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Paul Winter founded Living Music in 1980 with its headquarters in Litchfield, CT. In 1986, Winter's Canyon album was honored with a Grammy® nomination for Best Album Package. Later that year, Living Music entered into a distribution agreement with Windham Hill Records and early promotion centered on Winter's Canyon Consort album.

Billboard reported that between June and December 1986 Living Music tripled its sales and doubled the size of its catalog to eleven albums of "jazz-oriented, contemporary instrumental music." During the summer of 1986, Living Music joined Windham Hill Records via a distribution agreement. When Living Music parted ways with Windham Hill, it had released 14 albums. All Living Music Records products were available on vinyl, cassette and compact disc. Vinyl albums were factory sealed in perforated plastic bags. While with A&M, the albums were pressed on AM+ virgin vinyl. The inner sleeve for the first few recordings was plastic and was accompanied by an insert sheet. The later recordings used a plastic-lined inner sleeve.

The label is noted for recordings made in nature, with animals, or in buildings constructed of natural acoustic materials like wood or stone.

Living Music Gets Distrib; Windham Hill Deal Inked. S. Sutherland. Billboard, June 7, 1986.
Living Music Pegs Promo to Canyon Consort. G. Mayfield. Billboard, August 30, 1986.
Living Music Makes Promo Push. C. McGowan. Billboard, December 13, 1986.
National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

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