Author Topic: Essential ambient info: Ambient music, beginnings and implication by C. Melchior  (Read 364 times)

stargazer

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I found an excellent study about ambient music, beginnings and implication on http://music.hyperreal.org/epsilon/info/.
The article unfortunately is way too long for a repost here, please read it here: http://music.hyperreal.org/epsilon/info/melchior.html

A little teaser:

As ambient music is often listened to not as the foreground of our perception, in a way every time one listens to the same piece of ambient music it is a different piece, as it is heard in a different context of other environmental perceptions. This is in contrast to most other types of music, especially when listened to from a recording, as most music attempts to be the sole focus of our attention when we listen to it, it is the same music every time. This statement would not have been so true before recorded music became the main medium of experiencing music, as a live performance will always be to some extent unique.

John Cage said, "The responsibility of the artist consists in perfecting his work so that it may become attractively disinteresting" [31]. Ambient music, in the way that it is not usually listened to as the sole focus of our conscious attention, yet is enjoyed by many, can be said to fulfill this quality of being attractively dissinteresting. "An artist does not lead us to a new reality, he presents a way of escaping from some conventions." This quote by Morse Peckham [32] provides us with an interesting conceptual way of looking at ambient music. Rather than saying that ambient music presents a new musical reality, we can say that ambient music gives us a way of escaping from some of the conventions that are embodied in other types of music. Examples of such conventions, that ambient music can be thought of as presenting a way of escaping from, are music as the conscious focus of our attention, music as being heard much as distinct from the ambient sounds of an environment, and music being made up of linear structural entities.