New Age Music Pioneer Iasos Dead At 77

New Age Music Pioneer Iasos Dead At 77

Iasos, one of the founding fathers of new age music, has died. As Pitchfork reports, Iasos’ collaborator and protege Carlos Niño shared the news that he passed away on Saturday. No cause of death has been reported. Iasos was 77.

Iasos was born in Greek and raised mostly in upstate New York. He learned piano and flute as a child before studying cultural anthropology at Cornell, then moved to Marin County, California. After playing in smooth jazz bands as a young man, he took inspiration from impressionist composers and psychedelic rockers, coming up with a spiritual and formless style of instrumental music on his 1975 debut Inter-Dimensional Music Through Iasos. In the same year, he played flute on his friend Steven Halperin’s Spectrum Suite. Those two albums essentially laid the foundation for the genre that would be known as new age.

Iasos’ music was mostly built around soft, pillowy electronic sounds, often captured on processed acoustic instruments, rather than synths. It prized feeling over melody or structure. He referred to his sound as “paradise music” and claimed that he was channeling sounds from different dimensions or planes of existence. According to a 1989 study on near-death experiences, people who’d been close to death said that Iasos’ 1978 track “The Angels Of Comfort” sounded much like the music they’d heard during those experiences.

Iasos released dozens of albums in his career, and he stayed active until the end of his life. “The Garden of Salathooslia,” his most recent release, came out just a few months ago. Below, check out some of Iasos’ work.

more from News