Hearts of Space grew out of producer Stephen Hill's fascination with space-creating, contemplative music. Beginning in the early 1970s, Hill hosted a weekly late-night radio program in the San Francisco Bay area. What began purely as a labor of love eventually became the most popular contemporary music program on public radio. Over the intervening quarter century, Hearts of Space evolved into a multifaceted production and broadcast company encompassing radio, record production, and now internet streaming.
In January 1983 after ten years evolution as a local program, Hearts of Space began national syndication to 35 non-commercial public radio stations via the NPR satellite system. Hosted by Hill and original co-producer Anna Turner, within three years the program signed its 200th station and became the most successful new music program in public radio history, as well as the most widely syndicated program of instrumental "spacemusic" — a true tastemaker in the genre.
Now in its 20th year of national syndication, a one hour program airs weekly on around 250 NPR affiliate stations, including three of the top five U.S. radio markets and a majority of the top fifty. Internet streaming began in 1999 on NetRadio and WiredPlanet, as well as on public radio station sites and matured in 2001 into a subscription service offering on-demand access to the entire Archive of programs since 1983.
From the beginning, the program's success has come from consistently high production quality and sensitive, knowledgeable music programming. The program has defined its own niche — a mix of ambient, electronic, world, new age and classical. Artists and record companies around the world recognize Hearts of Space as the original, the most widely distributed, and the premiere showcase for contemplative music, broadly defined.
Quality crafting is the keystone of the HOS experience. Each one hour show is an uninterrupted musical journey, designed to create an relaxed but concentrated ambience for moving sound experiences. Slow-paced, space-creating music from many cultures — ancient bell meditations, classical adagios, creative space jazz, and the latest electronic and acoustic ambient music are woven into a seamless sequence unified by sound, emotion, and spatial imagery.
As old as they are, contemplative sounds continue to evolve. Producer Stephen Hill says "What's now being called Ambient music is the latest chapter in the contemplative music experience. New electronic tools have created new expressive possibilities, but the coordinates of that expression remain: space-creating sound as the medium; moving, significant music as the goal."
Hearts of Space best music on the planet.