Kitaro's style is the epitome of the contemplative, highly melodic synthesizer music often associated with the new-age movement. In the early '70s, Kitaro formed The Far East Family Band, which released two albums of progressive rock. In 1972, however, he met the innovative German synthesist Klaus Schulze during a trip to Europe. Kitaro was hooked. He built his first synthesizer and began experimenting with all kinds of unusual sounds. His first solo album, Astral Voyage, appeared in 1978 and quickly gained a cult following. Several albums of music from the Japanese TV series Silk Road were released to a growing international contingent of fans who admired his combination of lush, majestic textures and gentle, almost naive, melodies. Kitaro, however, was still considered an underground artist in America until he signed with Geffen Records in 1986, which re-released seven of his earlier albums and gave him the support to expand his scope in many ways. Kitaro's style has changed as well, becoming more theatrical and assertive while retaining a certain level of innocence and purity.