Paul Horn

A pioneering figure in world music since the 1960's, Paul Horn's repertoire has ranged from contemporary jazz to neo classical to deep ambient. He's an incurable traveller and was one of the first generation of Western musicians to embrace indigenous sounds wherever he found them.

artist:
Paul Horn

country of origin:
USA

style(s):
Ethno ambient, world music, jazz

decades active:
60's - 10's

essential releases:

  • Inside The Taj Mahal (1969, Kuckuck)
  • Inside The Great Pyramid (1976, Kuckuck)
  • Nomad: Selected Pieces 1976-88 (1990, Kuckuck)

Reviewed by Mike G

A pioneering figure in world music since the 1960's, Paul Horn's repertoire has ranged from contemporary jazz to neo classical to deep ambient. He's an incurable traveller and was one of the first generation of Western musicians to embrace indigenous sounds wherever he found them. Still active today, he's regarded by many fans as one of the world's great flautists. He is also the subject of rather spurious claims by his publicity machine that he's "the father of new age music". That's not accurate, even though his more meditative music has certainly found favour with new age audiences.

These three excellent album releases are from his fertile period with the Celestial Harmonies label imprint Kuckuck in the 70's and 80's and they cover the full range of his explorations in ambient and downtempo. His playing is refreshingly intuitive and often subtly coloured by various non-Western traditions. On his most famous album Inside The Taj Mahal (1969) his meditative flute is nurtured by the remarkable natural acoustics of the building’s central dome. Similarly, Inside The Great Pyramid (1976) sees Horn using the natural resonance of several chambers in the famous Egyptian monument to create beautiful, other-worldly wind music. Nomad: Selected Pieces 1976-88 (1990) is an extensive and intelligently compiled best-of collection.

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