Spacial Audio Meditation Music Australian First On Apple & Amazon Music

17 September 2022 | 3:47 pm | Staff Writer

A classic Australian album is one of the first albums for relaxation and meditation to be released in Dolby ATMOS spacial audio

A classic Australian album from the late composer Tony O'Connor has been one of the first relaxation albums to be released in the new Apple Music and Amazon Music Dolby ATMOS spacial audio format. 

The new format which was released last year across the streaming platforms allows the listener to hear music in 360 degree sound, and Tony O'Connor's 'Rainforest Magic' has been remastered for its 30th anniversary, the perfect contender for the format as its nature sounds envelope your senses. 

Rainforest Magic’ becoming the world’s first ever relaxation album re-mastered for Dolby ATMOS spatial audio as well as a new stereo remaster by Grammy-winner Darcy Proper and Ronald Prent

The album has also been released as a limited-edition double gatefold forest green vinyl, the first time any of Tony’s music has been available on wax and a 30th anniversary CD, the first time the album has been in print for many years. 

Rainforest Magic is one of Tony’s most beloved titles and it’s fitting that it is the focus of this year’s re-issue campaign,” said Tony’s wife and Studio Horizon business partner Jacqui O’Connor. “Tony was always at the head of the curve with technology when composing his music, so to be the first relaxation album in the world to take advantage of this surround sound technology would be something he would be so very happy with. The new masters stay true to Tony’s vision for the album but create a whole new soundscape that will take the listener’s experience of the album to an entirely new level.”

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For the 30th anniversary edition of the album, the team engaged Valhalla Studios in New York City to create the 7.1 surround sound mixes, using modern techniques to bring to life the beautiful nature sounds and haunting melodies of Tony’s musical vision. Darcy Proper became the first female engineer to win a Grammy for Best Surround Sound and has worked on projects for Steely Dan, The Eagles, Billie Holiday and Frank Sintra while Ronald Prent’s list of achievements includes surround sound mixes for Tiesto and Live and studio projects for artists as diverse as Tina Turner and Rammstein. 

With Tony O’Connor’s career exploding in 1990 with his ‘Inspired By Nature’ series and ‘Relaxation Collection’, he began in an era of cassettes and CDs. Rainforest Magic’s 30th Anniversary provides an opportunity to bring to life another of the goals Tony had for his music: to release on vinyl for the very first time.

With over 3.5 million albums sold of over thirty titles including the million selling ‘Mariner’ and ‘Rainforest Magic’, O’Connor is one of the highest selling instrumental composers in the world, spearheading a movement of relaxation music and working prolifically creating albums, film and television music and touring around Australia until he was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme (a rare and aggressive brain cancer), and passed away in 2010 at just 49. 

Used widely in relaxation therapy, children’s therapy, pain management and more, the Tony O’Connor catalogue has touched the lives of millions and continues to, even in his absence. Using sounds of Australian nature and landscapes, Tony’s unique recordings captured the essence of our natural beauty, while using highly researched techniques to aid calm, relaxation and meditation. 

Always completely independent, Studio Horizon shipped millions of albums from a shed at the back of Tony and Jacqui’s Sunshine Coast hinterland home throughout the 90s and 00s, at one time becoming one of Australia’s biggest independent distributors, despite having a catalogue of only one artist.