Ambient is never a documentation of somewhere or sometime. Instead it creates an individuated, impressionistic and imagined place. It is realized in between our internal and external selves.
Ambient is transcendent but does not seek some higher plane. It is not new age [music/art]. Rather ambient [music/art]'s transcendence is within, and invites us deeper into the lived experience of the everyday.
"The same problem of 'belongingness' occurs with audition. As I type on this hot, humid day, I recognize the patter of rain through my open window, the whir of the fan by my desk, the tap of my keystrokes, and my husband's voice. I turn on the radio and hear an orchestra playing. Although the violin and flute are simultaneously playing the same notes, I have no problem recognizing which sounds belong to each instrument. Each of these separate sounds (the rain, the fan, the keystrokes, the violin, and flute) is made up of a combination of sound waves arriving at my ears at the same time; yet I automatically sort them all into their proper sound sources. I know which sound waves belong to the rain and which to the flute. An adult hearing for the first time, however, perceives an unintelligible cacophony. Sounds lack meaning, are disembodied, and are hard to localize. A newly acquired sense in adulthood does not add to one's understanding of the world; it confounds it."