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somewhere in space
Hearts of Space radio and online music service producer
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Acoustic versus electric: once upon a time it was an issue — infamously with Bob Dylan's plugged-in performance at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965. Electric won that round, at least for guitars and popular music. But by the mid 1970's acoustic was back, with the rise of Windham Hill Records and its purist approach to so-called "American Primitive" guitar and piano. Many innovations have come and gone in the evolution of music since then. We still have purely acoustic folk, jazz, new age, and classical music, but without much fuss, electro-acoustic hybrids have become increasingly mainstream. Acoustic instruments provide a familiar, comforting, organic sound, and support musical expression; electronics expand the subtle dimensions of tone, imagery, and ethereality. Together they make a potent contemporary combination. On this transmission of Hearts of Space, we explore the transition from acoustic to electro-acoustic, on a program called TRANSONIC. Music is by WILL ACKERMAN, JEFF OSTER, & TOM EATON, DAVID MICHAEL, WILL ACKERMAN solo, RYAN JUDD, TOM EATON solo, JEFF PEARCE, RUSSEL WALDER, and DAGOBERT BÖHM. [ view playlist ] [ view Flickr image gallery ] [ play 30 second MP3 promo ] Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at hearts of space | news
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All most Americans know about Vietnam is that we fought a long and pointless war there in the 1960s and 70s. Today, if you live on the west coast, more likely than not there's a delicious Vietnamese restaurant in your community. But the ancient cultures, and the music of Southeast Asia and Vietnam in particular, is a mystery to most of us. A select group of Western composers and musicians have been drawn to these cultures, along with Southeast Asian musicians who've relocated to the West. They're creating a new fusion of traditional and contemporary music. On this transmission of Hearts of Space...subtle sounds from Vietnam, Cambodia, and Southeast Asia, on a program called ANCESTRAL VOICES 2. Music is by GRAYHAWK, LÊ TỰ CƯỜNG, PEETER VÄHI, RICHARD HOROWITZ, PHAN KIM THÀNH, VANESSA VÕ, LÊ TUẤN HÙNG & ĐẶNG KIM HIỀN, TRÍ NGUYỄN & THE ILIOS QUARTET. [ view program page ] [ view Flickr image gallery ] [ play 30 second MP3 promo ] Continue reading
Posted May 14, 2022 at hearts of space | news
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It's been more than 30 years since the German genius for music and technology encountered psychoactive chemistry at the end of the 1960s. The rest, as they say, is history; but when that history is finally written, the name of one musician will dominate the tale. KLAUS SCHULZE was there from the very beginning, starting as a drummer in a psychedelic rock group, then embracing electronics when the first synthesizers arrived in Germany. He was a member of both of the seminal German electronic groups — Ash Ra Tempel and Tangerine Dream, then headed off on his own — thereby inventing the identity of the solo electronic musician, working in his personal studio to create original music. Perhaps more than any single composer, he developed a musical language for electronic spacemusic that's become so pervasive and influential, it's now part of the environment. And since the early 1970s, his music has been one of the foundations of the sound of this program. On this transmission of HEARTS of SPACE, we bring our long love affair with the music of Klaus Schulze up to date on a program called KLAUS SCHULZE : CONTEMPORARY WORKS. Long careers in popular music are rare; long and prolific careers are exceptional. But the output of Klaus Schulze has been so extraordinary that even his most dedicated fans are often overwhelmed. By 2001, his discography included 35 solo albums, some 36 collaborations, and a group of monumental retrospective box sets, ranging from 10 to 50 albums each. The new millennium did not diminish his creativity. In 2000, he released a new 10 CD set called CONTEMPORARY WORKS I, and followed it up in 2002 with a 5 disc set called CONTEMPORARY WORKS II. As you can see, the problem in bringing you Klaus Schulze is not... Continue reading
Posted May 7, 2022 at hearts of space | news
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Popular electronic music was born out of the creative ferment of the 1960s. As a result, it took on some of the character of the cultures from which it emerged. In academic settings, it was dry, intellectual and experimental; in Germany, technical and mechanistic; in France, lush and romantic; in England, it was integrated into Progressive Rock; in the U.S. and Japan, it became part of the commercial record business, with electronic versions of classical works by Bach, Debussy, Satie and Pachelbel. While in California — as you might expect — it was embraced by grassroots psychedelic and spiritual subcultures creating music for a New Age. In Los Angeles and San Francisco, sonic explorers like TERRY RILEY, MICHAEL STEARNS, STEVE ROACH, KEVIN BRAHENY, IASOS, and DON ROBERTSON discovered the power of electronic music to take listeners on virtual journeys across time and space. Soon, an international cohort of electronic musicians—aided by drugs and new instruments—began to create an informal genre of electronic "spacemusic." A young rock guitarist from Tucson, Arizona named MICHAEL STEARNS became fascinated with electronic music and moved to Los Angeles in 1975 to be part of the emerging scene. He learned to program synthesizers, started an independent record label, and began releasing his own music in 1977. In 1981 he produced a classic of California electronic journey music called PLANETARY UNFOLDING. Long out of print, it was remastered and re-released by Projekt Records in 2022. Combining early analog synthesizers with natural ambient sounds, ethereal chorales, and powerful electronic effects, it's a profound journey across time and space. On this transmission of HEARTS of SPACE, we feature PLANETARY UNFOLDING in two continuous "sides" (remember sides?) with an interlude by MICHAEL STEARNS from THE SOFT TOUCH OF MORNING LIGHT, and complete the hour with additional music by MICHAEL STEARNS... Continue reading
Posted Apr 29, 2022 at hearts of space | news
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The Turkish-born, Montreal-based musician MERÇAN DEDE has long been a mainstay of our Middle Eastern ambient programs. In a world of hyper-conservative Islam that bans music entirely in some countries, Merçan Dede is a member of the diaspora of Middle Eastern artists who've reluctantly abandoned their homelands in search of personal and creative freedom. Deeply influenced by the spirituality of the mystical Islamic sect of Sufism, his fusion of traditional acoustic sounds of the Middle East — the ney, the kanoun, the saz, and the oud (plus the Western violin) — with rhapsodic vocals and electronic soundscapes powered by the infectious rhythms of the darbuka hand drum — has brought him many awards, appearances at major world music festivals, film scoring work, and collaborations with other important artists. On this transmission of HEARTS of SPACE — the microtonal melodies, trance-inducing rhythms, and electronic ambience of Middle Eastern music you can trance to...on a program called ECSTATIC RHYTHMS 2. We feature MERÇAN DEDE, plus Persian-fusion from ZIKR PROJECT, LOGA RAMIN TORKIAN and MAMAK KHADEM. [ view playlist ] [ view Flickr image gallery ] [ play 30 second MP3 promo ] Continue reading
Posted Apr 23, 2022 at hearts of space | news
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THIS WEEK Christians around the world observe the Easter holiday, remembering the epic story of the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. The powerful themes of death and rebirth, and the related celebrations of Holy Week, give the event a depth and majesty that mark it as the most important Christian festival of the year. As you'd expect, Easter has inspired some of the most sublime and exalted music of the Christian tradition. On this transmission of Hearts of Space from guest producer ELLEN HOLMES, choral and instrumental classics from across nine centuries of Christian sacred music, on a program called "AN EASTER CELEBRATION." Music is by WILLIAM BYRD, HILDEGARD VON BINGEN, RIHARDS DUBRA, PATRICK HAWES, GABRIEL FAURE, OLA GJEILO, MANUEL CARDOSO, ANTOINE BRUMEL, JOHN JENKINS, HEINRICH SCHUTZ, J.S. BACH, LISA GERRARD & PATRICK CASSIDY, ARVO PART, and EDWARD ELGAR. [ view playlist ] [ view Flickr image gallery ] [ play 30 second MP3 promo ] Continue reading
Posted Apr 15, 2022 at hearts of space | news
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It's utterly without tension, reliably tonal and melodic, and wouldn't hurt a fly. Yet New Age music has been the subject of decades of casual ridicule. Originally a grassroots phenomenon with a do-it-yourself creative ethic made possible by the home studio movement, after a period of mainstream success in the 1980s, it retreated to serving its core audience. Despite the criticism, New Age remained a popular niche, showing that a therapeutic music for relaxation, meditation, virtual travel, and alternative forms of spirituality had become something of a psychological necessity in high-intensity modern life. Around 2004, a critical reappraisal of the genre began, led by music blogger Douglas Mcgowan and by serious music collectors, Gen X'ers and Millennials who were children during the glory days of New Age. Evaluating musicians on their own merit rather than writing off the entire genre led to the conviction that some of the artists had been underappreciated, and the genre itself had been overcriticized. On this transmission of HEARTS of SPACE, New Age music reconsidered — on a program called THE NEXT DIMENSION. Music is by DEAN EVENSON, SCOTT HUCKABAY & PHIL HEAVEN, JONNY LIPFORD, DAVE EGGAR, HIROKI OKONO, UMA SILBEY, MICHAEL BRANT DEMARIA, FORREST SMITHSON, MIKE CLAY, IASOS, and PAUL AVGERINOS. [ view playlist ] [ view Flickr image gallery ] [ play 30 second MP3 promo ] Continue reading
Posted Apr 8, 2022 at hearts of space | news
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When we listen to ambient electronic music, the first question is "Where am I?" From the names of the artists and the titles of the music, one of the most popular locations is cosmic space, and the virtual experience of flying through it and floating in it. What's the appeal? Well, in the now politically incorrect language of Star Trek — the thrill of going "where no man has gone before," the promise of adventure, and the bliss of expanding into vast, limitless space. All this is despite the fact that real interstellar space is either a frigid vacuum hundreds of degrees below zero, or super-hot filaments of ionized plasma at 100,000 degrees or more, shot through by lethal streams of cosmic radiation from stars. In short, not a very hospitable place for delicate humans. And it takes decades to visit the neighbors. A virtual sonic journey is safer, warmer, and ultimately more satisfying. On this transmission of Hearts of Space, a journey through endless starfields and brilliant galaxies, on a program called STELLAR QUEST. Music is by STARTERRA, DEEPSPACE, TERMINUS VOID, DREAMSTATE LOGIC, and TRANSPONDER. [ view playlist ] [ view Flickr image gallery ] [ play 30 second MP3 promo ] Continue reading
Posted Apr 2, 2022 at hearts of space | news
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A quiet movement in contemporary music got started unintentionally in 1973, when a lanky, laid back American folk musician named GEORGE WINSTON released an album of ballads, blues, and ragtime called PIANO SOLOS. Influenced by the folk music revival of the 1960s, it was a modest success that attracted the attention of the rising Windham Hill label. In 1980 Winston released AUTUMN, an album of impressionistic solo piano ballads that caught the spirit of the times, sold over a million copies, and helped establish the success of what later came to be called New Age music. Of course, European classical composers had been writing sophisticated music for solo piano ever since the pianoforte was invented at the beginning of the 18th century. But Winston's "rural folk piano" (as he called it) was something different: simple, lyrical, quiet, imagistic, and American as cherry pie. By avoiding the technical virtuosity and complexity of European classical music, Winston opened up a populist alternative. Today, musicians all over the world continue to create personal music for solo piano that combines the sophistication of European classical with the effortless appeal of folk music. On this transmission of Hearts of Space, a program of recent contemplative music for solo piano called PIANO PURO. Music is by NILS FRAHM, LUDOVICO EINAUDI, MAX RICHTER, RODELIUS & TIM STORY, PETE KUZMA, and MATTHEW LABARGE. [ view playlist ] [ view Flickr image gallery ] [ play 30 second MP3 promo ] Continue reading
Posted Mar 26, 2022 at hearts of space | news
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What makes ambient electronic spacemusic different from other music genres? Well, think of it as a kind of sonic "imagery" — a term from literature, art history, and photography. But unlike literary or pictorial images, the sound images of ambient electronic music reveal an underlying quest for psychological expansion into a world of infinite space, and ultimately, a way to transcend the limits of the physical world we live in. In the formative years of ambient and electronic spacemusic in the 1970's and 80's, leading artists influenced by the ecology and environmental movements explored terrestrial themes, with albums like "SEA & SKY" by Japanese progressive musician STOMU YAMASH'TA, and "EARTH" and "SOIL FESTIVITIES" by VANGELIS. Other electronic artists found earthly themes too limited, sought release in the vastness of cosmic and contemplative space, and created the ambient soundscape we have today. That quest for expansion is still with us, not just in music, but as a plan for human survival in ELON MUSK's project to colonize Mars. On this transmission of Hearts of Space, we embrace the quest for infinite space...on a program called BEYOND EARTH AND SKY. Music is by MICHAEL STEARNS & STEVE ROACH, MICHAEL STEARNS & ERIK WØLLO, MASSERGY, ANDREW LAHIFF, and MAX CORBACHO. [ view playlist ] [ view Flickr image gallery ] [ play 30 second MP3 promo ] Continue reading
Posted Mar 19, 2022 at hearts of space | news
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It's fitting that we celebrate St. Patrick's Day in March, when we can either be enduring the final insults of winter, or enjoying the gentle rains, green leaves and pink blossoms of spring. Whatever the weather, Celtic music can rise to the occasion. Of all the world's folk musics, the Celtic tradition is one of the most extensive in range and varied in emotional expression. From heroic marches to joyous dances, from melancholy dirges to heart-rending ballads — Celtic music reflects the panorama of human feeling. The Celtic revival of the 1980s and 90s brought new attention to the genre, and motivated native Irish, Scottish, Welsh and Breton musicians to new heights, while many other nationalities of Celtic descent were inspired to extend the boundaries of the genre, leading to a kind of golden era for Celtic music. On this transmission of Hearts of Space, it's another excursion in the Celtic soundscape, on a program called THE ENCHANTED HARP. Music is by AINE MINOGUE, ADRIAN VON ZIEGLER, JEFF JOHNSON & BRIAN DUNNING, WILLIAM COULTER & MARY McLAUGHLIN, DAVY SPILLANE, SKYEDANCE, AOIFE NI FHEARAIGH, TRINE OPSAHL, SARAH COPUS, and MÉAV, [ view playlist ] [ view Flickr image gallery ] [ play 30 second MP3 promo ] Continue reading
Posted Mar 11, 2022 at hearts of space | news
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Here on Hearts of Space, we regularly sing the praises of electronic sound, and its more or less unlimited ability to create ambient environments. Traditional acoustic instruments are the contrasting case — their limits are "built in" to their physical shape. But they come with one big advantage: what they lack in sonic flexibility, they make up for in inherent musicality. They are, after all, designed and built to be musical instruments. One longtime Hearts of Space core artist who works exclusively with acoustic instruments is German musician STEPHAN MICUS. Since 1977 and 24 unique albums for the respected ECM label, he's searched the world for unusual and evocative instruments, sought out local musicians to teach him their secrets, and then used them in completely non-traditional ways in his recordings. Yet, far from limited, his music is deeply contemplative and pervaded with a generous sense of space. On this transmission of Hearts of Space, we take a timely theme from the title of the 2021 album by STEPHAN MICUS called WINTER'S END. Music is by SUZANNE TENG & GILBERT LEVY, STEPHAN MICUS, AUKAI, GEORG REISS, the late DJIVAN GASPARYAN, and the LIAN ENSEMBLE. [ view playlist ] [ view Flickr image gallery ] [ play 30 second MP3 promo ] Continue reading
Posted Mar 5, 2022 at hearts of space | news
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The Venn diagram was invented in the 1880s by English mathematician JOHN VENN, to show the logical relation between sets. The overlapping circles of the diagram show where different sets have characteristics in common. The Venn diagram of Ambient Music includes radically different genres: traditional folk ballads, classical adagios and choral music, cool jazz, ethnic and religious music, electronics, drones, and avant-garde and experimental music. What these different genres have in common is a sensibility — a taste for slow, contemplative, space-creating, even trance-inducing sounds, and an appreciation of the magic of slow tempos, harmonic relationships, and spatial imagery. In the 20th century, classical music evolved in many non-traditional directions. For a while it was thrown into a generic category simply called "New Music." More conceptual and experimental than other approaches, it's given us a consistently important catalog of ambient and contemplative music. On this transmission of Hearts of Space, we focus on music by MICHAEL HARRISON, JASON TREUTING, CHAS SMITH, JOHN LUTHER ADAMS, and RICK COX from the COLD BLUE and CANTALOUPE MUSIC labels — on a program called A NEW MUSIC IMMERSION. [ view playlist ] [ view Flickr image gallery ] [ play 30 second MP3 promo ] Continue reading
Posted Feb 26, 2022 at hearts of space | news
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Let us imagine, dear listener, the plight of an electronic musician. Even in a very modest studio, he or she commands a near-infinite choice of sounds to work with, and a near-infinite number of ways to modify and transform them. That's near-infinity squared — a paralyzingly large number. This "paradox of choice" once moved ambient godfather BRIAN ENO to declare that when working with electronic instruments, limitations are good. Acoustic instruments evolved over the centuries to be playable, and support musical expression. They require physical skill to master, but once learned, they become familiar and dependable. Electronic instruments can be orders of magnitude more complex; their ergonomics run the gamut from limited to virtually unplayable, and they've now become constantly evolving software, challenging even the most technically competent. Electronic keyboard instruments are a strategic compromise: they aim to combine the playability of an acoustic keyboard with the infinite sonic potential of electronics. But all those knobs, patch cords, processors, and choices tend to slow down the creation and performance of electronic music. For acoustic music that's a limitation, but ambient-electronic artists have embraced it to focus on slowly evolving, contemplative soundscapes and therapeutic sound journeys. On this transmission of Hearts of Space, why slow is good in electronic music, on a program called TRANQUILITY GATE. Music is by HINTERLAND, APERUS, STEVE ROACH, MATTHEW FLORIANZ, and KELLY DAVID. [ view playlist ] [ view Flickr image gallery ] [ play 30 second MP3 promo ] Continue reading
Posted Feb 19, 2022 at hearts of space | news
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Gongs, bells, and bowls. This trio of metal instruments pack a sonic and psychological punch way out of proportion with their utter simplicity. Long revered for their role in religious ceremonies, almost magical in their ability to delight and entrance, they stand virtually alone in the resonant space between music and pure sound. They've been joined in recent years by the synthesizer. It's not simple, but it can create sounds unconstrained by the physical limitations of vibrating materials. As you'll hear...it's a marriage made in heaven. On this transmission of HEARTS of SPACE, another journey in the resonant space of bells, bowls, gongs — and synthesizers — on a program called SACRED SINGING METALS. Music and sound experiences are by XUMANTRA, HUMAN METRONOME and 33 TETRAGAMMON, STEVEN HALPERN, LIQUID BELLS, DEUTER, and KLAUS WIESE. [ view playlist ] [ view Flickr image gallery ] [ play 30 second MP3 promo ] Continue reading
Posted Feb 11, 2022 at hearts of space | news
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The heart of a long, cold winter is a good time to return to the far north folk music of Scandinavia: Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, and Iceland. While not as celebrated as the music of its Celtic neighbors to the south, it's every bit as warm and soulful. Originally distinguished by traditional instruments like the Finnish box zither called the kantele, and the Norwegian hardanger fiddle with its sympathetic strings — like other folk genres, in recent years electronics and studio recording techniques have been added to enrich and modernize the sound. On this transmission of Hearts of Space, traditional and contemporary winter music from Scandinavia, on a program called NORTHERN NIGHTS 3. Music is by BUKKENE BRUSE, ANNBJØRG LIEN, PRISCILLA HERNANDEZ, SINIKKA LANGELAND, ARJA KASTINEN & PETER PHIPPEN, TRINA OPSAHL, LAKKI PATEY, and ØYSTEIN SEVÅG. [ view playlist ] [ view Flickr image gallery ] [ play 30 second MP3 promo ] Continue reading
Posted Feb 5, 2022 at hearts of space | news
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We're at the nadir of winter in the Northern Hemisphere — a time when the yearlong journey around our native star seems endless. Battered by recurring storms, cold and tired, starved for light, ready for change...we have no choice but to wait for the return of the sun and the fresh promise of spring. As if that wasn't hard enough, in the third winter of a historic pandemic we're impatient for the return of "normal." Yet the virus is a relentless adversary. So we continue: it's a time for patience, diligence, and persistence. With its slow pace, ambient-electronic music can expand our frame of reference, reduce our impatience, and soothe our anxieties. On this transmission of Hearts of Space, electro-acoustic music to promote courage and stamina, on a program called PERSEVERANCE. Music is by HAMMOCK, JUHA-MATTI RAUTIAINEN, IN THE BRANCHES, ERIK WØLLO, JEFF PEARCE, EYES CAST DOWN, ROBIN GUTHRIE and HAROLD BUDD. [ view playlist ] [ view Flickr image gallery ] [ play 30 second MP3 promo ] Continue reading
Posted Jan 29, 2022 at hearts of space | news
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There's a complementary relationship between classical string instruments and the extended winters of northern Europe, where the string family evolved. In the chilled, wet, gray winters north of the Mediterranean, the rich harmonies and bright overtones of the string family pierce the cold and dark, and touch our souls. Whether the music is noble and expansive, somber and melancholy, or quiet and contemplative—it nourishes the spirit and warms the heart. Today, a new breed of classical composer/performers in Europe and the U.S. are combining strings, electronics and studio techniques to create a contemplative ambient music for the 21st century. On this transmission of Hearts of Space, warm winter strings and cool electronics for the season, on a program called FROZEN TIME 2. Music is by MARTIN TILLMAN, HANS CHRISTIAN, DAVID DARLING, CHRISTOPHER TIGNOR, JOAN JEANRENAUD, and MAX RICHTER. [ view program page ] [ view Flickr image gallery ] [ play 30 second MP3 promo ] Continue reading
Posted Jan 21, 2022 at hearts of space | news
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The 20th century French composer OLIVIER MESSIAEN was a musical modernist during a revolutionary period in classical music, an unabashed Romantic, and a devoutly religious Catholic who spent most of his long life playing organ in churches and cathedrals. He reconciled these apparent polarities by following an artistic path that was unique and original. Along with complex, innovative contemporary music that ranged in intensity from serene to volcanic, he created a vast catalogue of religious program music inspired by his deep faith. It's been described as "a glowing vision of hope and transcendence for the 21st century, through faith in music, love, and the divine." On this transmission of Hearts of Space, we focus on Messiaen's religious and contemplative music, on a program called MYSTIC MESSIAEN. We feature two of his masterpieces for organ — LA NATIVITÉ DU SEIGNEUR and LE BANQUET CÉLESTE, O SACRUM CONVIVIUM for chorus, two movements from L'ASCENSION for strings and brass, and an ethereal movement from FÊTE DES BELLES EAUX, for an ensemble of pioneering French electronic keyboards called Ondes Martenot. [ view playlist ] [ view Flickr image gallery ] [ play 30 second MP3 promo ] Continue reading
Posted Jan 15, 2022 at hearts of space | news
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Winter...drains the color from the landscape and leaves behind a subtle monochromatic palette of grays, browns, and blues; and after snow...a magical world of white. The winter atmospheres range from bright sun with airy transparent blues, to chilled mist, dense fog, and skies threatened by sullen clouds. In the far north, time seems to slow. It's a vast, lonely, contemplative environment that's inspired an electronic genre called "isolationist ambient." On this transmission of HEARTS of SPACE, the immersive sound of winter atmospheres, on a program called WINTER LIGHT 2. Music is by YAGYA, BANCO DE GAIA, SEETYCA, ERIK WØLLO, ISOSTATIC, PHILLIP WILKERSON & CHRIS RUSSELL, LOSCIL, and IAN BODDY+ERIK WØLLO. [ view playlist ] [ view Flickr image gallery ] [ play 30 second MP3 promo ] Continue reading
Posted Jan 7, 2022 at hearts of space | news
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The best-kept secret in European minimalism must be the late Dutch composer SIMEON TEN HOLT, who died in 2012. After experimenting with complex chromaticism and serialism early in his career, Ten Holt arrived at his own style of "humanized" minimalism: infused with traditional musical values, rhythmically rigorous, wonderfully melodic, and flexible in performance. His most famous piece, composed in 1976, is called CANTO OSTINATO, which in Italian means "obstinate song," a reference to its continuous, repeating quintuplet rhythm base: 1-2-3-4-5, 1-2-3-4-5, 1-2-3-4-5, 1-2-3-4-5. Its structure is based on 106 "cells" of a few phrases each which allow great latitude for repeats and interpretation by the performers. The piece can take from two hours to more than a day, and there are dozens of versions for 1, 2, 3, and 4 pianos, pianos plus organ, harp, or marimba, pipe organ, strings, and synthesizer. Canto Ostinato has been a popular phenomenon in the Netherlands for 40 years and hundreds of sold out performances. Despite its appeal, it's hardly ever been performed or broadcast in the U.S. We tried to help fix that a couple of years ago when we featured a mesmerizing live version for two pianos, performed by the Dutch husband/wife duo JEROEN and SANDRA VAN VEEN. On this transmission of Hearts of Space, we kick off the new year with a buoyant, energetic version for synthesizer, programmed and performed by SANDRA and JEROEN VAN VEEN. Simeon Ten Holt's CANTO OSTINATO for synthesizer; let's call it CANTO ELECTRONICO, on this transmission...of Hearts of Space. [ view playlist ] [ view Flickr image gallery ] [ play 30 second MP3 promo ] Continue reading
Posted Dec 31, 2021 at hearts of space | news
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The austere folk music of Norway and the Scandinavian countries has a paradox at its heart: in a land of frigid Arctic winters and stark, glacial landscapes, the music overflows with warmth and beauty. And while the winter days are dark, the nights are illuminated with the intoxicating spectacle of the northern lights. On this transmission of Hearts of Space, a Nordic winter's journey called NIGHT LIGHT, featuring Norwegian lullabies sung by VIDIA WESENLUND with music by MICHAEL STEARNS, plus selections by ANNBJORG LIEN, LENA WILLEMARK & ALE MOLLER, OYSTEIN SEVAG, and STREIF. [ view playlist ] [ view Flickr image gallery ] [ play 30 second MP3 promo ] Continue reading
Posted Dec 24, 2021 at hearts of space | news
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December...brings both powerful storms and clear, cold, silent nights that incline toward the holy as we approach the holiday season. We try to put aside the conflicts and challenges of the present day, and display the finer spirits and better angels of our nature. We celebrate the season with a radiance of light and color, hymns and songs, food and gifts, generosity and kindness. For ambient musicians, it's a time to blend the warmth and intimacy of traditional acoustic music with the mysterious floating spaces of electronic music. On this transmission of Hearts of Space, calm and bright soundscapes for the season, on a program called WINTERTRONIC 2. Music is by KEVIN KELLER, ECHO SEASON, ROBERT RICH, ALPHA WAVE MOVEMENT, MAX CORBACHO, PAUL AVGERINOS, and SENSITIVE CHAOS. [ view playlist ] [ view Flickr image gallery ] [ play 30 second MP3 promo ] Continue reading
Posted Dec 18, 2021 at hearts of space | news
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In our year-end festivals of sacred music, we touch a human ritual whose origins are lost in time. For millennia, we've gathered in churches and sanctuaries to sing, worship, listen and renew our spirits. On this transmission of Hearts of Space, a year's end celebration of the treble voice, the massed chorus, and the sublime world of sacred sound, on a program called HYMNS and PSALMS. Music is by LIBERA, STATE OF GRACE, GIORGIA FUMANTI, HAYLEY WESTENRA, LUMINOUS WORLD ORCHESTRA, KEVIN KELLER, ARVO PART, and ALFRED SCHNITTKE. [ view playlist ] [ view Flickr image gallery ] [ play 30 second MP3 promo ] Continue reading
Posted Dec 9, 2021 at hearts of space | news
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The story of Windham Hill Records is both a story of success, and a cautionary tale. From its emergence in the heart of Silicon Valley in 1976 as a tiny independent label for co-founder WILL ACKERMAN's ironically low-tech solo acoustic guitar music, it became the poster child for the emerging genre that was eventually dubbed New Age by the record industry ten years later. Described as "instrumental, acoustic, and mellow," with high quality analogue recordings on vinyl and tasteful minimalist graphics, Windham Hill got distribution from one of the major labels, expanded its roster with kindred acoustic artists like pianist GEORGE WINSTON and guitarist MICHAEL HEDGES, and went on to sell millions of records. So...success, but there's a big difference between music, and the music business. The pressure was intense, and Will Ackerman wasn't happy. He never wanted to be a corporate record executive, so he sold his half of the company in 1992 and retired to a farm in rural Vermont. That would normally be the end of the story, but Ackerman was still relatively young and wanted to get back to making music. So he built a recording studio on the property, teamed up with ace engineers CORIN NELSEN and TOM EATON, and began to record and produce other acoustic artists. A few years later he started another independent label, but this time — he stayed independent. And that's where the story takes a creative turn. In over twenty years of working with hundreds of compatible musicians, Ackerman began to collaborate as an acoustic guitarist as well as a producer, which led to participation in instrumental "supergroups" like FLOW (in 2019) with trumpeter JEFF OSTER, guitarist LAWRENCE BLATT, pianist FIONA JOY HAWKINS, and triple-threat artist-engineer-producer TOM EATON; and (in 2021) with JEFF OSTER and TOM EATON in BROTHERS.... Continue reading
Posted Dec 4, 2021 at hearts of space | news