(Desert Mystic) Host of Ambitar
For Allen, music embodies his philosophy of mankind: many voices coming together, under one unified ideal, to create harmony.
Music stirs memories that are both welcome and unwelcome, but he listens to it all, because it reminds him of the journey that is his life.
His first taste of “cultured” music came via a birthday present from his Uncle Richard of Peter and the Wolf. That fascination continued with a growing repertoire of music from Bach, Handel, Mozart, Brahms and Tchaikovsky.
Later he was introduced to the violin, but his appreciation for the finer aspects of musical composition and technique did not start until he was given a Yamaha PSS-460 portable mini keyboard for his eleventh birthday. From then on he was interested in all aspects of music from technical to performance.
His musical journey continued with a variety of synthesizers, involvement in a school choir and even part of an a capella octet: “The Notables”.
In 2004 he joined a Yahoo! Groups mailing list called SynthSights. He joined mainly because its description read “It’s not about the gear.” The basic premise was an ongoing discussion about the creative process. One of the group members. Dr. Mike Metlay, kept mentioning Different Skies and its associated Yahoo! Groups list. He attended as an audience member and was amazed to find out it was being broadcast live over the internet.
That concert introduced him to streaming music. He used a VNC client/server application to remotely control Winamp and Shoutcast strictly for his own use, but hadn’t realized its application for internet radio stations.
That epiphany didn’t occur until he had tuned into Darrell Burgan’s net station Stillstream.com (as it was then).
Darrell was also a member of the Different Skies mailing list, and advertised his Saturday night show Blue Water Drift Dive (BWDD for short). One Saturday in 2006 he managed to tune in and liked what he heard. Darrell played a free-form ambient improvisation for roughly an hour. He was amazed that this could be done at all, let alone for an hour!
He continued to listen to BWDD and the other shows Darrell was doing (three at the time) and heard Darrell lamenting that he didn’t have more live hosts. Purely on a whim and not knowing what he was getting into, he offered to do a show. The idea of a show of ambient music featuring a guitar was born and along with it, Ambitar.
Although that’s not the end of the story, you can fast-forward to Ambitar now, where it finds its home on Mondays at 6pm Pacific. Listen to a wide selection of fabulous music, and watch out for Allen’s Kerchunkages – live music from the Axeman himself. You can also connect with Allen here.