StillStream’s Tenth

Stillstream-logo-1800x360StillStream​ is ten years old this year, and we’re celebrating by honoring the artistic efforts of the guy who made it all possible: Palancar​ (aka Darrell Burgan​), who founded the station and managed to persuade a bunch of ambient artists that this would be a good thing.

Ten years later, it still is.

So this week, we hear music by Palancar, as well as music from the netlabel he founded, earthMANTRA.

The Hundredth Mantra (2009, earthMANTRA)

  • “Grandmother of the Dawn” – Palancar
  • “One Prayer, One Hundred Answers” – Phillip Wilkerson​
  • “Octopoda” – Musir von Vidalia
  • “Serenity” – Desert Mystic
  • “Rainmaker” – Altus (Canada)​
  • “Earth Psalm” – Lucette Bourdin​
  • “Cinema Dawn Scope” – Tone Ghost Ether
  • “Five Dozen Centuries” – Spheruleus
  • “Gentle Gods” – Michael Sandler
  • “Lovers in the Deep” – Alex Tiuniaev​

Still – Chris Russell​ (2015, earthMANTRA)

  • “Opacity”
  • “Placid”

Counting Raindrops – Palancar (2014, earthMANTRA)

  • “Harmonic Motion”
  • “The Child Ephemeral”
  • “Psalm”
  • “The Rain is Full of Ghosts Tonight”
  • “Headwaters”
  • “Réadú”
  • “Counting Raindrops”

==

When we were planning this program, we reached out to Darrell Burgan and asked him to share some thoughts with us on the tenth anniversary. Here’s what he wrote:

The passage of time. Sometimes a person gets so caught up in the daily grind that when you finally do come up for air and take a look around, you realize that years have gone by. The paint on the outside of the house, once brand new, is peeling. The lines around your eyes are breeding like bunnies. The dog, once a playful puppy, doesn’t walk so well any longer. Your children aren’t babies any more. In this case, exactly ten years have passed, and indeed one of my children is all grown up, moved out of the house, and is now living a wonderful independent life of its own.

I’m talking about StillStream, of course. A whole decade has flown by since StillStream began with that first tentative broadcast back on March 1, 2005. In those days, the repository had just a few artists in it and I was desperately flailing about trying to get folks interested in what I was trying to do. But it all came together somehow. Live programs started up. More and more artists gave permission for their music to be played. A tight knit community formed. Listenership grew. We found a way to get Apple to list StillStream as one of the iTunes radio stations, which instantly grew the station into one of the major ambient sources on the net. And then came the day I realized that I couldn’t do it all myself anymore, and it was time to give the station to people who could take it to the next level. And indeed they did. Now StillStream is such a cool place, so much great music and such great community, much more than I ever could have done myself.

Am I wrong to take pride in all the work that has been done since I turned over the reins of the station? Maybe it’s wrong, but I am proud. Like a parent who enjoys telling people about all the wonderful things their child has done now that they are out on their own, I look at StillStream and all I can think is “wow, look at where this little idea has gone”. Over the years, I have become just another loyal StillStream listener, and I couldn’t be happier about it.

The best thing about the journey has been the people. I met so many artists, made so many friends, made music with so many new folks. All the goals I had for the station were exceeded in so many ways. And it all happened organically. I put an awful lot of effort into it, to be sure, but that was all back room stuff. Auditioning music, fixing bugs in the web site, cursing at the streaming software when it crashed, yadda yadda yadda. But all the important things, the community, the interest by artists, the listenership, the promotion of the genre, these things all happened almost despite my ham-handed attempts to boot strap the station. The ambient community itself built StillStream, and I like to think that it is that same community that keeps StillStream fresh and alive.

Whatever it is, I’m so glad I was a part of it. I’m grateful to all the people who touched my life during the past ten years, and I am grateful to the folks who have taken that little idea and turned it into something so tremendous. May there be many more such anniversaries for StillStream. I certainly will be listening and loving the whole thing.

Thank you, Darrell, from the bottom of our hearts. We wouldn’t be here without you.

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