Radio Mystic and Winterscapes Radio have been streaming online since mid-2004 – that’s over 11 years – and I personally have been a part of the Internet Radio movement since 1999, over 16 years. Wow. Seeing that in writing really makes me feel … like an old fart.
The internet radio experience has been a wild and exhilarating ride – and I’m thankful I’ve been able to be part of it for such a long time. But – you knew that was coming, right? – after 16 years, it’s finally time to move on from the internet radio space and forward into a different, but related, direction: PODCASTING.
I came to the new age genres ironically while working as a DJ at a pop-urban radio station that – for reasons I still can’t explain – actually played a track from ENYA for a few weeks in the late 80’s! I was curious, so I snuck into a local record store and purchased (gasp!) her complete album. If I had had a brown paper sack to carry it out in I would’ve used it – it was quite an embarrassing situation for a hit radio guy like me!
After that, I grew to know and enjoy labels like Narada and Windham Hill, devouring as much music as my wallet could handle! Around that time I had been experimenting with internet radio, creating stations for myself so that I’d have something to listen to in my office during the day. My first “official” station was brought to life to complement a medieval/new age website I used to run, and this music fit the theme perfectly. Internet radio provided the avenue to share all of this amazing music with like-minded people around the world, and I jumped in with both feet and had a blast!
Finally, 11 years ago in 2003, I re-branded that little internet station into what was then known as Mystic Soundscapes Internet Radio, playing much of the new age, Celtic and ambient music I had grown to enjoy personally.
Winterscapes Radio came online shortly after, filling the holidays with a unique mix of new age instrumental Christmas and seasonal music – not just the classics, but original works that cultivated a warm, inviting holiday “feel”. That’s what’s been so important to me in working with these stations day to day: making sure that they “felt” right – that they created an atmosphere, an ambience of reflection, warmth, contemplation.
In 2005, I entered the world of podcasting and created “E*SCAPES” – a supplement to Mystic Soundscapes that featured interviews with many of the musicians whose work was featured on the station. What a blast that was! Being able to interact with so many talented artists – I was like a geeky fan-boy in a candy store.
As time went on, Mystic Soundscapes evolved into Radio Mystic, the music leaning towards a more ambient-electronic sound. Two more music podcasts followed: X3 and Atmospheres, both of which became pretty popular in their own rights, playing ambient and new age music respectively. Finally, this past year I created Atmospheres Radio to bring back a lot of the early new age stuff that – as time passed – had gone missing from Radio Mystic.
The popularity of the stations has continued to grow over the years, and for that I’m very thankful. It’s a great feeling to know that so many other enthusiasts around the world have enjoyed these musical “monsters” that I’ve created!
All that being said – and I apologize for the diversion into all that boring background history! – ten years is a long time, and Life has this funny way of constantly moving forward, even when sometimes we’d like to keep it standing still! As I write this I’m faced with opportunities in several industries that I find I can no longer ignore. My side businesses have grown now to a point where I must give them the time and attention they need in order to realize the success I’ve envisioned for them from the start. Unfortunately, that requires some “give and take” where my other pursuits – especially internet radio – are concerned.
Before I get into the details, know that our podcasts WILL continue – in fact I’m already brainstorming a few new podcast possibilities here on our website. If you’re a musician, you can still submit music for consideration in our podcasts by visiting our submissions page as usual.
RadioMystic.com and our social networks will continue to be my outlet for creative ideas, and that transition began a couple of months ago with the new website and focus on our podcast offerings. You’ll find current episodes of our X3 Ambient show here, as well as archives of our Atmospheres new age and even older E*SCAPES episodes, so I hope you’ll take the time to listen in and enjoy the offerings on our site.
As far as our streaming internet stations go, Radio Mystic, Atmospheres and Winterscapes will all continue to broadcast until Wednesday December 31, 2014 at a time to be determined – after which the station broadcasts will end. I’m still searching for the final track that will play across all three of those stations at once, so if anyone has any ideas feel free to fire ’em over!
THANK YOU to each and every one of you, our listeners, for your dedication and loyalty over the years. THANK YOU to the incredible musicians who’ve not only supported these stations from the beginning but who so generously continue to give of themselves – through their music – to all of us. I’m honored that so many of you – listeners and artists alike – have become close personal friends, and I hope that friendship will continue as I move forward to tackle new pursuits.
Though I’m saddened to be leaving the internet radio industry in which I’ve spent the last 15 years of my life, I’m also excited for what’s coming next. I hope you’ll stay with us as Radio Mystic moves forward into podcasting and more!