Back in 1975, a Northern California steel string guitarist named WILL ACKERMAN began playing and selling cassettes of his music around the Stanford University campus. It was so popular it led to the founding of Windham Hill Records in 1976 — the first big success of the music trend that came to be called New Age Music in the 1980s.
Instrumental, acoustic, and generally low key, Windham Hill literally became the poster child for a grab-bag genre that became ever more unfocussed as it grew—a category for anything that wasn't jazz or folk, rock or pop. But it served a need for quiet, relaxing, meditative instrumental music that continues today.
In time the New Age Music category became so diverse as to be almost meaningless. Home studios, inexpensive publishing on cassette and later CD, meant that anyone could release their music, and the genre's reputation deteriorated to the point that serious producers of atmospheric music called theirs Ambient, Electronic, or just about anything else.
Yet — in the last few years, the New Age genre has seen a critical reconsideration, with carefully curated compilations of historical material, while both veterans and descendants of the genre are creating new music that merits serious attention. A good example is the group FLOW, which includes none other than steel string guitarist WILL ACKERMAN, in a kind of New Age "supergroup."
On this transmission of Hearts of Space, we ride the vernal breezes into the gentle sound of the season, on a program called FLOWING INTO SPRING 4.
Music is by FLOW, PETER KATER, JIM GABRIEL, MICHAEL WHALEN, MIACHAEL BRANT DeMARIA, CHRIS HAUGEN, TOM MOORE & SHERRY FINZER, and MAJESTICA.