Hearts of Space producer Stephen Hill's career seemed to take a sharp detour in the early 70s when he abandoned his architectural career and opened a recording studio.
He developed his audio engineering skills under the tutelage of Bob Olhsson, a professional recording engineer formerly with Motown records. Hill describes this period as "five years of constant reading, research, and hands-on experimentation."
As a staff engineer at KQED-FM radio (San Francisco 1971-75) and as an independent producer (1973 - present), Hill produced thousands of live and recorded radio broadcasts, ranging from provocative interviews with leading thinkers to powerful contemporary music experiences.
While working at KQED in the early '70s, Hill became fascinated by similarities he found between certain traditional musics and the synthesized sounds emerging from the first wave of experimental electronic composers. Here was a new kind of imagery in music that offered compelling psychological experiences by creating a sonic atmosphere for concentration and mental expansion. Hill adopted the term "spacemusic" to describe the new genre.
Hearts of Space grew out of former architect Stephen Hill's fascination with space-creating, ambient and contemplative music. Beginning in 1973, Hill hosted a weekly late-night radio program on KPFA-FM in the San Francisco Bay area. What began purely as a labor of love eventually became the most popular contemporary music program on public radio.
In January 1983, after ten years evolution as a local program, Hearts of Space began national syndication to 35 non-commercial public radio stations via the NPR satellite system. Now in its 28th year of national syndication, a one hour program airs weekly on over 200 NPR affiliate stations.