A Face In The Crowd 

ack in 1971, when he was in the fifth grade, Tony Gerber listened to Switched on Bach, an electronic album. Meanwhile, his dad, an electronics teacher, brought home a theremin. “I was captivated by the sounds,” Gerber says. A classically trained guitarist with a background in visual art and computers, Gerber now creates what’s known as “space music,” playing at planetariums and wherever else there’s a need for cosmic sounds. He’s become a self-described multimedia artist and founder of an on-demand record label, Space for Music, as well as a member of the band Spacecraft. Ambient, soothing electronic instrumental noise is the stuff of this musical genre, perhaps the smallest that Billboard recognizes. Though it goes well with staring at stars and laser shows, it’s not a soundtrack for outer space. What makes it work is “how the sound fills the space,” Gerber says. The music creates a mood and helps the listener to focus his mind. It’s also ideal as an accompaniment to studying, yoga, meditation and, perhaps most notably, sex. Gerber attended Belmont University and three other schools before dropping out to start his own art gallery. He found the key to his success not in a classroom but in the real world. “I’ve learned how to learn,” he says. Though his band Spacecraft found success landing on Hollywood’s Vanilla Sky soundtrack, Gerber dreams of a space music super group of Beatles proportion. Until then, he’s content with the niche he’s made for himself. “I’ve created my own spot for my music, albeit a small one,” Gerber says, “but it is a spot.”

—By Marie Yarbrough


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