As we turned from the search of ourselves on the inside, we turned and looked upward to space. With the launch of Sputnik and the space race, we started to look to the stars and wonder what they might carry. We wondered what the transcendental inner and outer space would sound like.
German composer Robert Beyer who teamed up with Karlheinz Stockhausen in 1953 using transformers, modulators, magnetophones, etc. created the first sounds and music of space music. The first album was entitled, Stemklang (Star Sound) in 1971.
During the 1950’s, orchestra conductor Mantovani used new studio technologies to create ‘sound tapestries with innumerable strings.’ The sustained hum of reverberated violins produced creating harmonics of space music.
In the late 1960’s and 1970’s, the Grateful Dead developed a new form of improvisational space music during their jam sessions during live concerts that fans described as space music. Band member Phil Lesh released experimental space music recording, Seastones with computer music pioneer, Ned Lagin in 1975 using real time stage and studio performances of minicomputers driving real time digital to analog converters.
During the 1970’s, the term space music was applied to such artists as Vangelis, Jean-Michael Jarre, Klaus Schulze and Tangerine Dream due to the sounds of space evoked using the emerging synthesizer.
With the sounds of the synthesizer, artists slowly realized that more inspired sounds of space could be channeled through their music and create new alien worlds, etc. This in turn lead to the musicians creating long form music to create ‘floating, tranquil’ movements.
Over the years, this type of music created subgenres of Ambient music, long form ambient music, drone ambient music and Ambient music with minimalist beats.
In 1973, Anna Turner and Stephen Hill created their local public radio show, Music from the Hearts of Space. The show was syndicated nationally in 1983.
John Diliberto, Steve Pross, and Gino Wong created the radio show, Star’s End, in 1976. Frank Forest created, Musical Starstreams in 1981. John Dilibert created another national syndicated radio show, Echoes in 1989.
With the rise of national syndicated space music radio shows during the mid-80’s and onward, the explosion of space music captivated new age musicians, finding their own unique voice and sound.