“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.” But how does that happen?
Relaxation is more than soft sounds. We find it between tension, release, movement, and stillness. We find it in a flowing reflection of nature. Calm often appears as we reflect on nature. A piano’s single voice presents a simplicity that blooms into a complex garden. A synthesizer’s atomic construction of sound seeks to reflect the inherent beauty of math and physics.
Perhaps I conflate ambient and relaxing music. But aren’t both about a sense of connection between environment and self?
Good music is alive, ebbing, flowing, and cascading into itself. It is interesting that with nature, we can ignore it, not recognizing a beautiful flower sitting next to us, or be completely enthralled and find a new vibrant sense of meaning. It is there patiently waiting for our recognition, as ignorable as it may be interesting.