Bang on a Can All-Stars
Music for Airports
Before the term "ambient" came to be applied to everything from the eerie soundscapes of the Aphex Twin to such hybrids as ambient-techno and "illbient," there was Brian Eno's Music for Airports. A definitive precursor of today's ambient music, this four-part instrumental piece is devoid of all but the most basic aspects of song and, therefore, challenges listeners to re-imagine what music might be. As easy to listen to as it is ignore, the piece hardly seems as though it would benefit from being played by live musicians. But the New York-based Bang on a Can All-Stars ensemble proves otherwise. Recontextualizing Airports - originally an all-synthesizer work - serves to bring its Zen-like elements into bolder relief. The magisterial calm of 1/1 is enhanced with touches of instrumentation behind and around its central six-note piano phrase. In the two sequences that follow, a choir of heavenly voices fades in and out against the sparest of sonic landscapes. While the concept of "music for airports" evokes a certain chilly, antiseptic feeling, the essential humanity of the music is always evident, becoming all the more apparent in this "performance" recasting.
For more information on the composer, visit the artist page for Brian Eno.
For more information on the performers, visit the artist page for the Bang on a Can All-Stars.
For more information on the Music for Airports Live release, click here.