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Various Airport Symphony

For this brilliant compilation, sound artist and Room40 label head Lawrence English recorded the sounds of Brisbane Airport and had 18 remixers translate them into music. Many focus on the jetliners’ sonic booms cutting through the air and the rich drone of engines: Muzak for terminals. That sense is best captured in Tim Hecker’s majestic “Blue Ember Breeze,” where a searing guitar rises eight miles above the earth. Peculiar moments are made poetic: Jason Kahn’s mix of birds, living and mechanical, greet each other; Christopher Willits’ sample of a flight attendant demonstrating oxygen-mask use before the sound crashes in; Joel Stern daydreams a dazed trumpet solo amid chatting birds. With Airport Symphony , English shows that airports aren’t just a source of air pollution.

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