New Age music is defined by the feeling it produces rather than the instruments and genre used in its creation, which may be acoustic, electronic, or a mixture of both. It primarily finds its inspiration in nature and, in this particular instance, in caves.
This New Age music section is especially interesting and exciting because a great many of these compositions were inspired by real caves that the musicians had visited themselves in their quest for renewal with nature. These caves can be identified and they are found to stretch over the six continents, including Antarctica, although Europe and the United States predominate.
What makes this section especially exciting is that many of these musicians consecrate an entire album to one cave, a veritable opus, where all the selections on the album were inspired by different aspects of that cave, usually a show cave. Then there are other compositions inspired by highly unusual wild caves: ice caves, glacier caves, lava tubes, coral reef caves, and hot springs caves. One whole album is directly related to actual cave exploration: the cave diving music composed by British cave diver Steve Thomas. These caves can all be identified and they are found to stretch over the seven continents, including the Antarctic, although Europe and the United States predominate.
“New Age music with an ambient sound that has the explicit purpose of aiding meditation and relaxation, or aiding and enabling various alternative spiritual practices, such as alternative healing, yoga practice, meditation, and so on… To be useful for meditation music needs to have repetitive dynamic and texture, without sudden loud chords and improvisation which could disturb the meditator.” (Anon. 2017) "Such music is founded, not upon emotional catharsis, but upon serene state of mind related to meditation, psycho-spiritual evolution, inner harmony, global peace and enlightened, higher consciousness." (Underwood 1986)
However, a great deal of the New Age music included here is performed on synthesizers which, in my opinion, lack the warmth and emotion that can be conveyed by acoustical instruments. The ideas are there and occasionally the improvisational abilities shine, but all you need to do is listen to a few of the acoustic piano pieces here to immediately appreciate the difference. There are also some very fine New Age flute pieces. I have always felt that the piano and the flute are two instruments admirably suited to creating cave music.
All entries here have been grouped by country of release, which in most cases is the country of the composer. However, for some entries the real natural cave that inspired the music is not located in the same country where the record was released; for these, the cave-inspired music entry is placed in the country where that cave is located.
Each country has been listed alphabetically. And each entry for that country was given a code number – starting with “NA” meaning New Age music followed by the country code established by the ISO (International Organization for Standardization), based on lists published by the United Nations.
The list of abbreviations used for each entry will be found in the “Abbreviations” tab on the bottom left.