on life, music etc beyond mainstream

2018 8 Feb

Defining ambient

von: Ian McCartney Filed under: Blog | TB | 2 Comments

How do you define ambient?

The closest I could ever get wasn’t really a definition, more a kind of description of one of its occasional attributes: that it’s not easy music to hum along to. There’s too much space in it, and the space is where the magic happens.

So, reading this ambient piece on, a piece of the jigsaw puzzle fell into place:

The composer and the listener must recognise that total control can never be realised and the identity of the music is never wholly owned, but rather it is constantly becoming. Upon each re-visitation, in a different place, at a different time, through a different playback situation, the music evolves. It lives within the complexity of these relations and is primarily about, to use Eno’s initial provocation, “to accommodate many levels of listening attention without enforcing one in particular”.

This entry was posted on Donnerstag, 8. Februar 2018 and is filed under "Blog". You can follow any responses to this entry with RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


  1. Lajla Nizinski:

    Maybe Brian Eno will talk about the meaning of ‚ambient‘, when he comes to his exhibition to Düsseldorf in october. I have my own description for the word: it is the aura of distinguished music.

  2. uwe Meilchen:

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