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Galactic Travels Monthly Special Focus Log for 2002

January's special focus was
Link to Mathias Grassow's Home Page

Mathias Grassow is a prolific composer of many genres of music, including ambient.   His deep minimalist style makes him a master of drones, creating music that is drifting and expansive in nature.   Mathias is fond of collaborations and has done projects with Jim Cole (Spectral Voices), Amir Baghiri, and Klaus Wiese (ex-Popul Vuh), to name but a few.   Look for Mathias at the next Alfa Centauri festival in The Netherlands this March.   Mathias Grassow appears on the ARYA label.   Click on the logo above to go to the Mathias Grassow home page.

Date Title Artists
01/03 Prophecy Mathias Grassow
01/10 Namakar Mathias Grassow
01/17 The Hollow Mathias Grassow & Jim Cole
01/24 Mercurius Mathias Grassow & Klaus Wiese
01/31 The Fragrance of Eternal Roses Mathias Grassow

February's special focus was
Keller & Schönwälder
Link to the Keller & Schönwälder Page

In 1994, Detlef Keller met Mario Schönwälder at Klemdag.   Within a short time, Detlef was performing with Mario (and Bas Broekhuis) in a planetarium.   Now they are veterans of many concerts, including the major festivals such as E-Live and Alfa Centauri.   And each performance is unique due to their habit of improvising more than half of their music.   They have released numerous CDs on Mario's Manikin record label to critical acclaim.   In April, they will help celebrate the tenth birthday of Manikin Records by participating in the Manikin Marathon, a 36 hour-long concert of the finest electronic music around.   Click on the photo above to go to the Detlef Keller and Mario Schönwälder fan page.

Date Title Artists
02/07 The Annazaal Tapes Broehkuis, Keller, Schönwälder, and Friends
02/14 The Reason Why Keller and Schönwälder
02/21 Drei Broekhuis, Keller, and Schönwälder
02/28 Project Inter.com Braun, Broekhuis, Keller, and Schönwälder

March's special focus was
Vir Unis
Link to the Vir Unis Page

Vir Unis (John Strate-Hootman) is a sound sculptor who uses synthesis and percussion to create electronic grooves and atmospheres.   Based in a minimalist approach to creating music, he pushes his instruments to the furthest point and beyond, weaving misty psychedelic atmospheres into the perfect alchemy of sound.   Starting with Imaginarium in 1998, Vir Unis has released quite a number of CDs of solo projects and collaborations with some of the most impressive artists in the field; Steve Roach, James Johnson, and Ma Ja Le.   Although his discography is released on an equally impressive list of labels, Vir Unis also releases some of his CDs on his own In the Bubble Music label.   Keeping the music and ideas fresh and evolving, Vir Unis is relentless in his search for new sounds, new grooves, and new worlds to create what he terms electro-psychedelic mind-body music.   Click on the photo above to go to the Vir Unis web page.

Date Artists Title Label
03/07 Vir Unis & James Johnson Perimeter In the Bubble Music
and Zero Music
03/14 Steve Roach & Vir Unis Blood Machine GreenHouse
03/21 Vir Unis Aeonian Glow GreenHouse
03/28 Vir Unis Dreams at the Edge
of Decaying Light
In the Bubble Music

April's special focus was
Saul Stokes
Link to the Saul Stokes Page

Saul Stokes builds his own synthesizers and unique controllers.   Then he multiplies their effectiveness using commercially available gear to achieve a more layered sound than otherwise would be possible.   Floating spacemusic is the result, with influences that include modern ambient and industrial.   This makes Stoke's music truely individual.   He is a proponent of live performance and feels that this is the best medium for his music.   Click on the photos above to go to the Saul Stokes web page.

Date Title Label
04/04 Zo Pilots Hypnos
04/11 A Collection of Live Recordings (artist release)
04/18 Washed in Mercury Hypnos
04/25 The Edge of the Forest (artist release)

May's special focus was
Steve Roach and vidnaObmana
Artist portrait Mark Morgan Photography vidnaObmana

Steve Roach and vidnaObmana are leading innovators in contemporary music and are highly respected as solo artists.   Yet both embrace collaborations.   Together, they form a powerhouse team that embodies the adventurous nature of their music.   Exploring sound worlds together turned out to be joyous and natural from the beginning as can be heard on The Spiritual Bonding.   With their latest CD, InnerZone, being released on Projekt and their upcoming concerts together at Projektfest and the Gathering, it seemed like an ideal time to explore this fascinating pair of musicians.   Click on the names or photos above to go to the artists' individual web pages.

Date Title Label
05/02 Well of Souls (disc 1) Projekt
05/09 Well of Souls (disc 2) Projekt
05/16 InnerZone Projekt
05/23 Live Archive Groove
05/30 Circles & Artifacts The Contemporary Harmonic

June's special focus is
Amir Baghiri
Link to Amir Baghiri's web site
Amir Baghiri is an ambient musician who lives in Germany.   His music is tribal ambient that includes field recordings and sometimes some industrial elements.   Click on the photo above to go to the artist's web page.

Date Title Label
06/06 Bluebox Collection - City Arya
06/13 Bluebox Collection - Live Arya
06/20 Bluebox Collection - Night Arya
06/27 Bluebox Collection - Sleep Arya

July's special focus is
Robert Carty
Link to the Robert Carty Web Page
Robert Carty is one of the few musicians who has been featured by a Special Focus before.   (See the September 1999 Special Focus.)   This is due to his prolific musical output and the consistent high quality of his music.   Elements of spacemusic, tribal ambient, and floating ambient are but a few of the elements Robert uses in his creations.   Click on the photo above to go to the artist's web site by radio host Eric Mystic.

Date Title
07/04 Gateway
07/11 Energy
07/18 Midnight Rainbows
07/25 Source

August's special focus was
Link to the Hemisphere Web Page
Hemisphere began with Ralf Knappe-Heinbockel as a solo act.   But in 1996, Thorsten Reinhardt joined to make Hemisphere a band.   They live in Cuxhaven, Germany.   Their music consists of dark, ambient sound structures with some percussion loops and rhythm patterns.

Hemisphere have just finished a new CD named "Music for Particle Systems."   Particle Systems is the name of a fantastic visual 3D-animation programm developped by the Swiss software-developper Andreas Kardin.   A test-version is available and is said to be an ideal visual background for Hemisphere's music.   (WDIY, Bill Fox, and Lehigh Valley Community Broadcasters Association make no claims about this software and will not be held responsible for any ill effects this software may cause.)   Combining the software with the music can have a trance-inducing effect.   Thorsten also uses this music in his profession as a neuro-therapist.

This is the second time Hemisphere were featured on Galactic Travels.   Their previous Special Focus was in April 1998.

Date Title
08/01 Intruders
08/08 Liquid Mirror
08/15 Inversion
08/22 Now
08/29 Attachment X

September's special focus was
Rudy Adrian
Link to the Rudy Adrian Web Page
New Zealander Rudy Adrian's atmospheric music is affected by the abundance of unspoiled rivers, mountains and beaches within easy reach of his home in the center of Dunedin City.   This includes coastal beaches and forests.

Rudy first started making electronic music at the Canterbury University School of Music studios and eventually taught electronic music at the University of Otago.   He does freelance music and sound design for television programs, advertisements, and short films, fulltime sound design work for a television production company, and freelance music composition.   The common thread to his music is the exploration of the sonic landscape, where melody and rhythm play a lesser role to the tones and textures created by synthesizers, wood flutes and the human voice.   Always experimental and original, Rudy's music is peaceful and listenable - similar to the idea of a film soundtrack without pictures.

Click on Rudy's photo to visit his web site.

Date Title Label
09/05 Concerts in New Zealand Quantum
09/12 Starfields Groove
09/19 Iridescence Groove
09/26 Kinetic Flow Groove

October's special focus was
Jeff Pearce
Link to the Jeff Pearce Web Page
Jeff Pearce is well known for his unique approach to the guitar, producing tones that rarely betray their origin, forming complex harmonies and timbres.   Spanning the Space, Ambient, Experimental and New Age genres, his music is deeply compelling.   With six full length CDs and tracks on several prestigious anthologies, Pearce has become the premier guitarist in the field.   An active live performer, Pearce is a two-time veteran of The Gatherings Concert Series and returns as a headliner this month.   He has also given several Living Room Concerts for the well respected nationally syndicated radio show Echoes.   Pearce's latest album, Bleed will be released by Hypnos records at the next Gathering in Philadelphia.

Click on Jeff's photo to visit his web site.

Date Title Label
10/03 The Light Beyond Hypnos
10/10 Vestiges Jeff Pearce Music
10/17 To the Shores of Heaven Hypnos
10/24 Daylight Slowly Hypnos
10/31 The Hidden Rift Ancient Sun Music

November's special focus was
Two Dutch Bands
Link to the Free System Projekt Web Page
Link to the Wave World Web Page
In October, 2001, two bands from the Netherlands visited America and were featured on the program.   This month, the spotlight fell on these two wonderful Dutch bands so you can hear their live concert work.

Free System Projekt has been to the USA twice in solo mode when Marcel Engels attended and performed at the Ricochet Dreams Gathering at Okefenokee.   Two wonderful CDs of the 2000 and 2001 events will soon to be followed up by a CD of the 2002 event.   Both CDs released feature Marcel.   In his late 2001 and 2002 concerts, Marcel was joined by Ruud Heij (of Kubusschnitt and Patchwork) and fellow Quantum label artist Frank van der Wel.   More information about FSP is in the Artist Profiles setion of the web site.

Wave World brought their multimedia show to America and stunned the audience with music and video that depict the fictitious wave world, Gonxa.   Members Gert van Santen and Harry Kessels perform the music wearing hooded robes and eerie make-up while Rolf van Slooten's video wizardry is projected for extra visual impact.

Click on the band photos to visit their respective web sites.

Date Band Title Label
11/07 Free System Projekt Atmospheric Conditions - disc 1 Quantum
11/14 Wave World Cloudseeder - disc 1 VFR
11/21 Free System Projekt Atmospheric Conditions - disc 2 Quantum
11/28 Wave World Cloudseeder - disc 2 VFR

December's special focus was
Jonn Serrie
Link to the Jonn Serrie Web Page
Jonn Serrie's name is synonymous with spacemusic.   Known for his numerous works commissioned for planetariums around the world, he has reshaped and redefined ambient space music.   In addition to his eleven albums, his body of work includes diverse projects with Lucasfilm Ltd., NASA, the United States Navy, Hayden Planetarium, Expo Seville, and CNN.   Jonn's interest in electronic music began early with piano and church organ studies, eventually leading to a position as resident synthesist at Connecticut-based Electronic Music Laboratories in the 1970's.   A fascination with space and aviation became the theme for his unique musical style.   He is an FAA licensed pilot and lives in Atlanta.

Click on the photo to visit Jonn's web site.

Date Title Label
12/05 And the Stars Go With You New World Music
12/12 Planetary Chronicles Vol. 1 Miramar
12/19 Planetary Chronicles Vol. 2 Miramar
12/26 Flightpath Miramar

Galactic Travels is designed to bring WDIY listeners hour-long soundscapes of electronic, ambient, and space music.
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