History of Peaceful Radio
Peaceful Radio is a follow-up of the successful radio programme Tep Zeppi, a programme dedicated to paranormal and spiritual matters that was broadcast for many years by local radio stations in Zandvoort and Bloemendaal. Tep Zeppi came into being in 1996 when a number of programme makers came up with the idea of making a radio programme called – Zo Boven, Zo Beneden (As above, So below) – for the local radio station in Haarlem. The programme was based on interviews with experts in the field.
It was during this period that one of the programme makers, Benno Veugen, came into contact with New Age music and was immediately taken by the diverse and passionate sounds and rhythms. The music touched him deeply and moved him. He got in touch with the record labels and they sent him CDs to use in his radio show. After about 12 months the interviews had been exhausted and the programme came to consist entirely of New Age. In 1999, the programme moved to the radio station in Bloemendaal and Zandvoort under the name Tep Zeppi – later to be called Peaceful Radio in 2010.
What is New Age music?
The hustle and bustle of contemporary society and ever-increasing levels of stress have led to an unbalanced environment. We are part of that environment but are unable to change it in any meaningful manner. The balance has been lost.
Music has been around for as long as humans have walked the earth and is for many people a never-ending source of pleasure, inspiration and relaxation. New Age music adds an important dimension by working as a kind of therapeutic aid. The single most important thing about New Age music, however, is that it is simply a joy to listen to, regardless of the place or situation, or whether you are alone or in company. New Age music inspires you, and others around you, and comes in many different forms. Generally speaking one can identify three major forms of New Age: relaxing music, healing music and meditative music.
Origins of New Age music
New Age music owes it origins to the strong desire for broadening the mind. It will come as no surprise that the music originated in the 1970s, as that was a time of major change in the world of music.
The 1970s saw the birth of many new forms of music. Many of the songs from that time are still to be heard today on radio, TV or in films. The music of Queen, Boney M and Abba was, at that time, extremely innovative and proved to be the source for many other musical trends.
The 1969 musical Hair, about the hippie ideals of flower power, love, peace and sex, marked the beginning of an innovative trend that carved out a path for a different kind of music. In the early ‘70s it was difficult to provide a definition of New Age because the music was simply so diverse that it refused to be easily categorised. It was more a collective term covering a number of new, experimental and traditional styles of music.
At first, this style of music did not explode onto the scene but grew steadily to attain a position of importance. It was only in 1986 that the interest in this kind of music had become so great that the genre became interesting in a commercial sense. This led to problems, however, as much of the music released as ‘New Age’ was simply not New Age at all.
New Age music – the name
The term New Age music can be applied very broadly and seems to trace its origins back to the New Age movement of the 1960s. The world was standing at the gates to a new era and the Age of Aquarius was born. The Aquarius era is a new cycle in the spiritual development of humanity. The new Aquarius era signals a revolution in the higher consciousness of mankind.
The most important message of this new era was: see yourself as a divine, spiritual, cosmic being, be free and unhindered in your creativity and you will be able to master your own energy field. Naturally, it was those who adhered to this idea who came to admire New Age music first. Surprisingly, however, New Age music played a relatively minor role in the New Age movement.
A fully-fledged musical genre
Nevertheless, New Age music has become a music genre in its own right. It is an unconventional form of music that has moved people all over the world because it goes further than sound and harmonies alone. It is a genre that stimulates the senses at many levels and that serves as a source of inspiration for self-awareness and balance.
Composers and musicians have used those senses to try to find some kind of balance in our hectic and restless world. A balance that was already known to the ancient tribes of the jungles. In addition to relaxation and reflection, the music also engenders more harmony within society.
The significance of the name New Age music has changed and it is often used in connection with the term New World Music. One Dutch definition is relaxation music. The term esoteric music is also rather widely used. Music that helps you to activate your own consciousness. Despite all of these attempts at redefinition, it is the term New Age music that remains the most recognisable.
One of the finest characteristics of New Age Music is that it lends itself quite readily to other, less well-known instruments. Instruments used by traditional peoples can find a place in this music. New Age Music is very open to different kinds of melodies and sounds. Sounds with which we are generally unfamiliar and that appeal to our sense of togetherness.
The internet, new technological applications and new techniques have all made it increasingly easier for us to discover both contemporary music and music from the past, and music from other parts of the world. This has given rise to a renewed interest in world music. Think, for example, of Gregorian chants from the Europe of the Middle Ages, traditional Japanese classical music, the Indian sitar and the Balinese gamelan. New Age music introduces us to age-old traditional types of music that can trigger an explosion of rhythm and harmony. The kind of harmony that our world could do with today.
Sounds that we have never heard before are a source of intense sound experience. Music made with Tibetan singing bowls, the Australian didgeridoo or the drums used by the American Indians. But New Age music also has a contemporary side and is no stranger to modern and ingenious technologies. Many New Age composers use synthesisers and other electronic instruments. This spectrum also allows plenty of space for ordinary instruments. And New Age music is not shy when it comes to using that space. A space we call the universe and one in which our music plays a very important role.