Echoes Turns 17

In our excitement about Steve Reich’s 70th Birthday we skidded right by our own. Echoes has been on the air for 17 years now. That’s not as momentous as a 70th, not as alliterative a Sweet 16, not as significant as the voting age of 18 or drinking age of 21, and has no decennial allure. Nevertheless, we have conducted more than a thousand interviews. Steve Hillage was number 1000 in May. We’ve also had nearly 500 concerts. Tristeza was number 400 last fall, and as with about 50% of them, it was recorded in a living room. We’ve traveled from Athens to Tokyo, Sao Paulo to Toronto to bring you artists and their music.
It all began in a dark, low-ceilinged basement. Multi-track tape machines were whirling, lights were dim, rather than low, an important distinction. A large 16 channel console sat on a WWII vintage table with a homemade bridge stacked with CD players and CDs. The first interview on Echoes was with Indian violinist L. Shankar and the first show featured music by Brian Eno and Ancient Future.
It’s been an increasingly delirious ride with new music competing with new technology. When we started there was no world wide web and rudimentary email, no broadband, no satellite radio. Now you can download podcasts, read the Echoes Blog, and visit Echoesspace on MySpace..
Surprisingly, there was a lot of the music you hear today: ambient, Electronica, world fusion, Native American, new acoustic, chill, finger-style guitar. It was all there on October 3rd 1989 when 60 stations launched with Echoes. We’re on 130 now and have been on over 200 stations over the course of 17 years. We’re also broadcasting on XM Radio and the internet with Echoes On-Line.
So when you tune in this week, take a moment and remember life before Echoes. We’ll remember that it’s only because of you and your support that we’re still here.

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