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Monday, April 29, 2013

Eno's Music For Hospitals

Brian Eno in his studio image
We always think of music in the popular sense, selling millions of tracks to adoring fans, or at the very least, to other musicians who dig our work, but there are a number of other avenues for music worth pursuing. One of these is music therapy, where music plays a part in the rehabilitation of the sick or injured. Brian Eno, who has specialized in his own brand of "ambient" music for decades, has taken that to a new level with several audio and light projects to help sooth patients in hospitals in England.

Eno is debuting two new projects at the Montefiore Hospital in Hove, England. One is entitled "77 Million Paintings for Montefiore," which is a sound and light installation in the hospital's reception area. The other is a special "Quiet Room for Montefiore" in a custom space for patients, staff, and guests to escape the hectic daily hospital environment.

Anyone not familiar with Eno's "Music For Airports" ambient project, which was designed for soothe weary travelers, should give it a listen, since it's some of the most relaxing music you'll find anywhere. Apparently this was also the basis for the hospital project as well, as he reportedly began work after a local surgeon related to Eno the positive effect it had on his wife and how he could see it working in a hospital environment.

While most hospitals are filled with the latest in tech, they've not always kept pace with the latest in environmental tech. As a result, I can see how this could catch on in a big way. Hospitals are some of the most stress-filled places in modern day society. Anything to relieve that stress only a little should be welcomed.

The Montifiore compositions are custom one-offs only for the hospital, and will not be released to the public.


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sculley said...

As I recall, Daniel Lanois' autobiography notes that Eno came up with ambient music after being stuck in a hospital after being hit by a car many years ago. The loud passages would gently fade in and out. (I guess that was way before the started compressing the heck out of everything) ;)

sculley said...

"...the loud passages of classical music that were playing over the hospital sound system would fade in and out..." I should have wrote.


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