Kat Epple and Bob Stohl
Photo by Dan Drasin
Emerald Web created a melodic brew of Fantasy, Space and New Age music that was renowned for its rarefied blend of synthesizers and acoustic instruments. The husband and wife duo, Bob Stohl and Kat Epple were pioneers in Electronic Music, New Age Music, healing music, and music technology. From 1977-1990, as Emerald Web, they recorded 12 albums of original music on various record labels, and composed film scores for famed astronomer, Carl Sagan, Apple Computers, and PBS, among others.
Their concerts in planetariums, observatories, museums, and other unusual venues, were performed on an array of now-vintage synthesizers, Lyricon Electronic Wind Instruments, flutes, and other acoustic instruments.
Although Emerald Web had significant influence on music at the time, there is little documentation about this mysterious band and their important hybrid music from a transformative music era.
"Dragon Wings and Wizard Tales” was their first of 12 albums. Their other albums are: “ Whispered Visions", "Sound Trek", "Valley of the Birds", "Aqua Regia", "Nocturne", "Lights of the Ivory Plains", "Traces of Time", "Catspaw", "Dreamspun", and "Manatee Dreams of Neptune". In addition to self-published albums on their Stargate label, the band was also signed with record labels Fortuna Records, Celestial Harmonies, Passport's Audion Records, and Scarlet Records. Since those original 11 albums were released, several albums were re-issued or released as new compilations, including “The Stargate Tapes”, “Whispered Visions”, “Garden of Mirrors”, and “Spiritus Sanctus” on Finders Keepers Label ,“Dragon Wings and Wizard Tales” on Sebastian Speaks Records, and “Catspaw-Remastered” on Anodize Records.
Bob Stohl was renowned for his unique synthesizer textures, “Flute Electronique”, and for his Lyricon playing. The sound of the ”Flute Electronique" was created on a flute with a contact mic that ran through electronics, including an octave divider, Mu-tron III envelope filter, fuzz pedal, wah-wah pedal, Roland Space Echo and other effects. Bob developed his unique flute technique to create a sound that is sometimes similar to a screaming lead guitar. The Lyricon is an unusual hybrid synthesizer/woodwind instrument on which Bob created a variety of sounds such as oboe, synthesizer, electric guitar, and french horn.
Kat Epple is a Peabody and Emmy Award-winning composer, flutist, EWI-ist, keyboardist, and synthesist who currently composes television and film scores, performs concerts around the world, and continues to release albums with other ensembles and as a solo artist. She has released thirty-four albums of original music, and collects flutes from her extensive travels around the world which she often incorporates in her original compositions.
In addition to releasing a dozen albums on various independent labels, husband-and-wife team Bob Stohl and Kat Epple have scored and produced music for numerous film and TV projects at the state-of-the-art recording studio in their Florida home. These projects have gained them numerous awards, including several Emmy and Addy awards. In 1990 their close creative partnership ended when Stohl tragically drowned. Manatee Dreams of Neptune, one of the finest albums Emerald Web ever made, was recorded shortly before his death. Though many of their releases are difficult to find, the evocative, mood-altering compositions on the releases listed here are exemplary of The Emerald Web sound. ~ Linda Kohanov, Rovi