"William Ackerman" is a guitarist and composer of acoustic-based instrumental music. He founded and ran for many years an influential new age record lable: Windham Hill Records.
Born in West Germany but adopted by a couple who lived in Palo Alto, California. William Ackerman grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. A self-professed poet and musician who briefly studied guitar with Robbie Basho and had no interest in math. After attending Stanford University, Ackerman dropped out to become a carpenter. Ackerman had composed some pieces of music for a performance of Romeo and Juliet at Stanford. In 1975, without having played a "paying gig"
- (a) group of friends and informal fans got together and collected about $300 in five dollar bills to send me into a recording studio. I picked a studio out of the phone book named Mantra Studios (it was the 70s after all!). I walked into that room and made a record I called ''The Search for the Turtle's Navel'' in two afternoons. (William Ackerman, liner notes for ''Returning'', 2005).