Two influences that are apparent in Calming are that of jazz arranger Gil Evans (in the sense of orchestration and voicing of chords) and the artist Andy Warhol (in the uniformity of the sections and sense of repetition). Of the piece, Ian Stewart has written "I told a Japanese dancer I knew that I found some Japanese abrasive electronica very relaxing, which seemed like a contradiction. She said that in Japan silence would probably be perceived as abrasive and she then described something she had done in Butoh Dance. The dancers lay on the floor, very still and calm, imagining their spirit floating above them. This was accompanied by harsh, abrasive electronica which focuses the calm, the two together being complete. In this work, although the sound of a saxophone ensemble is often warm, I want the chords to be abrasive so that the overall effect of the music is very calm."
More information and sound samples can be found at : http://www.surfforms.co.uk/information/i_calming.html