"Why it's time to turn the music off" BBC Radio 4 A Point of View (13 Nov)
Some places brand themselves with their own signature sound - folk, jazz or excerpts from the Broadway musicals. For the most part, however, the prevailing music is of an astounding banality - it is there in order not to be really there. It is a background to the business of consuming things, a surrounding nothingness on which we scribble the graffiti of our desires. The worst forms of this music - sometimes known, after the trade name, as Muzak - are produced without the intervention of musicians, being put together on a computer from a repertoire of standard effects.