Exposé Online banner

Bang on a Can — Music for Airports - Brian Eno
(Point Music 314-536-847-2 ST01, 1998, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 1999-01-01

Music for Airports - Brian Eno Cover art

Ambient music has come a long way since 1978 when innovator Brian Eno drafted his original experiment for use in large international airports. The intent was for passengers to feel good about boarding their planes and allow a sense of calm to initiate itself with the listener, retaining this calm as the flight proceeded from take-off through landing. Eno had his work installed in several cities, with unknown results to most who did not reside in those locations. Bang on a Can is five musicians cast together to faithfully recreate the four original twenty-year-old pieces within a live setting. Produced by Philip Glass, the disc is faithfully rendered, although many additional parts and players have been utilized. There is a risk that the project has now been blown into the pretention of high art due to the use of three art directors. But none of the tracks suffers from recreation of heavenly voices, synth swells or watery piano. The presence of the composer himself gives strong credibility to the end work, though I undoubtedly prefer the original album. It does make you wonder what it would be like to experience this faithful adaptation as you stroll down the corridors to get your boarding pass at San Francisco International Airport. I hope to attend the local performance of the work in October and report on how this minimalist work has evolved into not only a grandiose production, but a satisfying atmosphere of contented relaxation.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 16, 1998 releases

Related artist(s): Brian Eno, Bang on a Can, Evan Ziporyn

Latest news

2018-05-14
Glenn Branca RIP – Experimental guitarist and composer Glenn Branca has died at the age of 69. He was known for compositions featuring large ensembles of guitars, and for the use of feedback. He founded his band Theoretical Girls in the mid-70s as an art-punk answer to what he saw as the increasing commercialization of punk music. His compositions were highly influential, with such figures as David Bowie, Thurston Moore, and John Lurie among his fans. » Read more

2018-04-05
OBEY Convention XI Set for May 24-28 in Halifax – As the 2018 festival season rapidly approaches, we’d like you to be aware of a real treasure of diverse and creative music that’s going to take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, next month. The OBEY Convention is on its 11th outing, and features a wide range of artists from around the world. From avant-industrial noise to experimental takes on Classical Chinese music, from chamber jazz to doom metal, from ambient soundscapes to Canadian First Nations drumming, you’d be hard pressed to find a festival with more variety in sound anywhere in the world. » Read more

2018-04-04
Close to the Rain Festival in Bergen Announces Lineup – Now in its second year, the Close to the Rain Festival of progressive music is scheduled to take place in Bergen, Norway, on June 7 - 9. They've got an amazing slate of bands lined up, including such powerhouses as Anekdoten, Major Parkinson, Arabs in Aspic, Tusmørke, and many more. » Read more

2018-03-01
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington and Oregon. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more

2018-02-26
Adelbert von Deyen RIP – Word reaches us that German electronic musician Adelbert von Deyen has died. His recorded legacy reaches back to 1978, when Sky Records released Sternzeit. Von Deyen, who was born October 25, 1953 in Süderbrarup, was also known as a painter and graphic artist. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Klaus Schulze - Silver Edition – Silver Edition is a limited edition of 2000 boxed sets of 10 CDs sold on a subscription basis with the unsold sets finding their way to the mail order houses like Eurock and Ultima Thule at a much...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues