I've spent quite a lot of time recently thinking through where I see my photography going next – what I should shoot, how these shots should be themed, how they should be processed, and so on – and while I'm happy to carry on with what seems to be mostly an eclectic gathering of things and styles I find interesting – chromasia as it is now – I'm also at the point where I need to become a little more systematic in what I do.
So, here's the start of one such project, which may of course come to nothing, but it's something I've been thinking about for a while and I thought I might as well share its conception here.
The basic idea is one that's inspired by Brian Eno's thoughts on ambient music, best summed up in his sleeve notes to the first release of Music for Airports. Here's what he said:
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 idiosyncracies, 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.
So, here's the first tentative step towards a Photography for Airports. Let me know what you think ... interesting, pretentious crap, nice photo, crap philosophy, whatever ;-)
2.53pm on 9/10/05|
EF 70-200 f/4L USM
126mm (202mm equiv.)