure from his early glam rock days, but it’s also a pretty reasonable extension from the work he was doing with David Bowie in the Low/Lodger/Heroes trilogy. This Sunday, try a couple different hats on, and see how it feels.

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