Event: AMBIcon 2013
Host: Hearts of Space
When/ where: May 3-5, San Rafael, CA

Stephan HillFans of ambient music rejoice! The ultimate event commemorating all things ambient is at hand, and that includes a mix of electronic, world, new age, classical, and experimental music. If there is any name that needs no introduction to lovers of this genre it is Hearts of Space. In honor of their 40 year (yes 40!) anniversary they are celebrating in grand style with a full weekend conference of events that is sure to draw attendees from far and wide.The man behind this production as well as the originator of Hearts of Space is Stephen Hill. The original radio program was born in 1973 at KPFA-FM (public radio) in Berkeley, California and began national syndication 10 years later in 1983. So 2013 is a year of milestones — in addition to the 30 and 40-year anniversaries, in January they reached program #1,000 in the HOS series! What began purely as a labor of love eventually became the most popular contemporary music program on public radio. Over the intervening quarter century, Hearts of Space evolved into a multifaceted music and broadcast producer encompassing radio syndication, a record company, and an Internet music service.


Ambicon banner


AMBIcon 2013 will be held in the beautiful rolling hills of Marin County, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge. The weekend, which kicks off with an opening reception on Friday evening, is organized around 4 live surround-sound concerts featuring 2 artists in each, for a total of 8 full-length performances by core Hearts of Space musicians. On Saturday, an artist panel discussion and Q&A session will be presented and moderated by Stephen Hill. On Sunday, a special 2-hour presentation by English music writer Mark Prendergast, author of The Ambient Century. The concert schedule is as follows:


Saturday afternoon: Jeff Pearce and Robert Rich

Saturday evening: Tim Story and Michael Stearns

Sunday afternoon: Stephan Micus and Steve Roach

Sunday evening: Hans Christian and Stellamara

(Click these links for info on each performer)


This is an amazing and diverse lineup of stellar artists. Unlike some genres of music, many ambient artists do not tour as much, so opportunities to see them in concert are rare. In my 30 years as a new age music journalist, I’ve never had a chance to see most of these artists in person, let alone all of them in one place! These are seminal figures in this genre of music and it is no overstatement to say that this could be a once in a lifetime experience. And to make the event even more enticing, as of this writing, new lower priced ticket options have just been announced. See the Hearts of Space website for details. Attendees from out of town are encouraged to book extra time for their trip to enjoy the splendid scenery and multitude of attractions that the San Francisco Bay area has to offer at this beautiful time of year.


I have been reading about this event on various websites and blogs and I’m impressed with how much buzz there is and how far people are traveling to attend AMBIcon. Fans are excited not only for the incredible concerts, but also to meet the artists, fellow listeners, other ambient musicians, and the HOS staff: Stephen Hill, Leyla Hill, Joseph Jacobs, Steve Davis and Sheila Gerzoff. All in all, I’m sure this is an event that will be incredible in the moment, as well as for the memories it will create.


Further info can be found at these links:

MAIN AMBIcon INFORMATION PAGE : http://ambicon.hos.com

FULL CONFERENCE TICKETS PAGE : http://heartsofspace.bpt.me/

FOUR CONCERTS TICKETS ON ONE PAGE : http://ambientmasters.bpt.me/

JEFF PEARCE/ROBERT RICH CONCERT TICKETS  : http://ambiconcert1.brownpapertickets.com/

TIM STORY/MICHAEL STEARNS CONCERT TICKETS : http://ambiconcert2.brownpapertickets.com/

STEPHAN MICUS/STEVE ROACH CONCERT TICKETS: http://ambiconcert3.brownpapertickets.com/

STELLAMARA/HANS CHRISTIAN “DEEP WORLD” CONCERT TICKETS:  http://ambiconcert4.brownpapertickets.com/



Ambicon poster