For those of us who make our home in a big city, or commute into one to work, we spend most of days bombarded by an array of sounds. Sirens, motorcycles, conversations, music, machines: the flow of noise is constant and inescapable. Many people retreat into noise cancelling headphones, creating a private aesthetic bubble where they can shut off the outside world.
Everyone has a uniquely evolved sense of taste and artistic preferences. From classic rock to jazz, heavy metal to bossa nova and beyond, there is an almost infinite variety of music to suit each one of us. Yet when we want to carve out some space in the day for reflection, meditation or stillness, the music we usually enjoy can often feel distracting. Maybe it’s too loud, too busy, or the lyrics are too concrete, calling to mind an assortment of images and sensations that are too real for us to sit with ourselves and allow stillness to take over.
When we need that space and mental clarity, Ambient music can be the ideal tool to help turn our attention inward, away from the parade of thoughts and feelings we associate with the external world. Coined by the composer Brian Eno, ambient music attempts to meld with the listener’s surrounding environment in a way that is seamless, “as ignorable as it is interesting”, allowing us to go beneath the surface of daily reality.
Over the coming months, we’ll be sharing a selection of ambient music that can act as a source of peace and stillness whenever needed. It could become background music while you’re working, something to fall asleep to, meditate with, or just simply an excuse to sit and listen for a while.
To start with, we’re sharing one of Brian Eno’s compositions from his 1993 album, Neroli. Clocking in at just over an hour long, New Space Music is perfect for soothing the mind and soul, counterbalancing the hectic pace of daily life with a slowly evolving continuum of warm and inviting sound.