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Brian Eno composes music for hospital

By | Published on Friday 19 April 2013

Brian Eno

Well, he’s done music for airports, so why not a hospital? New music by Brian Eno is now playing in the new Montefiore private hospital in Hove.

The ambient music is playing in a ‘quiet room’ where patients can “think, take stock or simply relax”, according to orthopaedic surgeon Robin Turner, who commissioned the piece after visiting Eno’s ’77 Million Paintings’ audiovisual installation at the Brighton Festival in 2010.

Turner said that the idea came to him after seeing the effect Eno’s work had on his mother-in-law, telling The Guardian: “She is normally very fidgety, you can’t pin her down; the phrase we use is that she goes at a million miles an hour with her hair on fire. She went in and was there for two hours, which is unheard of. It was proof that this has a calming influence on people”.

Eno added: “It seemed a natural step for me to take as I’ve been dealing with this idea of functional music for quite a few years. I’ve met many women who have had children listening to one of my records so I knew there was this dimension and here, in the last couple of days I’ve met patients and staff who have said, ‘I really like that room, it makes a big difference'”.

The hospital plans to monitor any physiological effects that the room has on patients, to see what benefits it may have for other institutions. Says Eno: “I’m so thrilled with having done this and I think it is helpful to people, I really think it’s useful. And the good news is it isn’t expensive or require sophisticated technology”.