With the release of Music for Airports, in 1978, Brian Eno coined the term “ambient music.” In the liner notes of that album, Eno explained, “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.” In lockdown, when one’s environment must be many things all at once, no genre seems more appropriate. This week’s playlist comprises instrumentals that can be enjoyed at a low volume to battle anxiety and promote calm, and at the end there are some longer pieces that are perfect for meditation. To quote the cover blurbs from 1979’s Environments 9 record (“Pacific Ocean” is track No. 29, below), these “Sonic Tonic[s]” are “better than booze & safer than pot”!

And remember, there are many people without domestic comforts to retreat to during this terrifying pandemic. Please consider donating money to an organization that is helping the most vulnerable, such as: Unite Here Education and Support Fund, Make the Road COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund, CPD Action, Feeding America, Coworker.org, National Domestic Violence Hotline, American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA) Relief Fund, Children of Restaurant Employees COVID-19 Relief Program, and the US Bartenders Guild COVID-19 relief campaign.

Spike Carter is making a documentary on Eric Roberts