The ambient godfather has designed a healing space in a new Hove hospital.
Ambient progenitor Brian Eno has shared his sound and light design for a hospital “quiet room”, giving patients a space in which they can “think, take stock or simply relax”. The room features in the reception of the newly built £34m Montefiore hospital in Hove.
The idea was put forward by Robin Turner, an orthopaedic surgeon who took his mother-in-law along to Eno’s 77 Million Paintings installation in Brighton a few years back. Describing her as someone who usually lives life “at a million miles an hour with her hair on fire”, Turner claimed she spent two hours inside the audiovisual space in total calm.
Eno jumped at the opportunity, noting that he’s been “dealing with this idea of functional music for quite a few years” (make that 30 years). It’s already been getting a positive reaction within the hospital, with one cancer patient exiting the room and – unaware he was speaking to Eno – telling him how much he’d loved the experience. Have a listen to an extract from the space, courtesy of the Beeb.
It certainly feels like a more progressive, and less patronising, use of music-as-relaxation than the Classic FM-style sounds pumped out at certain London Underground stations – and while it might be a while before Eno’s prescribed on the NHS, watch this space.