Sound alters our environment. Ambient music might be an extreme example, designed to be heard as a part of everything else we hear or do. But all audio information is, in part, ambient. It colors our perceptions of the space we occupy. And maybe it doesn’t do that by making room - in the way Eno’s anecdote has always implied to me, or the way we tend to think of playing music “in the background” when we’re focused on something else. Perhaps it more typically accomplishes this by being additive, as Judy Nylon explains. It rebalances the existing environment by requiring space of its own, thus changing the space allotted to the rest.

— "In Sounds Begin Responsibilities" by Damon Krukowski (
Jayme Yen