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somewhere in space
Hearts of Space radio and online music service producer
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The polar night creeps southward across the top of Europe, while the winter snows and ice hold the fjords and forests in their grip. In a land of dark and cold, the focus turns within, and the music of Scandinavia, the Baltics and Russia warms the heart and fills the soul. Classical, jazz and traditional folk sounds stretch from melancholy to an ethereal lightness: slow, majestic and beautiful. On this transmission of Hearts of Space, a far north spacejazz and new music journey called NORDIC SOUL. Music is by STREIF, JAN GARBAREK, FRANCOIS COUTURIER, ANDREY DERGATCHEV, MICHELLE MAKARSKI, GALINA USTVOLSKAYA, and VALENTIN SILVESTROV. [ view playlist ] [ view Flickr image gallery ] [ play 30 second MP3 promo ] Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at hearts of space | news
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Like wine, ambient and contemplative music comes in many varieties — from acoustic to electronic, from solos to large ensembles, from subtle to powerful. But when it comes to power per gram, there's no doubt: the most potent instruments in the ambient music box are the resonant percussion family of bronze bells, bowls and gongs. These instruments are psychoacoustic powerhouses, generating sounds that seem wired directly through our auditory systems to our inner core. In the hands of a sensitive musician, they can lead us to the quiet realm we like to call The Deep Zone. And while it normally takes most of a program to work our way into The Deep Zone...these instruments live there full time. On this transmission of Hearts of Space, a wintry journey for resonant bronze called SOUNDING THE DEEP. Music is by DEUTER, APOLLONIUS+33 TETRAGAMMON, NEBULAE, 33 BOWLS, ED MANN and KARMA MOFFETT. [ view playlist ] [ view Flickr image gallery ] [ play 30 second MP3 promo ] Continue reading
Posted Jan 23, 2015 at hearts of space | news
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The weatherman seeks warmer spaces and tropical waters. We'll be taking a mid-winter vacation break and scheduling repeat shows for the next three weeks: JANUARY 23rd: PGM 973 'SOUNDING THE DEEP' a wintry journey for resonant bronze w/music by Deuter, Apollonius+33 Tetragammon, Nebulae, 33 Bowls, Ed Mann and Karma Moffett. JANUARY 30th: PGM 791 'NORDIC SOUL'—a far north spacejazz and new music journey—slow, majestic and beautiful, w/music by Streif, Jan Garbarek, Francois Couturier, and Valentin Silvestrov. FEBRUARY 6th: PGM 1037 'THE LONG NIGHT—a nocturnal winter journey w/music by Jeff Greinke, Robert Rich, A Produce, Steve Roach & Kelly David, Sean Washburn, and Nunc Stans & Mystified. We return with a new season of essential Ambient on February 13th. Continue reading
Posted Jan 23, 2015 at hearts of space | news
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January 2015 would be the 100th birthday of DR. JOHN C. LILLY, one of the true visionaries of 20th-century science. Lilly's life and work at the frontiers of human knowledge embraces the major themes of 20th-century bioscience. In his 86 years, Lilly made significant contributions to psychology, brain research, computer theory, medicine, ethics, dolphinology, and interspecies communication. Of special relevance for this program, Lilly's interest in the nature of human consciousness led him to invent the isolation or floatation tank in the 1950s. Today there are thousands of Floatation Centers around the world. The floatation tank is a large plastic container filled with 10 inches of warm water and 800 pounds of dissolved Epsom salt. This high-density liquid allows the body to float effortlessly, free for once from the burden of gravity. The water and air are both heated to skin temperature, so one soon loses the sense of the boundaries of the body. With no light and virtually no sound, it encourages a "sensory-reduced" state that promotes deep physical and mental relaxation, and ultimately allows the floater to explore "inner space." Hmmm. Sound familiar? Floating is one of the most common words used to describe the effect of Ambient music. Lilly began by investigating what would happen in an environment free of all sensory stimulation, but instead of the brain going to sleep as had been theorized, a whole new world of inner experience opened up. In the early 1960s, Lilly began experiments with LSD, and decided to take the drug in the isolation tank. Through this work, he arrived at a perspective that transcended the conflict between rationality and mysticism, religion and science. On this transmission of Hearts of Space, a weightless journey in inner space...on a program called FLOATATION. [ view playlist ] [ view Flickr image... Continue reading
Posted Jan 16, 2015 at hearts of space | news
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In the depths of winter, movement slows and time expands. Below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, flowing water becomes static crystals, locked and silent. At absolute zero, motion stops. The sound of winter is low and slow: thick drones punctuated by dark bells and metallic overtones. The chilled air is heavy with water vapor, damping sounds and creating a hushed atmosphere. And when the storms come, the keening of the cold night wind creates an eerie wail. On this transmission of Hearts of Space,far north winter electronics, on a program called ICE NIGHT. Music is by BIOSPHERE, SIMON LOMAX. DEEP CHILL NETWORK, HAROLD BUDD, CSILLAGKOD, BRAIN LAUGHTER, ALTUS, and JANNE HANHISUANTO. [ view playlist ] [ view Flickr image gallery ] [ play 30 second MP3 promo ] Continue reading
Posted Jan 9, 2015 at hearts of space | news
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In 1975 Hearts of Space was a two-year old late night program on KPFA-FM in Berkeley, California. One rainy November midnight, a local artist named JORDAN DE LA SIERRA showed up unannounced at the back door of the radio station and demanded to play the piano on the program, which was already in progress! From that unforgettable encounter came a legendary recording of "experimental, explorational, Ambient/new age/neo-classical music" called GYMNOSPHERE: SONG OF THE ROSE. I'm STEPHEN HILL and on this transmission of HEARTS of SPACE, we revisit this timeless classic. We'll feature music from three of the four sides of the original double album. Along with PAUL HORN's Inside the Taj Mahal, it was among the first "acoustic-Ambient" albums. It was also the first original recording I produced — for Jordan de la Sierra was (and is) an exceptional artist in every way. Born in Fresno in California's Central Valley, he studied music at the San Francisco Conservatory and Mills College, where he met TERRY RILEY, LA MONTE YOUNG and other avant-garde composers influenced by Khyal master PANDIT PRAN NATH, who were cross-pollinating Western and East Indian classical music. It was the beginning of the electronic music era, and out of this rich tapestry of cultural and technical possibilities came a contemplative classic. Recorded in 1976 and released in 1978 on an early Northern California new age label, GYMNOSPHERE was an impressive double vinyl LP with a 20-page booklet. It was soon reduced to a single LP with no booklet, and then went out of print when the label failed a few years later. Thus began a long exile, punctuated by a cassette re-release in 1985 that also disappeared within a year. These were the realities of the "good old days" of the analog record business: all but the most... Continue reading
Posted Jan 3, 2015 at hearts of space | news
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This week we're devoting the entire program to an album with which I have a very special relationship. It was the first recording I produced back in 1976; the music was groundbreaking and influential; and it became something of a lost classic by going out of print. These notes and the program introduction tell the story. :: SH JORDAN DE LA SIERRA Gymnosphere: Song of the Rose release notes by Randall Davis, December 2, 2014 In the world of experimental, explorational, ambient/new-age/neo-classical music, something very special has happened. One of the inspirational and influential "lost classics" has re-emerged. In 1976, multi-dimensional artist Jordan De La Sierra sat at a specially-tuned piano and recorded Gymnosphere: Song of the Rose. The original vinyl album has been out-of-print for more than 30 years. Now the recording has been released for the first time on CD, digitally-remastered from the original tapes. The legend continues. This historic music is finally available again — now as a two-CD set, as a double-vinyl-album and as digital downloads — thanks to a careful reissue by Numero Group, a specialty label based in Chicago. The package includes a 20-page booklet with extensive information about the project and its history as well as India-inspired drawings and De La Sierra's musings on "the tableau of space." More information about the project is available at http://numerogroup.com/products/jordan-de-la-sierra-gymnosphere-song-of-the-rose. There are several reasons this music is so coveted. The music itself is exceptional, emotion-stirring and timeless, although it also originally was considered cutting edge, ground-breaking and influential to other musicians (it was one of the first acoustic-ambient recordings). Remarkably, it sounds completely contemporary to this day. In addition, De La Sierra was always a leader in the field of modern sonic-art, avant-garde, psycho-acoustic, new frontier music. He studied with (and became a good friend of)... Continue reading
Posted Jan 3, 2015 at hearts of space | news
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Winter settles in to the Northern hemisphere bringing powerful storms, but also radiant clear days with azure skies and deep vistas. Unlike most sensible animals, human activity seems to increase as the temperature drops, and we fill the brief days leading up to the new year with all manner of hustle and bustle. Holiday lights twinkle in the crisp air, and while the traditional sounds of the season are warm, rich and harmonious, it's also a perfect time for intricate electronic rhythms that echo the activity, and crystalline tones that ring in the chilled atmosphere. On this transmission of Hearts of Space...an Ambient/Electronic journey for early winter, on a program called COLD AND BRIGHT. Music is by BRYAN CARRIGAN, BLUETECH, FORREST SMITHSON, NATURAL FREQUENCIES, PHILLIP WILKERSON, and JUSTIN VANDERBERG. [ view playlist ] [ view Flickr image gallery ] [ play 30 second MP3 promo ] Continue reading
Posted Dec 28, 2014 at hearts of space | news
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The great tradition of choral singing has a glorious history extending over thousands of years. Even in these diverse, multicultural, often secular days, the tradition endures because there is something deeply satisfying and essentially human in the sound and the practice of group singing. Choral groups range from trios to 200 voice chorales; they're often unpaid and done purely for the love of it. The genre has attracted specialist composers in every era, some working within churches and religious institutions, others as solo artists. During the winter holiday season, we enjoy choral classics like The Messiah and traditional hymns and carols in sacred spaces from cathedrals to street corners. On this transmission of Hearts of Space, another sacred music journey from our longtime guest producer for classical and sacred music ELLEN HOLMES, on a program called MAGNIFICAT. [ view playlist ] [ view Flickr image gallery ] [ play 30 second MP3 promo ] Continue reading
Posted Dec 20, 2014 at hearts of space | news
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Well, another twelve months are almost history, and the holiday season has arrived in all its glory. And you know what that means: Christmas music is in the mall, on the air, in TV commercials and pretty much unavoidable. No matter how you feel about that — and the sentiment runs the gamut from delight to despair — here at Hearts of Space, we have a hopefully more subtle strategy: call it Ambient/environmental. On this transmission of Hearts of Space, we confront the cold with acoustic instrumentals that please the ear with harmony and warm the heart with melody and emotion, on a program called HEARTH AND HOME. [ view playlist ] [ view Flickr image gallery ] [ play 30 second MP3 promo ] Continue reading
Posted Dec 12, 2014 at hearts of space | news
UPDATE 12/12/14: All better now, but we had to "spin up" a new virtual server with twice the capacity of the one our service provider originally advised us to use. Who knew? With cloud servers the actual capacity you get varies because you are sharing hardware with other clients. So you need more than "just enough." At the same time, we've added better "load balancing" and alert advisories to let our techs now when we are getting close to the edge and need to add even more capacity, reboot, etc. It's a brave new world, folks. We're learning as we go...and so, apparently are our vendors! :: SH For the last 24 hours we've been having the most frustrating kind of intermittent outage on our web server. This also has affected operation of our mobile apps. Symptoms are slow or no loading of the site, delayed operation, or part of the service unavailable. All hands are on deck in three states trying to resolve the issue. Note: For those who want to know why, the problem has to do with the provisioning and configuration of our cloud servers, which are failing intermittently under load. We are working to re-spec and re-configure them now. As soon as we get the right setup, everything should be back to normal or even better. As always, we hate anything that disrupts service and are deeply sorry for the inconvenience. :: SH Continue reading
Posted Dec 9, 2014 at hearts of space | news
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The familiar Baroque harmonies of ANTONIO VIVALDI'S "The Four Seasons." But something is different. The notes are almost the same, but the sound and the recorded image have been "recomposed" in a more modern style by British composer MAX RICHTER. Since the dawn of the popular electronic music era in the 1960s and 70s, both classical composers and popular musicians have been fascinated by the creative intersection of Classical structure and Ambient atmosphere. And it has led to a genre of Ambient/Classical hybrids that continue to the present day. For Ambient is, at its heart, a sensibility for sound and space, one which had already been incorporated into certain forms of Western classical music over ten centuries of evolution: especially sacred and choral music, works for pipe organ, and adagio movements of all eras and genres. On this transmission of Hearts of Space, the creative intersection between Classical and Ambient, on a program called CLASSICAL REINVENTIONS. [ view playlist ] [ view Flickr image gallery ] [ play 30 second MP3 promo ] Continue reading
Posted Dec 6, 2014 at hearts of space | news
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Here's a recipe for a long-running music genre: take a joyous, earthy sound you can dance to; balance with real life sadness and heartache; season generously with gorgeous melodies and some of the finest voices on the planet; add quite a lot of rain, then weather to a fine patina with salty North Atlantic winds, and you have something that can stand up to the centuries. On this transmission of Hearts of Space, an early winter's journey into the charmed and charming realm of Celtic and Irish music called 'FOLLOW THE DREAM.' Music is by SECRET GARDEN, MOYA BRENNAN & CORMAC DE BARRA, ARYEH FRANKFURTER & LISA LYNNE, AINE MINOGUE, JOHN DOAN, PATRICK BALL, PHIL COULTER and STEPHAN MICUS. [ view playlist ] [ view Flickr image gallery ] [ play 30 second MP3 promo ] Continue reading
Posted Nov 28, 2014 at hearts of space | news
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Emerging out of the dark days of autumn, we begin the transition to the year's end holidays. The music takes a brighter, more active turn as we immerse ourselves in sparkling electronic soundworlds, and subtle, yet seductive melodies. Ambient artists turn raw waveforms into virtual environments, a kind of sonic alchemy. On this transmission of Hearts of Space...an early winter journey in virtual electronic space, on a program called AMBIENT ALCHEMY. [ view playlist ] [ view Flickr image gallery ] [ play 30 second MP3 promo ] Continue reading
Posted Nov 21, 2014 at hearts of space | news
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As we descend into the quiet heart of the autumn soundscape, it's time to revisit the contemplative jazz and classical treasures of the indispensible German label ECM. It's the sound of mostly acoustic instruments played by master musicians in pristine studio recordings. ECM music seems to come fully alive under the grey skies and subdued light of fall, when its complex tonalities and somber, but intense colors take on a burnished glow. On this transmission of Hearts of Space, a miniature ECM festival, on program called DARKTIME REVERIES. [ view playlist ] [ view Flickr image gallery ] [ play 30 second MP3 promo ] Continue reading
Posted Nov 14, 2014 at hearts of space | news
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We're descending into the autumn soundscape, a world of deepening colors, diminishing daylight, and declining temperatures. As the sun withdraws, we ride the trail of recession in the natural world. It's a time for patience, acceptance, forbearance. ​Ambient musicians reflect the feelings of the season with acoustic and electronic sounds, slowing time and stretching space with descending progressions and darkening harmonies. On this transmission of Hearts of Space, an ambient journey for late autumn, on a program called DIMINUENDO. Music is by PATRICK O'HEARN, ERIK WOLLO, PAUL AVGERINOS, BRUNO SANFILIPPO, HAROLD BUDD & BRIAN ENO, ROBERT RICH, and DARSHAN AMBIENT. [ view playlist ] [ view Flickr image gallery ] [ play 30 second MP3 promo ] Continue reading
Posted Nov 7, 2014 at hearts of space | news
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As the autumn sun withdraws, we enter the season of gloom and shadow: the darkside. The ancient pagan harvest celebrations and the 16th-century Christian observance of All Hallows Eve have come down to us from the Celtic lands as the festival of Halloween, a time to honor the saints and recently departed souls, and recognize the dark emotions surrounding fear, death and decay. On this transmission of Hearts of Space, another Ambient journey for Halloween called DARKSIDE RITUALS. [ view playlist ] [ view Flickr image gallery ] [ play 30 second MP3 promo ] Continue reading
Posted Oct 31, 2014 at hearts of space | news
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As we enter the astrological house of Scorpio, here in the northern hemisphere the light is waning, the natural world is withering, and hidden realms are emerging from the shadows. it's a time for music of dissonant harmonies, dark spaces and strange worlds. I'm STEPHEN HILL and on this transmission of Hearts of Space, a dark autumn journey called...THE TWILIGHT ZONE. The title, of course, was made famous by the 1959 science fiction TV series written, produced and hosted by ROD SERLING, featuring stories of the futuristic, the paranormal and the supernatural. My introductions to Hearts of Space are too often compared to Rod Serling's. Thank you, but have you actually listened to a TWILIGHT ZONE intro lately? Sorry, no way. [ view playlist ] [ view Flickr image gallery ] [ play 30 second MP3 promo ] Continue reading
Posted Oct 25, 2014 at hearts of space | news
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Over a thousand years of what we now call Western Classical music comes down to us as a story about the evolution of musical styles. From monophonic to polyphonic; Medieval to Renaissance to Baroque; Classical to Romantic, and so on, to the contemporary "post-classical" and experimental musics of today. Yet within this evolutionary panorama exists another approach to the musical experience that is found in all eras and styles: slow, calm, and quiet — in the Italian, adagio. This is music for reflective contemplation, deep emotion, and ethereal suspension. Since 1985, our devoted guest producer ELLEN HOLMES has brought us a series of beautiful programs featuring the most sublime moments from the vast repertoire of western classical and sacred music — a labor of love if ever there was one. On this transmission of Hearts of Space, a bit of a departure from Ellen's usual offerings of sacred music for the Christmas and Easter holidays — a program dedicated to the season called AUTUMN SONG. [ view playlist ] [ view Flickr image gallery ] [ play 30 second MP3 promo ] Continue reading
Posted Oct 17, 2014 at hearts of space | news
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The Native American flute is one of the world's simplest but most moving instruments. In the last 30 years, it's sparked an entire sub-genre of contemplative music. Variations include the Anasazi plains flute of the Southwest, with its two-chamber design; the woodlands flute, a simple whistle; and the Aztec drone flute, used for accompaniment. Native flutes are end-blown, and generally made from softwoods like cedar and juniper, for their fragrance and soft tone. But also from hardwoods, bamboo, cane, plastic or bone. Typically tuned to a minor pentatonic scale, their plaintive sound seems to resonate with the wistful emotions of the fall season and the endless spaces of the American Southwest. On this transmission of Hearts of Space, another Native flute journey, on a program called RED ROCK CROSSING. Music is by SCOTT AUGUST, JOHNNY WHITEHORSE, R.CARLOS NAKAI & WILL CLIPMAN, COYOTE OLDMAN, DAN POUND, MICHAEL BRANT DeMARIA, and ANN LICATER. [ view playlist ] [ view Flickr image gallery ] [ play 30 second MP3 promo ] Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2014 at hearts of space | news
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The Astral Plane is said by esoteric scholars to be one the seven planes of existence. Whether you accept this metaphysical framework or not, the idea of non-physical dimensions that we inhabit or travel through after death has had a long and wide history, extending from ancient shamanic and mythological ideas, through Neoplatonism, to Theosophy, to the present. Subtlety is the key to the hierarchy of planes from the physical to the divine, and that may be the reason why serious Ambient composers spin delicate sonic images of what have been called "imaginal landscapes." On this transmission of HEARTS of SPACE we journey in these subtle realms, on a program called ASTRAL TRAVELLER. Music is by JONN SERRIE, MICHAEL STEARNS, ALPHA WAVE MOVEMENT, MEG BOWLES, HOLLAN HOLMES, and DARSHAN AMBIENT. [ view playlist ] [ view Flickr image gallery ] [ play 30 second MP3 promo ] Continue reading
Posted Oct 3, 2014 at hearts of space | news
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This week we pass the official beginning of the fall season and the autumnal equinox. Here in the northern hemisphere, the sun has descended from the lofty heights of summer halfway to the low point of winter, and the days and nights are approximately of equal length: more accurately, the equilux. ​Musically, we return to the complex tones of traditional acoustic instruments — the piano, the guitar and the cello. It’s a time for minor keys, descending progressions, and deepening harmonies, as we explore the sound of the season. On this transmission of HEARTS of SPACE, an ambient-acoustic journey for early autumn called THE FADING LIGHT. Music is by JEFF PEARCE, HANS CHRISTIAN & HARRY MANX, WILL ACKERMAN, KEVIN KELLER, HELEN JANE LONG and others. [ view playlist ] [ view Flickr image gallery ] [ play 30 second MP3 promo ] Continue reading
Posted Sep 26, 2014 at hearts of space | news
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It's been a while since we did a program on the music of the America to our south. It's a whole continent, after all, and the scope and variety of music from the distinctive cultures of Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil is enormous. Whether it comes from the mountain cultures, the grasslands, the rainforest, or one of the great cities; is based on influences from the native Indians, or from Spain or other European countries — the music of South America has a depth and passion all its own, and genres like Tango have created fans around the world. On this transmission of Hearts of Space, we return to the soul and space of South American music, on a program called ROMANTICO. Music is by OSCAR REYNOLDS, INKUYO, TRIO GARUFA, GUSTAVO SANTAOLOLLA, ASTOR PIAZZOLLA, STEPHAN MICUS, DINO SALUZZI, and EGBERTO GISMONTI. [ view playlist ] [ view Flickr image gallery ] [ play 30 second MP3 promo ] Continue reading
Posted Sep 19, 2014 at hearts of space | news
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The slow heartbeat rhythm and cooling electronic harmonies of England's MARCONI UNION. In 2011 they were commissioned to create a piece of relaxing music in collaboration with the British Academy of Sound Therapy. The resulting 8 minute single you're hearing was called "Weightless." Against the odds, it became a worldwide hit. In fact, the feeling of weightless floating was nothing new for electronic music, with examples going back to the 1920s. When combined with a goal-less, extended style of composition, you have the elements of this transmission of Hearts of Space — an hour of zero-gravity Ambient for inspiring patience, on a program called WEIGHTLESS WAITING. Music is by MARCONI UNION, BRYAN CARRIGAN, SIMON LOMAX, AMIR BAGHIRI, STEVE ROACH, and HAROLD BUDD. [ view playlist ] [ view Flickr image gallery ] [ play 30 second MP3 promo ] Continue reading
Posted Sep 13, 2014 at hearts of space | news
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The inventors of the electric guitar were originally motivated by the need for volume, to compete with drums, brass, and other loud instruments. But it didn't take long for reverb and special effects to transform the electric guitar into a vehicle for space exploration. Beginning in the 1960s, technically inclined improvisers used tape recorders to create live repetitions, essentially reinventing the Baroque canon, where a musical phrase or melody is repeated at fixed intervals. The need for more portable effects led to the invention of compact tape loop echo processors, and today's electronic "loopers," which make possible a more precise and flexible style of contemplative improvisation. On this transmission of Hearts of Space, recent work in this ambient sub-genre, with another installment of our long-running "space guitars" series, on a program called SPACE GUITARS 12. Music is by JEFF PEARCE, STEVEN GRAHN, CLIVE WRIGHT, HAMMOCK, and introducing PETER JACK RAINBIRD. [ view playlist ] [ view Flickr image gallery ] [ play 30 second MP3 promo ] Continue reading
Posted Sep 6, 2014 at hearts of space | news