Diffusing the Norm – Brian Eno's Music For Airports
Brian Eno’s Music For Airports presents to us the destruction the familiar, the removal of expectations. The album attempted to avoid the classification of Muzak and brought to us another world completely. Background music often adds a stimulus that has a polarising effect. It’s often assumed that, once forgotten, the music should merely exist as ambience ; the quality or character given to a sound recording by the space in which it occurs. The opposing effect is that it offers to us a dislocation or diffusion of the norm; in that it allows to be transported to a place where the mundane is bypassed and replaced by something that’s meditative and completive.
This paper attempts to address such issues while examining the albums role in establishing a forum for the use of ambient music in public spaces. It examines the role of the environment and what musical stimulus can provide within this space.