I remember thinking that new age was for boring old folks… and I still do. I really do like some of the music but to me it is all pastel with no dissonance and resolve. Another way of explaining it would be someone talking but not saying much of anything. They are just rambling instead of making a point and that is what new age is for the most part to me. As Frank Zappa would say, “We need to put eyebrows on it.”
What new age is great for is for relaxing, meditating and is written usually in a major key which conveys positivity. Its origins can be rooted in folk, classical and synthesizer based rock and roll like early Pink Floyd. Steve Halpern’s album Spectrum Suite is credited as the beginnings of new age in 1975. Some new age music also finds themselves in other genres too including ambient music, classical music, electronic, world and jazz.
A lot of artists over the years have influenced and contributed to new age starting with bands like Tangerine Dream, Can, Brian Eno, Robert Fripp, Cluster, Terry Riley and many others. Even jazz musicians have contributed including Keith Jarrett and Pat Metheny. Over the years though musicians like William Ackerman, George Winston, Michael Hedges and Alex Di Grassi came into the fold. Later on musicians like Enya, Kitaro and John Tesh became household names.
To me New Age is missing the spice, the stop and smell the flowers thoughtfulness and instead is a politically correct way to relax.