Channel Radio’s Ambient Nights | Go-Back-A-Page

Channel Radio presents a choice selection of Ambient compositions, five nights each week. Each track is (considered to be) created in the true spirit of ambience – minimal basic rhythm, little or no drumbeat – no regular lyric patterns – electric – organic – acoustic – relaxing…

Taking you into an ambient night….

In 1978 Brian Eno released what is considered to be one of the first of this new era of ambient recordings, the album Music For Airports.

Our first Ambient Nights broadcast in September 2013 recognised this significant recording by playing the complete 36-minute album in its entirety.

You will find material on these broadcasts by a continually growing collection of select composers, including Brian Eno, Harold Budd, Bill Nelson, Daniel Lanois, Ruben Garcia, Daniel Lentz, Roger Eno, Michael Nyman, Erik Satie, The Orb, Aphex Twins, Djivan Gasparyan, Laraaji, Jon Hassell, Gavin Bryars, Biosphere…

AMBIENT MUSIC

‘The concept of music designed specifically as a background feature in the environment was pioneered by Muzak Inc. in the fifties, and has since come to be known generically by the term Muzak. The connotations that this term carries are those particularly associated with the kind of material that Muzak Inc. produces – familiar tunes arranged and orchestrated in a lightweight and derivative manner. Understandably, this has led most discerning listeners (and most composers) to dismiss entirely the concept of environmental music as an idea worthy of attention.

Over the past three years, I have become interested in the use of music as ambience, and have come to believe that it is possible to produce material that can be used thus without being in any way compromised. To create a distinction between my own experiments in this area and the products of the various purveyors of canned music, I have begun using the term Ambient Music.

An ambience is defined as an atmosphere, or a surrounding influence: a tint. My intention is to produce original pieces ostensibly (but not exclusively) for particular times and situations with a view to building up a small but versatile catalogue of environmental music suited to a wide variety of moods and atmospheres.

Whereas the extant canned music companies proceed from the basis of regularizing environments by blanketing their acoustic and atmospheric idiosyncrasies, Ambient Music is intended to enhance these. Whereas conventional background music is produced by stripping away all sense of doubt and uncertainty (and thus all genuine interest) from the music, Ambient Music retains these qualities. And whereas their intention is to `brighten’ the environment by adding stimulus to it (thus supposedly alleviating the tedium of routine tasks and levelling out the natural ups and downs of the body rhythms) Ambient Music is intended to induce calm and a space to think.

Ambient Music must be able to accommodate many levels of listening attention without enforcing one in particular; it must be as ignorable as it is interesting.’

BRIAN ENO September 1978