Carla Bley at 85

Source: WBGO.

When Carla Bley hitchhiked from Oakland, Calif. to New York City at age 17, it was one in a series of renegade actions that have defined an irrefutably original career. She found her way to Birdland, landing a job as a cigarette girl — and a perfect perch to absorb musical lessons from the likes of Count Basie, Miles Davis and Horace Silver.

Largely self-taught as a pianist (having learned the basics from her father), Carla was first and foremost a composer. She began to earn a reputation when her pieces turned up on albums by equally free-thinking artists like George Russell, Gary Burton and Jimmy Giuffre, along with her first husband, pianist Paul Bley. She then helped organize an avant-garde collective called the Jazz Composers Guild with another partner, Michael Mantler.

Echoes Podcast: Sphongle and Kraftwerk 

Source: Echoes.

A double dose of electronic sound in the Echoes Podcast from Man-Machines to Mind-Blowing. We get Shpongled when we talk to Simon Posford and Raja Ram of the psychedelic electronic duo, Shpongle. They talk about their hallucinogenic sound and their deep music backgrounds that inform their kinetic brew which goes all the way back to to the early 60s with Lennie Tristano and Quintessence and the Mid-1990s with Hallucingen. There latest release is the ep, Carnival of Peculiarities. It’s a wild trip. Take it when we Shpongelize you.

It’s the 19th Icon of Echoes, Kraftwerk. The groundbreaking German electronic band celebrated their 50th Anniversary last year and now Echoes celebrates them as one of 30 Icons. We’ll hear from Kraftwerk’s Ralf Hutter as well as Moby, Jean-Michel Jarre, Orbital and Conny Plank, looking back on a band that altered the course of music for decades. They didn’t play conventional instruments, the didn’t act like rock stars, and they embodied our most forward looking impulses at the time while extolling the interface of man and machine., Travel down the Autobahn with Kraftwerk on Echoes.

SUSS & Robert Rich Profiled

Source: Echoes.

In the Echoes Podcast we suss it out with SUSS, the tripped-out band that merges country, ambient, and psychedelic music. They discuss whether they are ambient Americana or psychedelic country. It’s an important distinction that we bend our minds over. Their latest album is Promise. We also delve into Numün, a spaced out side project from one member and their debut, Voyage au Soleil.

Then, it’s the 9th Icon of Echoes: Robert Rich. Robert Rich is an electronic pioneer of dreamy, sometimes dark, and always evolving electronic dreamscapes. It’s hard to imagine Echoes over the last 3 decades without Robert Rich. He was on the first Echoes Living Room Concert CD, A Door In the Air and has played live on the show many times. We’ll survey his career from sleep concerts to glurp and beyond in the Echoes Podcast.

Echoes Podcast: Steve Reich 

Source: Echoes.

There are two musicians who are always cited in virtually every interview on Echoes. one of them is Brian Eno, the number one Icon of Echoes. The other one is Steve Reich. And Brian Eno is influenced by him. The 8th Icon of Echoes is Steve Reich. The minimalist composer’s Music for 18 Musicians is the holy grail for many neo-classical, ambient chamber and electronic musicians. We look across Reich’s career in a profile in Echoes Podcast.

Echoes Podcast: Marya Stark/Klaus Schulze 

Source: Echoes.

Marya Stark is a singer-songwriter with a more celestial approach to lyrics. Last year she released the album, Sapphire, produced with Joshua Penman of Akara. You can hear influences from Loreena McKennitt to Sheila Chandra in her work which includes “Womb Healing” and her “mystical dark pop.”

The 7th of 30 Icons of Echoes, German electronic pioneer, Klaus Schulze. He is so deep in the DNA of Echoes that you could never untangle it. We’ll hear interviews with Schulze talking about his career from Tangerine Dream to Timewind and beyond, from psychedelics to cocaine and beyond. It will be an All Klaus Schulze show with several of his epic works

Echoes Podcast: Kevin Keller, David Darling, Vangelis 

Source: Echoes.

In the Echoes Podcast we hear an interview with Kevin Keller, we remember cellist David Darling,
and celebrate the sixth Icon of Echoes, Vangelis.

Ambient chamber music composer Kevin Keller had a scare last year when he went in for heart surgery. It made him contemplate life and what happens when they stop your heart. That contemplation turned into his haunting, beautiful album, The Front Porch of Heaven. Sit on a rocking chair with Kevin Keller and hear life pass before your ears on Echoes from PRX.

The world is missing a unique sound. Cellist David Darling left the planet on January 8th. Born in Elkhart, Indiana on March 4, 1941, he was 79. We remember him as a great cellist and pioneer of ambient chamber music. His albums like Cello, Eight-String Religion and Prayer for Compassion remain timeless beauties. He was also a member of the classic edition of the Paul Winter Consort. We’ll listen back to his last interview and some tracks from across his career.

The 6th of 30 Icons, Vangelis. We’ll hear a profile of the legendary Greek electronic artist who won the first Oscar for an electronic film score for Chariots of Fire. He has charted a course through electro-orchestral space for over 50 years. We’ll hear Vangelis talking about his career from Aphrodite’s Child to Mythodea and playing a spontaneous synth improvisation.

Echoes Podcast: Roedelius, Thievery Corp, & Philip Glass 

Source: Echoes.

Hans-Joachim Roedelius was a founding member of the bands Cluster and Harmonia, groups that influenced artists like David Bowie on his Berlin Trilogy and especially Brian Eno, who not only co-produced that trilogy, but went on to make music with these musicians as well. But while Roedelius began in the electronic zone, at 86, he says he’s unplugging and just playing acoustic piano. His latest album is Drauf und Dran

Then it’s the many moods of Thievery Corporation. In 2020 Thievery Corporation released their Symphonik album with orchestral renditions of some of their best known songs and Eric Hilton, one half of the duo, released a pair of ambient lounge music recordings, The Impossible Silence and Infinite Everywhere. We put together a 2020 interview with Hilton and a 2010 interview with Garza about a music born in dub and music sampling.

Finally the latest in our Icons of Echoes series. It’s a minimalist dervish when we hear the fifth Icon, Philip Glass. We’ll hear a profile of this highly influential composer, who inspired artists like Tangerine Dream, David Bowie, Brian Eno and more. He created at the dawn of minimalism with Steve Reich and Terry Riley and has gone on to score operas like Einstein on the Beach, movies like Mishima and the influential “Qatsi series” of films: Koyaanisqatsi, Powaqatsi and Naqoyqatsi. Spin in minimalist cycles with Philip Glass, an Icon of Echoes.