Brian Eno – Ambient 1: Music for Airports


The airport is a strange fucking place at night. All the noise of the day: delayed flights, cunty customers, annoyed staff, and anxious arrivals, is replaced by an eerie and silent limbo. People don’t walk here, they drift. It’s a place set between everything else. You’re in a city, but not quite. You’ve almost arrived, but you’re not quite there. You’re free to roam, but you can’t go fucking anywhere. As I type this, I’m sitting on high durability carpet and two sorry fucks are slowly kicking their feet across the shiny linoleum floor in from of me. I’m in the middle of an overnight eight-hour layover. Let’s give this shit a soundtrack, motherfuckers. 

This album was made back in ’78 by the famous Brian Eno. He too was sitting in an airport for way too fucking long and was forced to listen to the sonic garbage pumping through the broken wall speakers. Instead of complaining about it, he decided to make an album exclusively made for airports to play. He wanted this shit to be interesting, forgettable, calming, and bright. Once he made the album, airports played it. And people fucking hated it. It was played in LaGuardia Airport in 1980. The overall feeling of it at the time was that it was depressing. One terminal worker even said, “It sounds like funeral music.” 

So, the album failed miserably at its original intent. Who fucking cares? Eno made an album that was interesting, calming, and bright; but it’s far from forgettable. This shit stirs feelings, ignites contemplation, and induces thick imagination. Thousands of hippies have neglected their children and discovered the dreamscape while listening to this shit. This album will murder you if listen to it while driving tired (Please, don’t Eno and drive). This shit is hypnotic as fuck. It also, famously, claims the title of being the first ever album released under the genre of ambient music. 

I must admit that sitting on this gross airport carpeting and listening to this album for the second time, it’s starting to make more sense. I believe the only reason Eno initially failed at this album was because it was played during the day. But, if you’re ever stuck with a bad layover at night, try this album on for size. The machine buffing the floor will suddenly appear to be dancing, awaiting passengers will stare skyward as if walking through a lush rainforest, the limbo of the airport will begin to sparkle. Then again, I am really fucking sleep deprived.



One thought on “Brian Eno – Ambient 1: Music for Airports

  1. Pingback: Looking Through, Up, Between, and In: Ada Lea, Brian Eno, Lingua Ignota, and Joshua Sabin – The Brightly Off-Coloured Discophile

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.