Book review – New Age Musicians (1989)



New Age Musicians is a book published by Hal Leonard Publishing Corporation in 1989. The book contains interviews with some of our genre’s biggest names – both at the time of publication and, interestingly enough, today. It is a great read, and it is recommended to everyone who is interested in the Golden Age of New Age music.

The book contains interviews taken from various magazines (Keyboard Magazine and Guitar Player Magazine) from 1984 to 1989. Since the interviews are not made especially for the book, there is no real connection between them (other than the fact that they are included in this book). But there is a focus on notes and melodies that many musicians will find interesting.
The Golden Age
The late 1980s was the Golden Age of New Age music. Suddenly the genre was mainstream, and “everyone” bought cassettes and LPs with this new music. It was a great time to be a New Age music artist. This book – and P. J. Birosik’s book from the same time – would probably not have been released if it was not for the genre’s sudden success.
The most fascinating aspect of this collection of interviews is the great focus on technology. 1985-1990 was of course a time of big changes in this respect. Suddenly you could buy a PC for home use, which could serve the role as a complete studio. The artists could now do much of the recording themselves.
Great interviews
The interview with Tangerine Dream is great because it shows how the group, who was formed in 1967, in the 1980s had lots of history to look back at. The book also contains some very nice and funny pictures – in a very 1980s kind of way. Will Ackerman and Patrick O’Hearn look so young, while Kitaro and Edgar Froese look the same. The book has a nice, big format (for easy use of the notes I guess).
The book contains interviews with the following artists:
  • Philip Aaberg
  • Will Ackerman
  • Darol Anger and Mike Marshall
  • William Aura
  • Peter Bardens
  • Pierre Bensusan
  • Alex deGrassi
  • Mark Egan
  • Michael Hedges
  • Michael Hoenig
  • Mark Isham
  • David Qualey
  • Philippe Saisse
  • Richard Souther
  • Liz Story
  • Tangerine Dream
  • Andreas Vollenweider
  • George Winston
  • Yanni
  • Denny Zeitlin
As a collection of interviews, New Age Musicians is a great book. It is a must read for anyone who is into New Age music. It shows that the genre got mature really fast, and the importance of technology in this process.
The book is available almost for free (0,74-10 $) as a second-hand on Amazon.