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William Ackerman

Will Ackerman has gained prominence both as a musician and a businessman, and at least one of those occupations seems to have been unintentional. Though Ackerman has played guitar since the age of 12, when he dropped out of college it was to become a carpenter, and his first company was called Windham Hill Builders. But Ackerman composed guitar music for Stanford University theater productions, and the encouragement of friends led him to record an album of his tunes, In Search of the Turtle's Navel, in 1976. The album was surprisingly successful, and Ackerman found himself in the music business.

Since then, Ackerman has continued to record his own albums, to produce Windham Hill albums for such other artists as George Winston, Alex de Grassi, and Liz Story, and to serve in various capacities in the record company. (He stepped down as CEO in 1986; his function now primarily concerns A&R, the liaison between a record company and its artists.) Though Ackerman has long since sickened of the new age tag, threatening physical violence against anyone categorizing Windham Hill's music with the term, he had more to do with the rise of acoustic-based instrumental music as a popular form in the '70s and '80s than anyone else. ~ William Ruhlmann, Rovi
full bio

Comments

May I add "imp death of the virg spirit " my absolute favorite
Love your stuff mr Ackerman ... All my children were born to your music. Happened upon Sergio Altamira and wondered why I loved him so much... Now I know
nryan94
stunning and beautiful.a gift.
Ackerman is a rare gift to the human race. I love all of his music. Imaginary Roads is the sound track of my adult life. What a ponderous contribution to divinely inspired acoustic music - not only his own, but all of the great WH artists he made available to us through the years. Thank you Will!!
2begreen1
Love it!
Saw Will back in the 80s and he is fantastic. Plus, I love Windham Hill artists! Another great thing about instrumental s is you can really come up with some great song titles!!
keithhibbs51
First heard Will while on vacation on Kauai in 1995 . Rented a house in Haena , Our rental van had only a cassette player & I had only brought CDs. Found a cassette titled Conferring with the Moon . Curious , I put the cassette in the car player & we & travel buddies LOVED the sound . That cassette stayed in the player for all 10 days of our stay. Every time I took it out to play something else , they would say Please put that Moon music back on. Have been a fan ever since , Thanks Will !!
One of the best,around some time now. STILL PLAYING STRONGLY
candacepalmo
When I was a practicing midwife many of my families chose to play William Ackerman's music at their births. The melodies resonated with the sweeping energies in their bodies. It was an inseparable relationship of movement and music and it worked. Whenever I hear his music I always associate it with the bringing forth of new life.
I have long said that if I ever encountered a Genie who offered me three wishes, my first wish would be to play able the guitar like William Ackerman.
usmcretired2
The first time I hear William Ackerman was kind of a leap of faith for me. I was in the service and had an awakening in my life. I like and was introduced to George Winston and the Whindom Hill abel so I went in search of more. This by far was the best selection I found.
I still remember the first time I heard William Ackerman. I was doing some Christmas shopping in the early 80s when I walked into a Blown Glass Art shop. An amazing sound filled the store. As I looked around at the various pieces, one thought kept entering my mind This music is amazing. The Search for the Turtle's Navel was the only purchase I made that day.
clkell
New Age is kind of a catch all for music that does not fit into Pop, Country or Classical. William Ackerman's music is just good listening performed by an outstandingl y talented indifidual.
accounts52pa y a b l e
wonderful, relaxing music for the soul.
I always seem to find my way back to the soothing sounds of William ackerman. His style calms my soul and keeps me grounded and removes the stress. My little daughter loves him also.
talent on loan by God! Relaxing and satisfying
30 years of loving this music.
fjrsport3
Very Cool!
Ackerman is better than a glass of wine for relaxation.
dgadreau
Thank you Will Ackerman for defining acoustic guitar other than "new age."
Namaste...
I think the bio is in serious need of updating! It would appear from the written words that Will is an artist past his due date, who only had relevance in the early days of "new age," and this could NOT be farther from the truth! Today, Will produces an epic number of CDs, with a vast array of talent from his home and studio in Vermont. He continues to release his own music and appear with other artists on these CDs. Will Ackerman is still a driving force behind contemporary instrumental music a
wsucoug_fan
Love it - thanks! Very melodic!
dragonmz2
Yeah, I don't hear "New Age" when I listen to this stuff, lol. I don't understand why it would be labeled by people as such.
babsreed29
Lovely music...The kind that LASTS....Tha n k You..
beautiful:)
Fantastic... I can't wait to hear new music, but all WILL music is wonderful.
Been a fan since 1980's. It's still wonderful and I never tire of those beautiful strings.
yesitsmenow
Man, am I that old? I remember listening to William Ackerman and Windam Hill lps till the cows came home in the early '80's. My firstborn son and I spent many a night listening to this music. Wow, how ageless it is.
l.plews
I have been listening to his music since early 70's. It was wonderful while driving CA 1 along the Big Sur coast. Now I listen to it while watching the waves on the Oregon coast. So relaxing !
I discovered him while stationed in Kodiak Alaska,,, and my fav is still "Conferring With the Moon",, i wish Windham Hill was still in business ,,, i have alot the their catalog on lp.
r_lipton
bummer on the new age rap, I have been listening to him since he was giving dorm concerts at Stanford in the mid 70's, his music was redolent of a time and place, still has evocative power for me. And he promoted people such as Michael Hedges and Bolo Sete.
futurenow11
To watch his fingers move across the strings is mesmerizing. His music always takes me somewhere else. I have been listening to him for over 20 years now, and I won't stop anytime soon.
The beautiful acoustic melodies fill my clinic all day. My patients appreciates every minute of it.
sloans
I have listened to WH since the early 80s and there is nothing more relaxing than acuostic guitars and melodies that make you relax, take your worries away and see the sunnier side of life that we so often forget. More is needed by all to "enjoy the passage of time_ JT. Best thing that Will did was to creat WH! Thank you so much! SS
i could listen to will all day long
pianoguy2
I love music. I love this guy's music (and others in WH), and I also found "new age" to be unfortunate, as I am nothing of that type. Still, it made it easy to find in the stores once upon a time. Oh well. Back to my Pandora box.
I agree with Ackerman's dislike of the "New Age" label. The label has lousy connotations : crystals, Wiccan, etc. It is not the label I would pick. I like "ambient" better. But yes, it's wonderful music.
I listened to Conferring with the Moon for years, then when Ackerman came out with Hearing Voices, that truly impressed me. I can listen to this music endlessly.
Ackerman gets it right. The ideal music to listen to after a day at work. His music brings one's feet back to the warm earth. A refreshing change from the normal stuff you hear on the radio. It makes me want to sit among the trees and enjoy the sky.
stauffergal
Sipping on a cup of herbal tea, mentally going into my "nothing box" in the middle of a stressful day. This music is so relaxing. I picture myself beside a lake with lots of trees and wildlife around. Excellent music! I sing and play the piano so I really can appreciate the work that it takes to go into music.
serrin
If you ever get the chance to go sailing (or do it frequently for that matter), be sure to take along Mr. Ackerman's music. It fits together with a breezy sun dappled day like a hand in a glove. I know of no better fit musically than Mr. Ackerman's works with sailing.
I don't know if it is still the case, Mr. Ackerman does not read music. Imagine all of his wonderful works and they are all played by ear. Hard to believe. He is also the founder of Windham Hill Music. The creator of the "New Age" sound.
Circa 1976 ain't NEW age but this was, and is, MUSIC!
kimbmunk
A summers breeze, a winters chill, an autumns color ......this is the stuff of life!! beautiful music
jill307
Wait. Will Ackerman threatened physical violence against anyone calling his music "new age"??! Yikes. Geez, you think you know a guy...
I was in a music store in Dallas,tx, my home at the time, in the mid 80's, looking for something, and whatever they were playing on the system in the store, kept me from thinking, it was so beautiful, guess who, I ask, and have been a fan since, too cool.
He is without a doubt one of the best artists in the NEW AGE genre, I don't like that to read that he is "sickened" by the New Age tag, although I would agree with him if people don't see beyond his talents and he be singled out like that but there is nothing wrong with New Age, it's just so happens he is mostly known in that venue (or at least as far as my knowledge goes of his music). Artists can be so picky sometimes... :)
From the start he has been at the cutting edge of the music that strikes my heart and many others in the world he is the consummate artist.

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