Sun Echo

Rob McAllister, performing under the name Sun Echo, crafts emotive, ambient-cinematic soundscapes. Originally from Welland, Ontario, Canada, and now based in Toronto, McAllister’s musical journey has been a lifelong pursuit, deeply rooted in his early experiences with piano lessons, music camps, jazz bands, and orchestras. Encouraged by his supportive parents, music wasn’t just a hobby for Rob; it was a defining part of his identity.

Rob’s early career focused on creating music for films, a discipline that profoundly influenced his approach to composition. The music of Sun Echo is like a canvas for the mind’s eye, painting auditory stories that resonate uniquely with each listener. His meticulous attention to detail, whether it be subtle panning effects, layers of background texture, or intricate chord progressions, ensures his tracks remain captivating through countless listens.

Influenced by film composers like Steven Price, Max Richter, and Thomas Newman, Sun Echo’s work is imbued with a ‘modern classical’ sensibility, a style that gained prominence around 2015. His connection with nature’s beauty – the woods, oceans, and mountains – also plays a crucial role in his creative process. These elements combine to form a unique sonic tapestry that is distinctly Sun Echo.

Rob’s creative process often begins at the piano, an instrument he describes as an extension of himself. He frequently incorporates strings and natural sound recordings, captured with his portable Zoom recorder, into his compositions. Experimenting with reversing sounds and creating sustained pads from transient noises are hallmarks of his innovative style.

Among his notable works is “The Way Back Home,” a Sun Echo album that serves as a metaphorical soundtrack for life’s uncertain journeys. Another significant project is “The High Seas,” an album created for the Outlaw Ocean project under his ambient/modern classical moniker “Music Within.” This initiative combines music and journalism to highlight oceanic injustices. His soundtrack for the documentary “Town of Widows,” released under his real name, has garnered critical acclaim, with tracks like “Persist and Persevere” featuring in Spotify’s Not Quite Classical playlist.

Rob fondly recalls early musical experiences, like singing in the car with his family, where spontaneous harmonies and laughter were abundant. These memories underscore the communal and joyful nature of music in his life.

His personal philosophy is simple yet profound – “keep showing up.” This ethos reflects his commitment to continual creation and exploration, not relying solely on fleeting moments of inspiration. Sun Echo’s music aims to offer listeners a respite from the world’s relentless pace, providing a soundtrack for reflection, introspection, and meditation.

Looking ahead, Sun Echo is set to release a new EP titled Dreams of the Sea in March. Under the moniker Music Within, a solo piano EP is scheduled for April. Additionally, Rob is currently working on the score for a full-length documentary film, continuing to expand his impressive portfolio and deepen his impact on the ambient music landscape.

View Sun Echo’s discography here.