Chimes sing Sunday morn
J.S. Bach, Cello Suite No. 1 - Prelude
‘I always enjoyed the idea that krautrock was considered highbrow, yet New Age textures signaled something more cheesy and lowbrow,’ said Lopatin. ‘But there’s also a superficial dissolution of the ego in both New Age music and Western mysticism that I find amusing.’ Animal Collective’s Brian ‘Geologist’ Weitz agrees: ‘I think the reason there is a stigma attached to a lot of New Age music is because of the personalities associated with it and the naive optimism to their aesthetic.’
New Age music preached spirituality, environmentalism, self-evolution and the like, yet when musicians and the major record labels saw the successes that an auteur like Halpern had with his cottage industry, big money soon followed. ‘New Age music was one of the very first completely amateur-driven genres,’ said Mcgowan. ‘Yet it became commercialized around the same time as Ronald Reagan’s remaking of America in 1984, where something that started as a countercultural hippie movement was completely co-opted.’ New Age became big business, leading to subsequent Halpern releases with oddly utilitarian titles like ‘Music for Your PC’ and ‘Attracting Prosperity,’ not to mention the international success of Enya, who has sold more than 75 million records worldwide."