New-age music is a genre of music intended to create artistic inspiration, relaxation, and optimism. It is used by listeners for yoga, massage, meditation, reading as a method of stress management to bring about a state of ecstasy rather than trance, or to create a peaceful atmosphere in their home or other environments, and is associated with environmentalism and New Age spirituality.
New-age music includes both acoustic forms, featuring instruments such as flutes, piano, acoustic guitar and a wide variety of non-Western acoustic instruments, and electronic forms, frequently relying on sustained synth pads or long sequencer-based runs. Vocal arrangements were initially rare in the genre, but as it has evolved vocals have become more common, especially those featuring Native American-, Sanskrit-, or Tibetan-influenced chants, or lyrics based on mythology such as Celtic legends.
There is no exact definition of new-age music. An article in Billboard magazine in 1987 commented that "New Age music may be the most startling successful non-defined music ever to hit the public consciousness". Many consider it to be an umbrella term for marketing rather than a musical category, and to be part of a complex cultural trend.
New-age music was influenced by a wide range of artists from a variety of genres. Tony Scott's Music for Zen Meditation (1964) is considered to be the first new-age recording. Paul Horn (beginning with 1968's Inside) was one of the important predecessors. Irv Teibel's Environments series (1969–79) featured natural soundscapes, tintinnabulation, and "Om" chants and were some of the first publicly available psychoacoustic recordings. Steven Halpern's 1975 Spectrum Suite was a key work that began the new-age music movement.
|Cultural origins||1960s and early 1970s, Europe and United States|
New-age music is defined more by the use and effect or feeling it produces rather than the instruments and genre used in its creation; it may be acoustic, electronic, or a mixture of both. New-age artists range from solo or ensemble performances using classical-music instruments ranging from the piano, acoustic guitar, flute or harp to electronic musical instruments, or from Eastern instruments such as the sitar, tabla, and tamboura. There is also a significant overlap of sectors of new-age music with ambient music, classical music, jazz, electronica, world music, chillout, space music, pop music and others.
The two definitions typically associated with the new-age genre are:
Stephen Hill, founder of the Hearts of Space in 1973, considers that "many of the artists are very sincerely and fully committed to New Age ideas and ways of life". Some composers like Kitarō consider their music to be part of their spiritual growth, as well expressing values and shaping the culture. Douglas Groothuis stated that rejection of all music labeled as "new age" would be to fall prey to a taboo and quarantine mentality, as most of the music belongs to the "progressive" side of new-age music, where composers necessarily do not have a New Age worldview.
However, it is often noted that "New-age music" is a mere popular designation which successfully sells records. J. Gordon Melton argued it does not refer to a specific genre of music, but to music which is used in therapeutic or other new-age purposes. Kay Gardner considered that the label "New Age" is considered an inauthentic commercial intention of the so-called new-age music. She commented that "a lot of New Age music is schlock" and how due to records sales everyone with a home studio put in some sounds of crickets, oceans, or rivers, as a guarantee of sales. What started as ambient mood music related with New Age activity, became a term for a musical conglomeration of jazz, folk, rock, ethnic, classical, and electronic, among other music styles, with the former and markedly different musical and theoretical movement.
Thus under the umbrella term, some consider that the Mike Oldfield's progressive rock album Tubular Bells (1973) became one of the first albums to be referred to under the genre description of New Age. Others consider that music by the Greek composer Vangelis, and general modern jazz-rock fusion, exemplify the progressive side of new-age music. Other artists included are Jean-Michel Jarre (even though his electronic excursions predate the term), Andreas Vollenweider, George Winston, Mark Isham, Michael Hedges, Shadowfax, Mannheim Steamroller, Kitarō, Yanni, Enya, Clannad, Enigma among others.
However, many musicians and composers dismiss the labeling of their music as "New age". When the Grammy Award for Best New Age Album was first created in 1987, its first winner, Andreas Vollenweider, said "I don't have any intention to label my music... It's ridiculous to give a name to anything that is timeless". Peter Bryant, music director of WHYY-FM (90.9) and host of a New-age program, noted that "I don't care for the term... New-age has a negative connotation... In the circles I come in contact with, people working in music, 'new-age' is almost an insult", that it refers to "very vapid, dreamy kinds of dull music... with no substance or form or interest", and that the term has "stuck".
Harold Budd commented how "When I hear the term 'new-age I reach for my revolver... I don't think of myself as making music that is only supposed to be in the background. It's embarrassing to inadvertently be associated with something that you know in your guts is vacuous". Vangelis considers it a style which "gave the opportunity for untalented people to make very boring music". Yanni stated that "I don't want to relax the audience; I want to engage them in the music, get them interested", and that "New age implies a more subdued, more relaxed music than what I do. My music can be very rhythmic, very energetic, even very ethnic". David Van Tieghem, George Winston and Kitarō also rejected the label of new-age artist. David Lanz argued that had "finally figured out that the main reason people don't like the term New Age is because it's the only musical category that isn't a musical term". Andreas Vollenweider noted that "we have sold millions of records worldwide before the category New Age was actually a category", and shared the concern that "the stores are having this problem with categorization".
Ron Goldstein, president of Private Music, agreed with such a standpoint, and explained that "Windham Hill was the hub of this whole thing. Because of that association, New-age has come to be perceived as this West Coast thing". However, the label managing director Sam Sutherland, argued that even founders of Windham Hill, William Ackerman and Anne Robinson, "shied away from using any idiomatic or generic term at all. It's always seemed a little synthetic", and as a company they stopped making any kind of deliberate protests to the use of the term simply because it was inappropriate. Both Goldstein and Sutherland concluded that the tag has helped move merchandise, and that new-age music will be absorbed into the general body of pop music within a few years from 1987.
The New York Times music critic Jon Pareles noted that "new-age music" absorbed other music styles in more softer form, but those same well defined styles don't need the new-age category, and that "new-age music" resembles other music because it is aimed as a marketing niche—to be a "formula show" designated for urban "ultra-consumers" as status accessory, that the Andean, Asian and African traditional music influences invoke the sense of "cosmopolitanism", while nature in the album artwork and sound the "connection to unspoiled landscapes". Many critics described new-age music as "pretentious Muzak", being repetitive without sense for structure and improvisation, with avoidance of speed and percussiveness, and with scarce syncopation and most basic 4
As described in this article, the borders of this umbrella genre are not well defined; however music retail stores will include artists in the "new-age" category even if the artists belong to different genre, and themselves use different names for their style of music. Here are some other terms used instead of "new-age":
Kay Gardner called the original new-age music "healing music" or "women's spirituality". Paul Winter, who is considered a new-age music pioneer, also dismissed the term, and preferred "earth music".
The term "instrumental music" or "contemporary instrumental" can include artists that do not use electronic instruments in their music, such as solo pianist David Lanz. Similarly, pianists such as Yanni and Bradley Joseph both use this term as well, although they use keyboards to incorporate layered orchestral textures into their compositions. Yanni has distinguished the music genre from the spiritual movement bearing the same name. The term "contemporary instrumental music" was also suggested by Andreas Vollenweider, while "adult alternative" by Gary L. Chappell, which was the term by which Billboard called the new-age and world-music album charts.
The concept arose with the involvement of professional musicians in the New-Age movement. Initially, it was of no interest to the musical industry, so the musicians and related staff founded their own small independent recording businesses. Sales reached significant numbers in unusual outlets such as bookstores, gift stores, health-food stores and boutiques, as well as by direct mail. With the demand of a large market, the major recording companies began promoting new-age music in the 1980s.
New-age music was influenced by a wide range of artists from a variety of genres—for example, folk-instrumentalists John Fahey and Leo Kottke, minimalists Terry Riley, Steve Reich, La Monte Young, and Philip Glass, classical avant-garde Daniel Kobialka, synthesizer performers Brian Eno, and jazz artists Keith Jarrett, Weather Report, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Paul Horn (beginning with 1968's Inside) and Pat Metheny.
Tony Scott's Music for Zen Meditation (1964) is considered to be the first new-age recording, but initially it was popular mostly in California, and was not sold nationally until the 1980s. Another school of meditation music arose among the followers of Rajneesh; Deuter recorded D (1971) and Aum (1972), which mixed acoustic and electronic instruments with sounds of the sea. Kay Gardner's song Lunamuse (1974) and first recording Mooncircles (1975), which were a synthesis of music, sexuality and Wiccan spirituality, were "new-age music before it got to be new-age music". Her A Rainbow Path (1984) embraced Halpern's theory of healing music from that time with women's spirituality, and she became one of the most popular new-age sacred-music artists.
Paul Winter's Missa Gaia/Earth Mass (1982) is described as "a masterpiece of New Age ecological consciousness that celebrates the sacredness of land, sky, and sea". His work on the East Coast is considered to be one of the most important musical expressions of new-age spirituality. On the West Coast, musicians concentrated more on music for healing and meditation. The most notable early work was Steven Halpern's Spectrum Suite (1975), the musical purpose of which was described as to "resonate specific areas of the body... it quiets the mind and body", and whose title relates "to the seven tones of the musical scale and the seven colors of the rainbow to the seven etheric energy sources (chakras) in our bodies". In the 1970s his music work, and the theoretical book Tuning the Human Instrument (1979), pioneered the contemporary practice of musical healing in the United States.
In 1976 the record label Windham Hill Records was founded, with an initial $300 investment, and would gross over $26 million annually ten years later. Over the years many record labels were formed that embraced or rejected the new-age designation, such as Narada Productions, Private Music, Music West, Lifestyle, Audion, Sonic Atmospheres, Living Music, Terra (Vanguard Records), Novus Records (which mainly recorded jazz music), FM (CBS Masterworks) and Cinema (Capitol Records).
Between the intentional extremes of the West and East Coast are some of the most successful new-age artists, like George Winston and R. Carlos Nakai. Winton's million-selling December (1982), released by Windham Hill Records, was highly popular. Most of Nakai's work, with first release Changes in 1983, consists of improvised songs in native North American style. During the 1990s, his music became virtual anthems for new-age spirituality.
In 1981, Tower Records in Mountain View, California added a "new age" bin. By 1985, independent and chain record retail stores were adding sections for new age, and major labels began showing interest in the genre, both through acquisition of some existing new-age labels such as Paul Winter's Living Music and through signing of so-called "new-age" artists such as Japanese electronic composer Kitarō and American crossover jazz musician Pat Metheny, both signed by Geffen Records. Most of the major record labels accepted new age artists by the beginning of the next year. In the late 1980s the umbrella genre was the fastest-growing genre with significant radio broadcast. It was seen as an attractive business due to low recording costs.
From 1982 to 1989, working on his own and with Lura Jane Geiger, Adam Geiger, New Age Composer/Keyboardist, produced and sold a series of cassette tapes of New Age music on the LuraMedia recording label.
Stephen Hill founded the new-age radio show Hearts of Space in 1973. In 1983, was picked up by NPR for syndication to 230 affiliates nationally, and year later was started a record label Hearts of Space Records. On Valentine's Day in 1987, the former Los Angeles rock radio station KMET changed to a full-time new-age music format with new call letters KTWV, branded as The Wave. During The Wave's new-age period, management told the station employees to refer to The Wave as a "mood service" rather than a "radio station". DJs stopped announcing the titles of the songs, and instead, to maintain an uninterrupted mood, listeners could call a 1–800 phone number to find out what song was playing. News breaks were also re-branded and referred to as "wave breaks". Other new-age-specialty radio programs included Forest's Musical Starstreams and John Diliberto's Echoes. Most major cable television networks have channels that play music without visuals, including channels for New age, such as the "Soundscapes" channel on Music Choice. The two satellite radio companies Sirius Satellite Radio & XM Satellite Radio each had their own channels that played new-age music. Sirius—Spa (Sirius XM) (73), XM—Audio Visions (77). When the two merged in November 2008 and became SiriusXM, the Spa name was retained for the music channel with the majority of Audio Vision’s music library being used.
In 1987 was formed the Grammy Award for Best New Age Album, while in 1988 the Billboard's New Age weekly charts. In 1989 was held the first international New-Age Music Conference. By 1989, there were over 150 small independent record labels releasing new-age music, while new-age and adult-alternative programs were carried on hundreds of commercial and college radio stations in the U.S., and over 40 distributors were selling new-age music through mail-order catalogs.
In the 1990s many small labels of new-age style music emerged in Japan, but for this kind of instrumental music the terms "relaxing" or "healing" music were more popular. Enigma's Sadeness (Part I) became an international hit, reaching number one in 24 countries including UK, also number five on the US Billboard Hot 100, selling over 5 million worldwide. At the time Holland was the home of two leading European new-age labels—Oreade and Narada Media. Oreade reported that in 1997 the latest trend was "angelic" music, while from Narada Media predicted that the genre will develop in the direction of world music (with Celtic, Irish and African influences). In 1995 some "new-age" composers like Kitarō, Suzanne Ciani and Patrick O'Hearn moved from major to independent record labels due to lack of promotion, diminishing sales or limited freedom of creativity.
In 2001 Windham Hill celebrated its 25th anniversary, Narada and Higher Octave Music continued to move into world and ethno-techno music, and Hearts of Space Records were bought by Valley Entertainment. Enya's "Only Time" peaked at #10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, while the album A Day Without Rain at #2 on the Billboard 200, being the number one new-age artist of the year.
The category he seems least comfortable with is New Age, which remains a mystery to him. "Who came up with this name?" he asks. It seems to have little to do with the layers of rousing, emotional music he creates with elements of rock, classical and various international folk styles.
Ambient music is a genre of music that emphasizes tone and atmosphere over traditional musical structure or rhythm. A form of slow instrumental music, it uses repetitive, but gentle, soothing sound patterns that can be described as sonic wallpaper to complement or alter one’s space and to generate a sense of calmness. The genre is said to evoke an "atmospheric", "visual", or "unobtrusive" quality.Ambient music focuses on creating a mood or atmosphere through synthesizers and timbral qualities, often lacking the presence of any net composition, beat, or structured melody. It uses textural layers of sound without prevalent musical tropes, rewarding both passive and active listening. Nature soundscapes are usually included, and the sounds of acoustic instruments such as the piano, strings and flute, among others, may be emulated through a synthesizer. According to Brian Eno, one of its pioneers, "Ambient music must be able to accommodate many levels of listening attention without enforcing one in particular; it must be as ignorable as it is interesting."The genre originated in the United Kingdom in the 1960s and 1970s, when new musical instruments were being introduced to a wider market, such as the synthesizer. Eno named and popularized ambient music in 1978 with his album Ambient 1: Music for Airports. It saw a revival towards the late 1980s with the prominence of house and techno music, growing a cult following by the 1990s. Ambient music may have elements of new-age music and drone music, as some works may use sustained or repeated notes.Ambient music did not achieve large commercial success, being criticized as having a "boring" and "over-intellectual" sound. Nevertheless, it has attained a certain degree of acclaim throughout the years, especially in the Internet age. Due to its relatively open style, ambient music often takes influences from many other genres, ranging from classical, avant-garde music, folk, jazz, and world music, amongst others.American Gramaphone
American Gramaphone is an American record company based in Omaha, Nebraska. It is best known for releasing Davis' new age solo and Mannheim Steamroller albums.Cusco (band)
Cusco was a German cross-cultural new-age music band named after the Peruvian city of Cusco, which was once the capital of the Inca Empire. The band's music contains influences from music around the world, with an emphasis on South American flute sounds and melodies. Cusco's melodic and energetic music is a fusion of modern and ethnic styles with influences from classical music and rock music sensibilities. Most of the ethnic instruments were keyboard-generated, giving the sound of real quality.
The band was led by founders Michael Holm (Lothar Bernhard Walter; 1943–) and Kristian Schultze (1945–2011). Michael Holm, already a successful vocal artist, sought to make a musical tribute to ancient cultures. He and Kristian Schultze, formerly a member of the jazz band Passport, shared musical and historical interests. In 1979, they formed Cusco, and released their first album in 1980. They eventually signed with Higher Octave Music, releasing their first album on that label in 1988. Their albums consistently reached very high peaks on the instrumental/new age music sales charts. They were nominated for a Grammy award three times.Cusco's music is frequently used as pre-show background music in Epcot prior to IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth, and has been used as bumper music for the popular American syndicated radio program Coast to Coast AM, as well as several television advertisements, including a Bud Ice beer commercial. Additionally, Cusco composed and performed symphonic new age music for the German television special Sielmann 2000. Until his death in 2011, Schultze resided in Weilheim in Oberbayern, Germany; Holm still lives there.Enigma (German band)
Enigma is a German musical project founded in 1990 by Romanian-German musician and producer Michael Cretu. Cretu had released several solo records, collaborated with various artists, and produced albums for his then wife, German pop singer Sandra, before he conceived the idea of a New Age, Worldbeat project. He recorded the first Enigma studio album, MCMXC a.D. (1990), with contributions from David Fairstein and Frank Peterson. The album remains Enigma's biggest, helped by the international hit single, "Sadeness (Part I)", which sold 12 million units alone. According to Cretu, the inspiration for the creation of the project came from his desire to make a kind of music that did not obey "the old rules and habits" and presented a new form of artistic expression with mystic and experimental components.Enigma followed MCMXC a.D. with a series of albums that involved several musicians and producers working with Cretu. The first was The Cross of Changes (1993), which incorporated tribal and ethnic influences and sold over 8 million copies worldwide, followed by Le Roi est mort, vive le Roi! (1996), which blended together the Gregorian chants reminiscent from the first album and the strong intercultural soundscapes present in the second. Enigma's fourth album The Screen Behind the Mirror (2000) started a slight departure from the previous world music themes towards a heavier electronic atmosphere. This evolution culminated with Voyageur (2003), its fifth and more pop-based album, and A Posteriori (2006), a work inspired by the future collision between the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies, with distinct operatic tones and an electronic spectrum closer to Voyageur than the earlier releases. Seven Lives Many Faces (2008) followed and contained a mixture of classical and modern elements ranging from ethnic chants to rap and dubstep influences. Its eighth album, The Fall of a Rebel Angel, was released on November 2016.Enigma has sold over 8.5 million RIAA-certified albums in the US and an estimated 70 million worldwide with over 100 gold and platinum certifications. The project has also received three Grammy Award nominations.Era (musical project)
Era (styled as +eRa+, acronym for “Enminential Rhythm of the Ancestors”) is a New-Age music project by French composer Eric Lévi. They use lyrics (by Guy Protheroe) which, although similar to Greek or Latin, are, in fact, deliberately devoid of any exact meaning. Musically, the project blends Gregorian chants with modern elements and genres, especially rock, pop and electronic music.Era’s first album, Era, was released in 1997 and became a worldwide success, helped by its first single “Ameno”. It sold over 6 million copies and became the most exported French album at the time. It was followed by Era 2 in 2000 and The Mass in 2003. In 2008 the project saw a significant departure from its previous themes and presented a more electronic soundscape with Arabic influences in its fourth album, Reborn. In the following two years, Era released Classics and Classics 2, which consisted in contemporary reinterpretations of classical works by Johann Sebastian Bach, Giuseppe Verdi, Antonio Vivaldi, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, amongst others. In 2013, Era released its latest work, an album in collaboration with French singer and actress Arielle Dombasle entitled Arielle Dombasle by Era.
The project has sold more than 12 million albums.Grammy Award for Best New Age Album
The Grammy Award for Best New Age Album is presented to recording artists for quality albums in the new-age music genre at the Grammy Awards, a ceremony that was established in 1958 and originally called the Gramophone Awards. Honors in several categories are presented at the ceremony annually by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States to "honor artistic achievement, technical proficiency and overall excellence in the recording industry, without regard to album sales or chart position".Originally called the Grammy Award for Best New Age Recording, the honor was first presented to Swiss musician Andreas Vollenweider at the 29th Grammy Awards in 1987 for his album Down to the Moon. Two compilation albums featuring Windham Hill Records artists were nominated that same year. The record label was founded by William Ackerman, later an award nominee and 2005 winner for the album Returning. From 1988 to 1991 the category was known as Best New Age Performance. Since 1992 the award has been presented as Best New Age Album. Beginning in 2001, award recipients included the producers, engineers, and/or mixers associated with the nominated work in addition to the recording artists.While "new-age" music can be difficult to define, journalist Steven Rea described the genre as "music that is acoustic, electronic, jazzy, folky and incorporates classical and pop elements, Eastern and Latin influences, exotic instrumentation and environmental sound effects." According to the category description guide for the 52nd Grammy Awards, the award is presented for instrumental or vocal new-age albums "containing at least 51% playing time of newly recorded material", with seasonal recordings not being eligible. The addition of the award category reflected a "coming of age" of the music genre, though some new-age musicians dislike the term "new-age" and some of its negative connotations.As of 2015, Paul Winter holds the record for the most wins in this category, having won six times (four times as the leader of the group Paul Winter Consort). Winter is the only musician to win the award consecutively; he received an award in 1994 for Spanish Angel as a member of his ensemble and another in 1995 for Prayer for the Wild Things as a solo artist. Irish musician Enya has received four awards. Kitarō holds the record for the most nominations, with sixteen (as of 2018, with only one win (in 2001).
As of the 2018 Grammy Awards, Peter Kater has been nominated a record thirteen times and finally won his first Grammy for Dancing On Water. Between 2004 and 2018 he was nominated every year, except 2006 and holds the record from the most consecutive nominations (11 in a row).
R. Carlos Nakai is the only artist to be nominated for more than one work within the same year—for the 42nd Grammy Awards he was nominated alongside Paul Horn for Inside Monument Valley and for his own album Inner Voices. The group Tangerine Dream holds the record for the most consecutive nominations, with five between 1992 and 1996. All five volumes of Kitarō's Sacred Journey of Ku-Kai series were nominated for Best New Age Album.Gregorian (band)
Gregorian is a German band headed by Frank Peterson that performs Gregorian chant-inspired versions of modern pop and rock songs. The band features both vocal harmony and instrumental accompaniment. They competed in Unser Lied für Stockholm the German national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 with the song "Masters of Chant". They placed 5th in the first round of the public voting, missing the top 3. They gained 9.06% of the public vote.Hearts of Space
Hearts of Space is a United States weekly syndicated public radio show featuring music of a contemplative nature drawn largely from the ambient, new-age and electronic genres, while also including classical, world, Celtic, experimental, and other music selections. For many years, the show's producer and presenter, Stephen Hill, has applied the term "space music" to the music broadcast on the show, irrespective of genre. It is the longest-running radio program of its type in the world. Each episode ends with Hill gently saying, "Safe journeys, space fans... wherever you are."Higher Octave Music
Higher Octave Music is a sub-label imprint of Narada Productions. Since 2013, it is part of Universal Music Group's Capitol Music Group, which is located in Los Angeles.
Higher Octave was acquired by Virgin Records on behalf of EMI in 1997. In 2004, Higher Octave's offices in Malibu, California, were closed and the label was folded into Narada Productions at a reduced level of staffing and activity while retaining its imprint as a sub-label of Narada.Two years later, Higher Octave moved to New York along with Narada and all of its related sub-labels to become part of EMI's merging all of its adult-focused music into the Blue Note label group.High Octave has several sub-labels, such as OmTown and CyberOctave.Krautrock
Krautrock (also called kosmische Musik, German: cosmic music) is a broad genre of experimental rock that developed in Germany in the late 1960s and early 1970s among bands who blended psychedelia with electronic music and the avant-garde, as well as other influences including funk, musique concrète, jazz, and minimalism. Artists largely distanced themselves from the traditional blues influences of Anglo-American rock music, instead embracing hypnotic rhythms, tape editing techniques, and early synthesizers. Prominent groups associated with the krautrock label included Neu!, Can, Faust, Kraftwerk, Cluster, Ash Ra Tempel, Harmonia, Popol Vuh, and Amon Düül II.The term "krautrock" was coined by British music journalists in the early 1970s as a humorous umbrella label for the diverse German scene, though many so-labeled artists disliked the term. The movement was partly born out of the student movements of 1968, as German youth sought a unique countercultural identity and a form of music distinct from imported Western popular music and traditional German music. The period contributed to the development of ambient music and techno, as well as post-punk, post-rock and new-age music.Narada Productions
Narada is a record label formed in 1983 as an independent New-age music label and distributed by MCA. A fully owned subsidiary of Universal Music Group and distributed by Capitol Music Group's Blue Note Records, the label evolved through an expansion of formats to include world music, jazz, Celtic music, new flamenco, acoustic guitar, and piano genre releases.Secret Garden (duo)
Secret Garden is an Irish-Norwegian band specialized in new instrumental music, led by the duo consisting of Irish violinist and singer Fionnuala Sherry and Norwegian composer, arranger and pianist Rolf Løvland.The group has sold over 3 million albums since having won the 1995 Eurovision Song Contest, representing Norway with the composition "Nocturne".Shruti box
A shruti box (sruti box or surpeti) is an instrument, originating from the Indian subcontinent, that traditionally works on a system of bellows. It is similar to a harmonium and is used to provide a drone in a practice session or concert of Indian classical music. It is used as an accompaniment to other instruments and notably the flute. The shruti box is also used in classical singing. In classical singing, the shruti box is used to help tune the voice. The use of the shruti box has widened with the cross-cultural influences of world music and new-age music to provide a drone for many other instruments as well as vocalists.
Adjustable buttons allow tuning. Nowadays, electronic shruti boxes are commonly used, which are called shruthi pettige in Kannada, shruti petti in Tamil and Telugu and sur peti in Hindi.
Recent versions also allow for changes to be made in the tempo, and the notes such as Madhyamam, Nishadam to be played in place of the usual three notes (i.e., Lower shadjam, panchamam, and the upper shadjam).Space music
Space music, also called spacemusic, is a subgenre of new-age music and is described as "tranquil, hypnotic and moving". It is derived from ambient music and is associated with lounge music, easy listening, and elevator music.According to Stephen Hill, co-founder of a radio show called Hearts of Space, the term is used to describe music that evokes a feeling of contemplative spaciousness. Hill states that space music can range in character, the sonic texture of the music can be simple or complex, it can be instrumental or electronic, it may lack conventional melodic, harmonic, or rhythmic features, and may be less concerned with the formal compositional schemes associated with other styles of music. Hill proposes that space music can be found within a wide range of genres. Space music may have influences from western classical, world, Celtic, traditional and experimental music.Hill believes that space music can evoke a "continuum of spatial imagery and emotion", which can be beneficial for introspection, and for developing, through a practice of deep listening, an awareness of the spatiality of sound phenomenon. This type of psychonautic listening can produce a subtle trance-like state in certain individuals which can in turn lead to sensations of flying, floating, cruising, gliding, or hovering.Hill states that space music is used by some individuals for both background enhancement and foreground listening, often with headphones, to enable states of relaxation, contemplation, inspiration, and generally peaceful expansive moods; it may promote health through relaxation, atmospherics for bodywork therapies, and effectiveness of meditation. Space music appears in many film soundtracks and is commonly played in planetariums.According to Hill space music is an eclectic music produced almost exclusively by independent labels and it occupies a small niche in the marketplace, supported and enjoyed by a relatively small audience of loyal enthusiastic listeners.Standing bell
A standing bell or resting bell is an inverted bell, supported from below with the rim uppermost. Such bells are normally bowl-shaped, and exist in a wide range of sizes, from a few centimetres to a metre in diameter. They are often played by striking, but some—known as singing bowls—may also be played by rotating a mallet around the outside rim to produce a sustained musical note.
Struck bowls are used in some Buddhist religious practices to accompany periods of meditation and chanting. Struck and singing bowls are widely used for music making, meditation and relaxation, as well for personal spirituality. They have become popular with music therapists, sound healers and yoga practitioners.
Standing bells originated in China. An early form called nao took the shape of a stemmed goblet, mounted with rim uppermost, and struck on the outside with a mallet. The manufacture and use of bowls specifically for 'singing' is believed to be a modern phenomenon. Bowls that were capable of singing began to be imported to the West from around the early 1970s. Since then they have become a popular instrument in the US-originating new-age genre often marketed as 'Tibetan music'.Stephen Hill (broadcaster)
Stephen Hill is a United States producer, creator and host of the long-running Hearts of Space radio program, which features "contemporary space music" from a variety of musicians and genres. He has helped popularize the term "space music" during his tenure on the show and is an advocate for contemplative music regardless of source or genre.Urban Trad
Urban Trad is a Belgian folk music group, consisting of both Flemish and French speaking people and a close connection with Galicia.Valley Entertainment
Valley Entertainment is an American independent record label and music distributor based in New York City, United States. The company was founded in 1994 by Barney Cohen and Jon Birge. In 2001, it acquired the prestigious back catalogue of space, ambient, and new-age music from Hearts of Space Records. As of 2017, it has a catalogue of about 375 releases.Windham Hill Records
Windham Hill Records was an independent record label that specialized in instrumental acoustic music. It was founded by guitarist William Ackerman and Anne Robinson (née McGilvray) in 1976 and was popular in the 1980s and 1990s.
The label was purchased by BMG through a series of buyouts from 1992 through 1996 and is currently a subsidiary of Sony Music Entertainment after BMG's subsequent merger in 2008. Private Music, also a subsidiary of BMG, has issued some back-catalog releases under the Windham Hill Records imprint. Since the Sony merger in 2007, Windham Hill has released no new material but reissues albums and compilations as part of Sony's Legacy Recordings brand.
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