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Aomusic bangalore.jpg
Aomusic performance at the
Habba Festival, Bangalore, India – Dec. 2004
Background information
Also known as AO, AO Music
Origin USA
Genres World, worldbeat, ethnic fusion, world fusion, Afrobeat, new age, acoustic
Years active 1996–present
Labels Arcturian Gate
Website Official website
Members Miriam Stockley
Richard Gannaway
Jay Oliver

Aomusic (common pseudonyms AO Music, AO) is a pan-cultural world/new age musical group, known for an exotic blend of ethnic texture, rhythmic energy and ambient harmony. Their compositions feature melodic refrains sung by Miriam Stockley and children's choral ensembles from around the globe. Song lyrics are a hybrid mixture of English, ancient languages and made-up phonetics, with no allegiance to a particular ethnicity, thereby lending to a more universal impression. The three core members are founder Richard Gannaway, Miriam Stockley and Jay Oliver, augmented by an international cast of contributing artists. The group records on their own indie label Arcturian Gate using a blend of live acoustic instruments and digital samples that cover a broad range of world indigeny mixed with contemporary elements.[1][2] With the release of "Hokulea" in 2013 Aomusic officially established themselves as 100% non-profit through AO Foundation International, supporting several charitable organizations for disadvantaged children worldwide.[3] Aomusic members Oliver and Stockley have previously worked with and are credited in the works of Sheryl Crow, The Eagles, Peabo Bryson, Chick Corea, the Dave Weckl Band, Tina Turner, Jimmy Buffett, Wynona Judd, Glenn Frey, Chaka Khan, George Michael, Freddie Mercury, Deniece Williams, Mike Oldfield, Brian May, David Arkenstone, and The Lord of the Rings.[4][5][6]

Formation and history[edit]

In 1996 Richard Gannaway (stringed instruments, vocals) of Tiger & the Helix invited pop-jazz keyboardist Jay Oliver of the Dave Weckl Band to help him produce a hybrid world music sound involving an international choir of children.[4][5] The two began to construct song material using textures from a diverse ethnic instrument sample library. These sessions culminated in the first Aomusic album "Grow Wild", released in 2000 on Arcturian Gate and promoted on NPR radio across North America.[7]

In 2001 the group traveled throughout Southeast Asia and caught the attention of the Beijing Olympic Committee who asked them to compose theme music for the 2008 Summer Olympics.[8] For that purpose Gannaway and Oliver enlisted Miriam Stockley of Karl Jenkins multi-platinum "Adiemus" project to sing the chorus of "On Jai Ya" along with Beijing's renowned CRC Children's Choir, which is how Stockley became involved with Aomusic.[9]

In 2004 Bollywood film score composer Sandeep Chowta of Mumbai joined Aomusic as a contributing producer, bringing fresh resources to the group. Chowta also arranged the first live Aomusic concert at the Habba Festival in Bangalore, India in 2004.

In 2008 the Aomusic song ("On Jai Ya") was not selected as the official 2008 Olympic theme piece and was released in 2009 to an international audience on the group's second album "Twirl". With Miriam Stockley as a core member of the group, they became exposed to a broader fanbase.[8][10] "Twirl" debuted on Zone Music Reporter's album charts at No. 5.[11][12]

In June 2009 Gannaway, Stockley and Oliver composed and produced the song "Gaiya Lo Mane" as theme music for the Give Kids the World Foundation.[13]

In Feb 2011 Aomusic released their third album "...and Love Rages on!" on Arcturian Gate, featuring children's choral ensembles from Beijing, Tbilisi, Johannesburg, Asheville and Orlando.[14] The album charted at No. 2 internationally and was awarded Zone Music Reporter's "Best World Album of 2011".[15][16]

With the release of "...and Love Rages on!" Aomusic aligned with FirstGiving of the GlobalGiving charitable network to build sustainable villages for the children of Haiti displaced by a 2010 earthquake. The "AO 4 Haiiti" campaign represented the first association of its kind for the group's non-profit affiliate AO Foundation International.[17]

In March 2013 Arcturian Gate released Aomusic's fourth album "Hokulea" which charted No. 3 internationally and sustained top 20 ranking (Zone Music Reporter) for five consecutive months.[18][19]

Band members[edit]

Jay Oliver, Miriam Stockley and Richard Gannaway of Aomusic – "Twirl" recording sessions – Los Angeles, CA – June 2, 2008

Regular Contributing Artists:

Choral Ensembles:

Guest Artists:



External links[edit]