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A Look Back to 1992

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I like searching the net for pieces of New Age music history. What I have for you today is something truly interesting; in April 1992 newspaper Hartford Courant did an interview with Yanni, Andreas Vollenweider and  about the New Age music term. None of them like it (of course, I might add) – but here we are, over 20 years later and it still has relevance. It goes like this:

For a brief second, flashing like a glint in a healing crystal, the New Age moniker seemed to perfectly suit the generally softer instrumental music that grew in popularity about the same time as the realm of self-actualization, spirituality and holistic harmony.

Then, a second later, the jokes began.

Part pretty pop, part mannered jazz, with occasional classical pretensions, New Age was rejected by all genres from which it borrowed, even as record stores created special sections for the largely instrumental music that is sometimes no more than “environmental” sound effects, frequently employing wind chimes. The New Age category remains, in record stores if nowhere else, even if crystals, reincarnation and harmonic convergence fell out of favor. And artists whose work fill the New Age sections are clamoring for another title.

Yanni, the Greek-born multi-instrumentalist who rides high on the New Age charts (and visits Hartford for the first time Tuesday, for a concert at Bushnell Memorial), says New Age as a term is “meaningless to music.” Speaking from his California home, Yanni says, “New Age is a spiritual definition more than a musical definition. Some musicians began by associating themselves with New Age music. Now they’ve thrown everybody in there. But it would be silly to associate with this particular music.”

Read the article here.