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London City Airport to play Brian Eno’s Music for Airports all day long

Staff Writer | April 4, 2018
London City Airport is to mark the 40th anniversary of Brian Eno’s visionary album Ambient 1: Music for Airports by playing his influential masterpiece in full, on loop, for the duration of Wednesday 4 April.
Brian Eno
Flying and culture   The 48-minute long album will be played on continuous loop
The album was first released in March 1978, conceived by Eno as he waited for a flight in Cologne Bonn Airport early one Sunday morning in the mid-1970s, as he recounted in a 1990s interview. Despite the “beautiful building”, the airport played “awful music”, prompting Eno to develop his own creative response in a piece of work suited to public spaces, like airports.

The result was the textured and atmospheric Ambient 1: Music for Airports, recognised as the first coining of the term ‘ambient music’, which as the US album’s sleeve description stated, “is intended to induce calm and a space to think”.

Ambient 1: Music for Airports followed on from the ambient direction taken by Eno on Another Green World (1975) and Discreet Music (1975), with music that would not interfere with human communication and of significant duration so as not to be affected by interruption from public announcements.

In July 2016, London City Airport became the first UK airport to play music in the passenger security area, and it will be in this part of the airport that the 48-minute long album will be played on continuous loop.

The music consultancy C-Burn, which specialises in providing soundtracks for different public venues and spaces, will oversee the temporary sound installation.

London City Airport is the city’s most central airport, in London’s Royal Docks, just five miles from the City of London and close to the dynamic and fast-growing East London.