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Re: the function of some music
--- Richard Zvonar <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> It seems to me that ambient music is intended to
> merge into the local soundscape and not to be
>actively listened to.
> Therefore if one listens attentively to ambient
>music, the music is being misused.
That statement is true to the spirit of Satie's
'Vexations' and music meant to mingle with the sounds
of knives and forks, but is possibly only part of the
story. Brian Eno's notes on one of his earliest
ambient albums (Music for Airports, I think, but I
don't have it in front of me) describe another
important aspect of ambient music. Eno was in bed
recovering from having been hit by a car, and a friend
brought over an LP of some very quiet 17th century
harp music, put the record on and left. After she had
left, Eno realized that the volume on the stereo was
set much too low, but was not feeling up to getting
out of bed to fix it. As he listened to the record, he
could only hear the loudest notes, and had a sort of
epiphany regarding another way of listening to music
in the context of ambient sounds. It wasn't that he
wasn't listening attentively, but rather, the 'local
soundscape' was an integral part of the listening
So, at a performance of ambient music, I believe the
audience *should* listen attentively, not only to the
sounds made by the performer(s), but also to the way
those sounds interact with traffic noises, passersby,
the air conditioner, incidental flatulence, et cetera.
Hmmmm, in this context, I guess we could look at the
noisy footswitches on certain loopers in a different
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