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somewhere in space
Hearts of Space radio and online music service producer
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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 7 days ago 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
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Out of the ganja-fueled creative ferment of Jamaica came Reggae, and later, a studio remix style called "Dub." Spacey, psychedelic, fat with drum n' bass and heavily seasoned with reverb, echo and effects, it inspired English artists to gene-splice Dub with Ambient electronics, and call it "Ambient Dub." On this transmission of Hearts of Space we follow the trail of Ambient Dub on a program called DUBSHIP EUPHORIA. Music is by JAH WOBBLE & MARCONI UNION, MOTIONFIELD, S7VEN, SOUNDS FROM THE GROUND, ISHQ, CYBER ZEN SOUND ENGINE+MATT BORGHI, and MIKTEK. [ view playlist ] [ view Flickr image gallery ] [ play 30 second MP3 promo ] Continue reading
Posted Aug 29, 2014 at hearts of space | news
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Miles above our summer droughts, heat waves, fires and thunderstorms is a serene layer of earth's atmosphere called the stratosphere. Here the air is always blue, calm and cold — turbulence free and dynamically stable. And while jet planes can touch the lower edge of the stratosphere, the easy way to travel there is on ambient electronics. On this transmission of Hearts of Space, we ride the deep blue jet streams of high summer to the middle layer of the atmosphere...on program called STRATOSPHERIC. Music is by STEVE ROACH, DIRK SERRIES, DAVID HELPLING & JON JENKINS, PHILLIP WILKERSON, HAR, DAVE LUXTON and JUTA TAKAHASHI. [ view playlist ] [ view Flickr image gallery ] [ play 30 second MP3 promo ] Continue reading
Posted Aug 22, 2014 at hearts of space | news
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The concept of trance has a long and complicated history. Originally "a dazed, half-conscious or insensible condition or state of fear," the meaning has evolved to include many unusual or altered states of consciousness associated with hypnosis, meditation, magic, prayer, addictions, and ecstasy. Trance states are characterized by repetition, so music is a prime instigator in both ethnic and social cultures, including a high-energy style of electronic dance music. On this transmission of Hearts of Space, we ride hypnotic beats into strange realms and magical summer nights, on a program called TRANCEWORLD. Music is by GREEN ISAC, KOUAME SEREBA & ERIK WOLLO, DREAM JUNGLE, ROBERT RICH, LOREN NERELL, LARAAJI, MAX CORBACHO & BRUNO SANFILIPPO. [ view playlist ] [ view Flickr image gallery ] [ play 30 second MP3 promo ] Continue reading
Posted Aug 16, 2014 at hearts of space | news
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Underlying the political and religious differences that have provoked centuries of unrest in the Middle East and North Africa is the landscape — an austere region of desert and mountains, transected by great rivers: the Nile, the Tigris, the Euphrates. This environment, along with centuries of cultural exchange, accounts for a rough musical unity across countries and ethnicities. Thus the music of Turkey, Israel and Palestine has similarities with the Arabic and Berber music of North Africa and the Persian traditions of Iran. Today, progressive artists working within these traditions have created a Virtual Middle East, a cultural blend that effectively ignores ethnic, religious and political differences, and brings us an image of what a peaceful future in the region might sound like. On this transmission of Hearts of Space, soulful sounds from the Virtual Middle East, on a program called DESERT SOUL. Music is by MICHEL BANABILA, DHAFER YOUSSEF, MARJAN VAHDAT, NIYAZ, ARCHETRIBE, and ANOUR BRAHEM. [ view playlist ] [ view Flickr image gallery ] [ play 30 second MP3 promo ] Continue reading
Posted Aug 8, 2014 at hearts of space | news
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With record temperatures all around the northern hemisphere this summer, there's no escaping the fact that our environment is getting warmer. As the mercury creeps toward 100 in almost half the US, whether you're in the desert sunbelt, the western plateau, the stormy plains or the simmering cities, hyperthermia is the new normal, and we all need to get good at living with the heat. A nice cold drink with a touch of mint is the classic solution, and of course, there's a trip to the air conditioned mall or the local pool — but for comprehensive relief, we also need music that soothes the mind and cools the blood. On this transmission of Hearts of Space, we aim to provide that, with an hour of ambient electronica for midsummer, on a program called HEATWAVES. Music is by PAUL ELLIS, NATURAL FREQUENCIES, DAN POUND, DAN BARRIO, AGITATION FREE, PALANCAR, STEVE ROACH, and STEVE BRAND. [ view playlist ] [ view Flickr image gallery ] [ play 30 second MP3 promo ] Continue reading
Posted Aug 1, 2014 at hearts of space | news
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The long days and short nights of midsummer are a special time. We retreat from our intense work schedules and attend festivals and celebrations, some crowded and intense, others quiet and restorative. We travel, take vacations, entertain friends and relax on warm summer evenings. As the night deepens, activity fades, and the lulling sounds of nature and warm breezes create a seductive environment, inspiring ambient composers to create poetic images of a soft, nurturing night. On this transmission of Hearts of Space, an hour of ambient music for the season, on a program called MIDSUMMER NIGHT 3. Music is by ASCENDANT, DEEPER NET, ISHQ, ALTUS, S7VEN, CLAUDIO CASANUEVA, and RUDY ADRIAN. [ view playlist ] [ view Flickr image gallery ] [ play 30 second MP3 promo ] Continue reading
Posted Jul 25, 2014 at hearts of space | news
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The gene-splicing of the centuries-old Indian devotional chant with 20th-century recording technology and electronic instruments gave birth to a new hybrid. It began as a religious folk music tradition called kirtan, "a celebration of spirit through the chanting of sacred names." Imported from India by adventurous westerners in the 1970s, it evolved into a more complex style: part devotional chant, part western pop orchestration, part expanded ambience. Fueled by the worldwide growth of yoga, in the last 30 years it's attracted a diverse international audience. For Hearts of Space fans, it may take a bit of extra effort to extract the Ambient experience from the vocal textures and exotic Sanskrit lyrics. But for open-minded, open-hearted listeners, this music offers a sensitive world of authentic grassroots spirituality. On this transmission of Hearts of Space, an Ambient devotional journey called ENCHANTING. Music is by DEVA PREMAL & MITEN, MANISH VYAS, JAYA LAKSHMI & ANANDA, SHANTALA, CHINMAYA DUNSTER, JOY, and SACRED EARTH. [ view playlist ] [ view Flickr image gallery ] [ play 30 second MP3 promo ] Continue reading
Posted Jul 19, 2014 at hearts of space | news
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Summer...inspires an even more ethereal brand of Ambient electronica. Whether flying or floating on the balmy breezes, the sounds are airy and the movement is light and buoyant. The words we use to describe the moods it creates are superlative: joyous, blissful, ecstatic, delightful — even heavenly. And when it comes to heaven, for some reason we prefer the seventh. On this transmission of Hearts of Space...an ambient-electronic-summer-journey called CLOUD NINE. (Yes, we also number the clouds.) Music is by CHRONOTOPE PROJECT, FANGER & SCHONWALDER, JOHN LYELL, ARIEL KALMA, and DAVE LUXTON. [ view playlist ] [ view Flickr image gallery ] [ play 30 second MP3 promo ] Continue reading
Posted Jul 11, 2014 at hearts of space | news
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This week we gather for our yearly July 4th celebration of American independence. It's a festive affair, with food, fun and fireworks. In the last few years, the celebration has often been tempered by continuing national, global and planetary challenges, and this year is no exception. Somehow, it all seems to make the day more precious — a haven from cares...and reconnection with friends and family on a fine summer day. We take comfort in familiar food, games, and music. The summer concert season is in full swing: from neighborhood bars and county fairs to giant festivals, the panorama of celebratory American music is all around us, punctuated by dazzling visions in the night sky. On this transmission of Hearts of Space, we look back at the quiet roots of American music — folk tunes, hymns and ballads — and the simple purity of traditional acoustic instruments, on a program called AMERICAN REFLECTIONS. Music is by DAVID MODICA, THE BEYMAN BROTHERS, BRUCE KAPHAN, TINGSTAND & RUMBEL, SPIRIT JOURNEY, TREVOR STEWART & EARTHLINES, MARJORIE DE MUYNCK, WILL ACKERMAN, GEORGE WINSTON, CRAIG URUQUHART, JONATHAN ELIAS, and MARK O'CONNOR's APPALACHIA WALTZ TRIO. [ view playlist ] [ view Flickr image gallery ] [ play 30 second MP3 promo ] Continue reading
Posted Jul 4, 2014 at hearts of space | news
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Ahhh, the sweetness of early summer, the balm of warm breezes, the pollen, the allergies. It's a good time for electro-acoustic music with gentle rhythms, soft harmonies and seductive melodies. In a word, something "mellotronic." Now, historians of electronic instruments will tell you that the Mellotron was a tape-based, polyphonic, sample-playback keyboard, developed in England in the early 1960s. The instrument achieved classic status for its key role in popular albums by the Moody Blues and the Beatles, and brought violin, cello, brass, flute and choir sounds to innumerable albums from the Progressive Rock era. These days, every laptop can be a sampler, the original Mellotron sound is a menu choice, and the orchestration of electronic music is open to all. On this transmission of Hearts of Space, we revisit the romantic/contemplative side of ambient electronica, on a program called MELLOTRONIC. Music is by PATRICK O'HEARN, LUDOVICO EINAUDI, THIERRY DAVID, CRAIG PADILLA, MICHELE IPPOLITO, and FRANK STEINER, JR. [ view playlist ] [ view Flickr image gallery ] [ play 30 second MP3 promo ] Continue reading
Posted Jun 27, 2014 at hearts of space | news
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It's probably a reaction to our increasingly safe, predictable, scheduled lives, but a longing for the ecstatic, the primitive, and the archaic has been sweeping through Western music for almost a hundred years. IGOR STRAVINSKY's "Rite of Spring" — a fertility ritual — with its intense dissonances and pagan polyrhythms, took an opening shot across the bow of civilized European art in 1913. Its premiere, famously, caused a riot. From the polite 19th century Romantic fascination with the "noble savage," through R&B and the rock 'n' roll stance of "Elvis the Pelvis," to the trancey ethnic rhythms of today's techno-tribal dance and ambient music — we continue to seek the energy and the release...of the ecstatic. On this transmission of Hearts of Space, another techno-triba-delic journey called SUMMERTRONICA 4. Music is by DREAM JUNGLE, TUU, JORGE REYES & PIET JAN BLAUW, TONY GERBER, RESONANT DRIFT, DAN POUND, and KEVIN BRAHENY. [ view playlist ] [ view Flickr image gallery ] [ play 30 second MP3 promo ] Continue reading
Posted Jun 20, 2014 at hearts of space | news
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The unmistakable sound of flamenco...or rather, Flamenco Fusion: a mix of traditional Flamenco and electronics from the German/Spanish group B-Tribe. From its medieval roots in 8th century Al-Andalus, after the Muslim conquest of the Iberian peninsula, the music of the Spanish region of Andalusia has been a cultural melting pot, joining Moorish influences from North Africa, Sephardic Jewish songs and European music. With the addition of Romani gypsy influences in the 18th and 19th centuries, the music we now call Flamenco. with its fiery rhythms, dark harmonies and passionate emotions, was born. It's a genre with a signature ambience and feeling that's attracted devoted fans all over the world. On this transmission of Hearts of Space, we return to the sound of Flamenco, on a program called ANDALUSIA 2. Music is by B-TRIBE, JESSE COOK, PRIYO, ARMIK, MURIEL ANDERSON, ADAM HURST, JOSÉ LUIS MONTÓN, ZSOFIA BOROS, and the AL-ANDALUS ENSEMBLE. [ view playlist ] [ view Flickr image gallery ] [ play 30 second MP3 promo ] Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2014 at hearts of space | news
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If you head southwest out of London by train or automobile, five or six hours and some 350 miles later you'll reach the southwestern edge of Great Britain, and the seaside region known as West Cornwall. There, on a peninsula extending into the Celtic Sea halfway between Ireland and Brittany, in the picturesque village of St. Ives, lives musician MATT HILLIER and his wife and vocal muse JACQUELINE KERSLEY. It's an unlikely place for one of the most sophisticated Ambient musicians anywhere. Since 1995 under a variety of aliases and since 2002 as ISHQ, Matt Hillier has been releasing his sensitive and harmonious brand of Ambient electronica, inspired by the natural beauty of the Cornish landscape. As a body of work it has certain qualities in common with the best new age artists of days gone by, combining sounds from nature, ethereal electronic textures, and Middle and Far Eastern influences. Matt describes it as "slow gentle drifting harmonic timeless ambience meditations" and "triptamine astral sound paintings and visionary sonic art." As you'll hear, he's not exaggerating in the slightest. On this transmission of Hearts of Space, an ISHQ retrospective inspired by our colleague MIKE G of AMBIENTMUSICGUIDE.com in Brisbane, Australia, on a program called INVISIBLE LANDSCAPES. [ view playlist ] [ view Flickr image gallery ] [ play 30 second MP3 promo ] Continue reading
Posted Jun 6, 2014 at hearts of space | news
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Everyone loves a garden, but in the desert countries gardens take on a whole other level of meaning. Precious and rare in contrast to the rest of the environment, in ancient Persia they became nothing less than a symbol of heaven on earth — a sanctuary for rest, renewal, music and poetry. On this transmission of Hearts of Space, we ride off across the Middle Eastern desert soundscape in search of a GARDEN OF DELIGHT. Music is by JEF STOTT, MERCAN DEDE, JAMSHIED SHARIFI, HAFEZ NAZERI, MAHSA & MARJAN VAHDAT, and PAUL AVGERINOS. [ view playlist ] [ view Flickr image gallery ] [ play 30 second MP3 promo ] Continue reading
Posted May 30, 2014 at hearts of space | news
drSpace is now following aram sinnreich
May 28, 2014
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New Age music, ladies and gentlemen: famously, a genre with a reputation for well-meaning but insipid music. Like most stereotypes, it's only partly true. From the beginning in the early 1980s, there were always outstanding and original musicians thrown into the new age category, along with the shall-we-say uninspired. New age filled a need for slow, contemplative environments in a noisy, fast-paced world; it also filled a need in record stores (remember record stores?) for an instrumental music category that wasn't jazz, folk, or classical. It was the first music trend to gain commercial success after the home studio revolution of the 1970s; no wonder it was overrun with mediocre self-released albums. Despite this history, in the last few years, a number of younger music fans have returned to the genre with open ears and open minds. Classic albums are being reissued, and new compilations of the inspired, the forgotten and the unjustly ignored are being released, along with new work by some of the old masters. There was even a story about the revival in the Sunday New York Times Magazine! On this transmission of Hearts of Space, a program called NEW AGE RECONSIDERED. Music is by IASOS, LARKIN & MICHAEL STEARNS, KITARO, AEOLIAH, SHAJAN, CONSTANCE DEMBY, and STEVEN HALPERN. [ view playlist ] [ view Flickr image gallery ] [ play 30 second MP3 promo ] Continue reading
Posted May 23, 2014 at hearts of space | news
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Irish music writer MARK PRENDERGAST, author of the definitive book on Ambient music "The Ambient Century," has written an update to the book in the form of a series of articles in the English Hi-Fi Critic magazine. Following up his address at our AMBIcon 2013 Conference last May, Mark wrote the following piece, which covers new work in Europe and in the U.S. — :: SH The Ambient Odyssey: Part 2 (PDF) The Ambient Odyssey Part 2-New Possibilities: Ambient In The 21st Century The great euphoric rush which accompanied the end of the 20th century was replaced very soon by the earth-shattering events in New York City of September 2001. The Age of Uncertainty was back and music as we'd known it was changed forever. Ambient turned in on itself, becoming spare, isolationist, environmental, arty and philosophical. High-profile pop figures like John Foxx, David Sylvian and Brian Eno had flirted with the idea of installation music for years. Eno's Place Nos 11-16 were defining sound installations of the late 20th century. But it wouldn't be until the 21st century that "sound art," a discipline which explores the spaces between hearing, listening, perception and environment would take off. Pauline Oliveros, Terry Fox, Alvin Lucier, Bill Fontana, Paul Horn and Toru Takemitsu would all have a huge influence. Soon "sound sculpture" and "sonification" became buzz words. The quartet of Douglas Henderson, Boris Hengenbert, Michael J. Schumacher and Agostino Di Scipio made a huge splash in 2008 at the inaugural exhibition of the Mazzoli Gallery, Berlin, a purpose-built sound art space. In 2010 it arrived big time in the UK when Susan Philipsz won the Turner Prize for Lowlands — a series of intertwined Scottish laments played in variable versions through a loudspeaker system. Back in the studio, musicians and visionaries kept mining... Continue reading
Posted May 18, 2014 at hearts of space | news
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The tribal music traditions of Asia, Africa and the Americas stretch back to the mists of pre-history. For perhaps a hundred centuries, music was made with simple, even primitive instruments: flutes, rattles, drums and percussion; lyres, harps and strings; and wind instruments of various sizes and tones. It was an all-acoustic world, where music and instruments evolved slowly. Then in the late 19th and 20th centuries, electricity and electronics began to transform the world and transform music. First came the telegraph and the telephone, then radio, then recordings, and then the instruments themselves. Guitars and pianos became electric...and then electronic. And finally, purely electronic instruments of dazzling variety and unlimited potential to create new sounds. After the electronic music revolution of the 1960s and 70s, the entire studio became a musical instrument, and the sound of recordings has never been quite the same. Today, ethnic instruments and genres can be set in new Ambient soundscapes, a fusion of the old world and the new. On this transmission of Hearts of Space, ethnic instruments join electronic ambient, on a program called "ETHNOTRONIC." Music is by TUU, GREEN ISAC, SACRED EARTH, CHINMAYA DUNSTER, MANEESH DE MOOR, ARCHETRIBE, LOREN NERELL & MARK SEELIG, STILLPOINT and MICHEL BANABILA.. [ view playlist ] [ view Flickr image gallery ] [ play 30 second MP3 promo ] Continue reading
Posted May 17, 2014 at hearts of space | news