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Over the years certain artists have emerged as icons of the Echoes soundscape. These are musicians who shifted the direction of music, whose work influenced a generation and usually , musicians who also tend to be articulate thinkers about their art. In this series, you'll hear features Echoes has produced on these artists, often encompassing their entire careers.

Over the last two decades, Swiss harpist Andreas Vollenweider has emerged as one of the most popular and adventurous modern instrumental composers. His electric harp has influenced a generation of musicians, and his lush melodic sound and world music touches have shaped the music of the last ten years.

Vollenweider is constantly pushing boundaries, brinigng new colors and musicians into his music from the South Africa choir Ladysmith Black Mambazo to Mongolian avant-garde singer Sainkho Namtchylak. We've been fortunate to interview Vollenweider innumerable times since the early 1980s and have him perform on Echoes twice with enchanting performances.

In this Icons of Echoes collection, the magic of Andreas Vollenweider is revealed, in four sound portraits spanning a decade of his career, and two Living Room Concerts. The first is from 1998 and the second from 2000.

Andreas Vollenweider: The Story So Far (1989)
In interviews with Vollenweider, guitarists Max Lasser and Thomas Fessler and drummer Walter Keiser we look back at the genesis of Andreas Vollenweider's sound and his concept of music as a story of self-discovery.

Andreas Vollenweider:
A Music of the World
In 1992 Andreas Vollenweider released the albums "Book of Roses" with lush, orchestral sound centered around his electric harp. He used more world music elements than ever before, but Vollenweider says these are just sound colors he uses to create his journeys. On Book of Roses those colors include Ladysmith Black Mambazo, The Bulgarian Men's Choir and flamenco guitarist Gerardo Nunez. Vollenweider talks about his album and is joined by Ladysmith Black Mambazo's Joseph Shabalala.

Andreas Vollenweider:
Deciphering Kryptos
On his 1998 album, Kryptos (Sony Classical), Swiss harpist Andreas Vollenweider created a world music symphony using full orchestra and musicians from Japan, Mongolia, South Africa and more. Andreas talked about his world music sound and the imagery that's always behind his elaborately titled compositions.

Andreas Vollenweider: Pairing Off (2000)
On his latest album, released in 2000, COSMOPOLY, Andreas Vollenweider stripped down to the basics, getting rid of elaborate orchestrations and overdubs, and focusing in on interactions with a cast of global musicians. He paired off with Bobby McFerrin, pianist Abdullah Ibrahim, singer Carly Simon and the Solis String Quartet among other. Vollenweider talks about the Swiss recordings sessions that resulted in this album and about getting down to basic musician relationships.

On the heels of his 1998 album, Kryptos, Andreas Vollenweider came to the Echoes living room and improvised music for Celtic harp, gothic harp, the Chinese cheng and the Africa Kora. Hearing Andreas play solo, you realize the purity of melody and the virtuoso musicianship that goes into his more heavily produced albums and concerts. A magical performance.

In a rare Echoes Living Room Concert before a live audience, Andreas Vollenweider brought his electro-acoustic harp and percussionist Walter Keiser in front of the Music Personnel Conference in New Orleans in February 2000. Andreas showed off his incredible virtuosity, playing music from his most recent Sony Classical album, COSMOPOLY.

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