October 22, 2016

An handwritten poem by Glen Sweeney.

Written in 1979 by Glen Sweeney, this handwritten poem was included in my old "Necromancers of the Drifting West" book  published by Stampa Alternativa in 1999...
It would be cool to edit a book with all the poems, graphics and drawings by Glen! Which's your idea about it?

no©2016 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)         

October 14, 2016

"Brain Waves" reissued.

While we're waiting for the next TEB CD titled "Spirits", for the beginning of next year Gonzo Multimedia and Ghettoraga will realise the reissue of "Brain Waves" with a brand new booklet full of writings and photos and, most of all, some bonus tracks recorded in the '90's.
In fact the album is now delated, available through the Web at around £ 20.  

  no©2016 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)        

October 03, 2016

Stereolab's Tim Gane included TEB's track in a Jazz compilation!

Stereolab founder Tim Gane included in April 2016 TEB's "Fire" in a Jazz & Avantgarde mix compilation edited for Fact, a Web magazine. 
At http://www.factmag.com/2016/04/04/fact-mix-544-tim-gane-cavern-anti-matter-stereolab/ you can listen to a two-hours sequence of beautiful music played by giants of the English Jazz scene as Ian Carr, John Surman, Mike Westbrook, Lol Coxill, Mike Taylor, Michael Garick, The New Jazz Orchestra... and avantgard musicians as Cornelius Cardew, AMM, Scratch Orchestra... and surprisengly TEB's "Fire".
Apart the TEB's tune you can listen also to the marvellous Mike Taylor's "Pendulum" with Dave Tomlin playing the soprano...

"Tim Gane knows a thing or two about jazz.

The Essex-born musician and studio maverick may be best known for absorbing krautrock, psychedelic pop and freaky library music into the peerless back catalogue of his band Streolab, but the jazz ethos of freedom and experimentation has always been a key influence on his approach.

Currently fronting his new band Cavern of Anti-Matter, a kraut-informed trio that’s just made its epic debut with a triple-album, Gane has put his motorik impulses on pause momentarily to produce this two-hour odyssey into the undersung corners of avant-garde and free jazz.

“British jazz and other new music that’s mainly from the ‘60s and ‘70s, but that’s not to make any particular point about that,” is Gane’s concise introduction to the mix, which spans the radical minds of free improvisors Lol Coxhill, Cornelius Cardew and AMM, library music from Basil Kirchin, pioneering jazz-rock from Ian Carr and much more. Two hours!

It’s easily one of the most head-spinning mixes we’ve ever had the pleasure to bring you, and serves as a proper education if, like a lot of us, you’ve ever wanted to dig deeper into jazz but weren’t quite sure where to start".

 no©2016 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)        

September 27, 2016

Old album by Af Ursin referred to the Third Ear Band...

"Blackest Ever Black presents a new vinyl edition of Af Ursin’s 2005 masterpiece Aura Legato, and its first outings on CD and digital formats.

Af Ursin is the alter ego of Finnish autodidact composer/improviser Timo van Luijk. He began his musical activities in the mid-1980s, co-founding the Noise-Maker’s Fifes collective with Geert Feytons in ’89. During the ’90s he developed his solo work under the name Af Ursin, before establishing his private press, La Scie Dorée, in 2001. It continues to act as the main platform for his own music, including regular collaborations with Christoph Heeman (as In Camera) and Andrew Chalk (as Elodie), while his other label, Metaphon (run with Marc Wroblewski and Greg Jacobs), is focussed on archival presentations from the likes of Michael Ranta, Joris de Laet, and IPEM. 

Van Luijk’s work is rooted in the use of acoustic instruments (wind, percussion, strings), but his special sensitivity to the timbral qualities of each instrument, and his deft blurring of them, results in a sound-world that is mysterious, amorphous and hallucinatory, full of suggestive shadows, creaks and whispers. Informed by years of intensive listening to various types of free music, exploratory drug use and especially the “irregular organic forms” of the Belgian countryside where he resides, van Luijk’s process begins always with pure improvisation: music played in an intuitive, sensual way, without the employment of conscious technique. He performs and overdubs each instrumental component himself, and out of this process micro-structures and loose arrangements emerge: the piece becomes an improvised composition. Over time he has evolved his own richly poetic musical language, full of allusions to drone, acid folk, classical, Musique concrète and jazz, but beholden to none. 

Originally released on La Scie Doree in 2005, in an edition of 350 copies, Aura Legato is one of van Luijk’s darker and more acutely psychedelic offerings. It’s a work of profound interiority, but one that also conjures images of old Europe and fin-de-siècle decadence – dabblings in Thelema, the fog of the opium-den – and has earned telling, if inadequate, comparisons to Third Ear Band, Nurse With Wound, Mirror and HNAS. Fully remastered by Noel Summerville, the album has never sounded better, and our vinyl edition replicates the original’s ornate presentation: sleeve die-cut in the style of a 78rpm record, with gold detailing and individually hand-glued labels. Due to be released in May 2016, we urge you to acquaint yourself with what is, unmistakeably, a modern classic".

Listen to this wonderful music (full album) at:
Decide by yourse if the reference to the TEB is correct...

  no©2016 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)        

September 18, 2016

Two TEB amazing rarities for Krazy Kollektors on ebay!

This week we have two  TEB amazing rarities on sale on ebay.
Starting bid at $ 9.99 (or buy now at $ 24.99) is an incredible funny 8-track cartridge cassette of "Alchemy" printed in U.S.A.  as  Capitol SXT-376.
You can check it out at http://www.ebay.com/itm/Third-Ear-Band-Alchemy-8-Track-Rare-Psych-Tape-in-slipcase-shrinkwrap-TESTED-/191969691423?hash=item2cb249071f:g:gHoAAOSwxg5XyyFE
The bids will stop tomorrow...
Can you imagine someone driving a car with "Duid One" or "Ghetto Raga" playing on his stereo?

Also we have a white label promo copy of "Macbeth" soundtrack (with promo letter inside).
Seller Alan Watters wrote me an e-mail just to let me know it:

"Hi there Luca,
I thought I'd let you know I am selling my white label promo copy of Macbeth by the third ear band (with promo letter) on eBay. I have put a few pictures up so you and others can check it out. I have the price quite high on it as I'm reluctant to sell but offers are welcome. If you have any questions I'd be happy to answer them.
Keep up the good work, all the best from Alex." 

Also his ad is at ebay Web site but I cannot find it...

 no©2016 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)        

September 13, 2016

New interview with music arranger and producer Paul Buckmaster on the Net.

A new interview by Michelle Lanz with Paul Buckmaster  is available at 89.3KPCC radio Web station (http://www.scpr.org/programs/the-frame/2016/05/16/48900/inside-the-rock-star-s-studio-with-music-arranger/?slide=5).
No words about the TEB, but some interesting things on David Bowie, Elton John and Miles Davis...

Meanwhile Paul has recently changed his personal Web site with new photos and stuff at  http://www.buckmastersound.com/

                                                                   A young Buckmaster playing cello.
 no©2016 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)        

September 03, 2016

"Movements" on the Net around the Third Ear Band...

It's clear to me the Third Ear Band is an evergreen band! The evidence of it is that the Net is still interested into TEB's music and often bloggers/fans/ journalists dedicate pages to Our Alchemical Esoteric Band.
From the beginning of this year I like to advise some interesting stuff:

in Februry 2016 French Web site "Rythmes Croisés" wrote a review on "Exorcisms" at http://www.rythmes-croises.org/quand-third-ear-band-pratiquait-lexorcisme/; then, Web site "Pound for Pound" published two inspired pieces in March 2016 on "Alchemy" and "Third Ear Band" at http://www.poundforpound.us/music/2016/6/1/third-ear-band-alchemy and at http://www.poundforpound.us/music/2016/6/5/third-ear-band-third-ear-band
showing is still possible to write personal ideas about the music,   despite the discouraging social networks' attitude just to post music, pictures and video without a word, ideas, opinions, analysis... (but, yes, "I like it"...).

Again in last March, on the strange "Mouser" site such "Isidis" wrote a very inspired thing about "Abelard & Heloise" soundtrack, a short personal speculation about love... (http://www.wearemouser.org/third-ear-band-abelard-and-heloise/ ).
And what about the sale of  a "Third Ear Band - Collection of 4 x original issue LPs on EMI Harvest from this experimental rock" on the site "The Saleroom" of Warrington (Cheshire, UK) for an estimate price of 60-80 GPB (read here)?

no©2016 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)       

August 29, 2016

A temporary cover for the next TEB's CD...

Talented designer Martin Cook is working on the next Third Ear Band CD titled "Spirits". This below is a temporary cover for Gonzo Multimedia's on line use...
Do you like it?

no©2016 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)       

August 26, 2016

Roberto Musci's video tribute to the Third Ear Band!

Titled "Mosaic", this below is a beautiful tribute our friend Roberto Musci dedicated to the Third Ear Band based on his personal reinterpretation of the old classics recently published  by Gonzo Multimedia.

 no©2016 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)         

August 14, 2016

TEB gig in Piacenza will be published in September/October 2016.

After checking the TEB audio tape recorded on January 14th, 1989 in Piacenza, Gonzo Multimedia approved the next prodution.
Titled "Spirits", the CD will be published in September, with a cover/booklet designed by Martin Cook and the sounds engineered by John Hughes.
The booklet has been written by Luca Chino Ferrari and Francesco Paolo Paladino, who shot the original video in 1989.
The about one hour concert was played by the same line-up of "New Forecasts of the Third Ear Almanac" (Sweeney, Carter, Smith and Dobson) and it will be some great surprises for all the fans... 

 no©2016 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)        

August 04, 2016

Audiobook of "Macbeth" with TEB's music realised soon?

Marc Adler wrote me saying he's recording an audiobook of "Macbeth", and he'd love to use music from Third Ear Band's score for 1972 Roman Polanski's film. He said it's his favorite shakespearean production and asked me some about copyrights questions...
no©2016 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)        

July 07, 2016

"Mosaic", Roberto Musci's tribute to the Third Ear Band. A short review.

Out on June 17th, 2016, published by Rob Ayling's Gonzo Multimedia, is now available Roberto Musci's tribute to the Third Ear Band. Titled "Mosaic", it consists of twelve tracks composed by Musci and played by himself using various kind of instruments as Plunderphonics, tibetan bells, flute, guitar, synth, hand drums, percussion, organ.
At a very first listening, the album is an amazing surprise because, albeit these are new compositions, the listener 'feel' the old fascinating mood of the band, even if totally renewed and rivisited.
Musci adopted for the album John Oswald's technique of composition and recording based on Plunderphonics, "using samples from their cds, filtered with effects and with “cut and paste technique", I created some songs" (from an interview with Musci).

And thus we have old TEB' tunes reborn at a new life: it's really amazing and beautiful listening to legendary tracks as "Ghetto Raga", "Mosaic", "Air", "Druid One", "Egyptian Book of the Dead" or "The Beach" dressed with a new suit.
The grafts of original TEB single sequences of sound work perfectly in this new texture because they seem rightly coherent and natural in this new soundscape. Not a simply juxtaposition of quotations of music, but as for a film editing  we have here sequences of old and new music totally integrated.
Some compositions are very astonishing: my favourite one is "The Beach", a 5 minutes of sinister, disquieting tune with a funeral cadence after an opening debussyan atmosphere...

Believe me, through the years I've listened to many attempts to tribute and/or compose (music inspired by) the glorious, unique sound of the TEB, but this is the real first time we have an album where Sweeney, Minns, Coff and Smith seem to come back for playing their awesome music again!

A sampler of the album ("Ghetto Raga") at  https://soundcloud.com/roberto-musci
Musci's personal Web site: http://www.rmusci.com/

An interview with  Roberto on the Third Ear Band is at http://ghettoraga.blogspot.it/2015/09/italian-composer-roberto-musci-talks.html
A file where Roberto explains his project is at http://ghettoraga.blogspot.it/2015/11/italian-avant-garde-composer-roberto.html

 no©2016 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)       

July 03, 2016

Third Ear Band original EMI-Harvest catalogue acquired by Warner Music Group 'for the benefit' of American Indies...

Quite surprisingly few days ago I was contacted by Ken Shipley, supervisor at The Numero Group (www.numerogroup.com), a little label from Chicago, related to the big fish Warner Music Group
He wrote me this:

"As part of the agreement that allowed WMG to buy Parlophone three years ago, the EU required them to sell off 20% of their assets (http://www.billboard.com/biz/articles/news/global/1549326/warner-music-working-with-impala-merlin-to-sell-parlophone-assets). My company bid to buy several of those assets, which included The Third Ear’s albums Alchemy, S/T, and Music From Macbeth. Per the terms of the agreement, we must get artist approval to make the deal happen.

We are hoping to strike a new arrangement with the band members that would give a higher royalty rate and eliminate nonsense like breakage fees, as well find new opportunities for the band’s songs in TV and Film (alongside a reissue campaign).
I would greatly appreciate your help on this matter.
Ken Shipley"

I have contacted the old members to ask them how to go ahead with this.
Good news for the glorious old catalogue? New opportunities for the band's compositions on radio/TV/movie circuits? A brand new life for the Third Ear Band's music in the U.S.A.?

 no©2016 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first) 

June 28, 2016

TEB 1989 gig in Piacenza realised soon?

With my friend Francesco Paolo Paladino from Piacenza, an original film maker, musician and composer, I'm checking an old tape with the aim to realise the full gig TEB played at Circolo Tuxedo (Piacenza) in January 1989, as a day-off concert of the brief Italian second tour.
At the time, Francesco made a video recording of it and the first thing to do now is to transfer it into digital to realize if it has a good quality  for making a record.
As everyone knows the line-up at the time was: Glen Sweeney (hand drums), Mick Carter (electric guitars & electronics), Lyn Dobson (flute and saxes) and Ursula Smith (violin), in my opinion one of the best reformed TEB ever...
So cross the fingers and hope the tape is still in good condition... 

 no©2016 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first) 

June 16, 2016

Memories of Brian Diprose: the Third Ear Band 1977-1978...

Brian Diprose is a (blues) bass player who had some relations with the Third Ear Band in the second half of Seventies when Glen Sweeney and Paul Minns tried to relaunch the group with a new musical direction
After few concerts in London with a line-up including Glen, Paul, Diprose and Marcus Beale (one of the few documented gig was at the Roundhouse), in 1978 the band recorded the well-known psychedelic pop album "Apocaliptic Anthems", realised by Ma.So. only in 1991 as the Hydrogen Jukebox with a new title: "Prophecies". Getting in touch with Brian through Jacob Brookman (a musician who played with him in a blues band)  it is a good chance to have some memories from that obscure period (even if he says "I'll try to answer your questions as well as I can, but it was a long time ago!"...) and to reveal some little mysteries (i.e. the band who recorded the pop album was a new line-up of the Third Ear Band, not a new version of the Hydrogen Jukebox!).

When you met Glen? Which was your experiences in music until that period?
"I started off playing in a local band in 1967 that played covers of songs by Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, The Foundations, Lee Dorsey, Sam and Dave and other soul acts of that period. I was also a member of a folk club and met Steve Ashley there.

After a few years Steve invited me to join his band Ragged Robin and we played on the college and University circuit alongside acts such as Steeleye Span. We also got to know Fairport Convention very well. Steve had recorded an album of his songs using a variety of musicians before we became a band, and he

wished to replace the opening track 'Fire and Wine' with the version that Ragged Robin had worked out. We used Dave Mattacks on drums as our regular drummer was unavailable for the session. We also recorded an instrumental 'Morris Minor' at the same time. That was the only material that made it on to record for the band until we were asked to play on a record by Anne Briggs who was a highly regarded folk singer and
one- time partner of Bert Jansch. 
We recorded with her in one session and the album 'Sing a Song For You' was eventually released in 1996.
I also played in a local band where I met Mick Carter. It was just a loose collective of musicians playing covers and we played mainly in pubs."

Did you know the band before meeting Sweeney? Which was your opinion about the music the band played?
"I didn't know the band before I met Mick, but he told me he had been jamming with Glen and Paul and various bass players for a few years. It seemed that the bass players were unused to playing free form music that had no structure. I wasn't familiar with the band's music but I knew of the band's reputation. When yet another bass player left I volunteered my services and began weekly rehearsals at Paul's house in Sheperd's Bush".
Do you remember the exact period of your experience with the band?
"I believe I joined in 1977 but there is no record of that fact".

There's just only a documented gig with you in the band: do you remember other concerts played?
"There were other gigs but I think they were all with Marcus Beale. I don't think we played any gigs with Jim Hayes. The gigs were at Bath and Cambridge, but I don't know the dates or the venues".

When you played live with TEB the tracks was from their repertoire or from the new pop album?
"I believe I only played four gigs with the band and all the songs were from the Hydrogen Jukebox repertoire. Glen was the leader and he was totally committed to this project and the gigs were set up to promote those songs. To pad out the gigs there was a lot more improvisation if my memory is correct".

Did you record something on live or at rehearsals?
Jim gypsy Hayes
"Sadly, nothing was ever recorded at rehearsals. I can't imagine why that was the case as I know there were some great moments of Paul and Mick trading licks that I would love to hear now. I think the simple explanation is that none of us thought to take a tape recorder along to the sessions, which seems a great shame now". 

How it happened the band became The Hydrogen Jukebox? Any memories about it?
"All decisions about the band's direction were made by Glen. For instance, it was he who decreed that the band would be song based. To that end he turned up each week with a set of lyrics which Mick and I would devise music for. As you know, this did not sit well with Paul as the songs had to have structure, which ran counter to the Third Ear Band ethos. As none of us were singers we had to audition for one.

(L-R) Diprose, Hayes, Carter, Phil Shaw (recording engineer) and Sweeney.

We landed on Marcus, and he was there for perhaps a year or more, but he was young and open to constant criticism from Paul, with the result that some days we would hardly play any music at all. When he eventually left we tried again and got Jim. Although it was a tough challenge for Jim to learn all those words and invent melodies for the songs, I think he did a marvellous job. So we were all set to record the album and, just before we did, Paul quit, which was a terrible shame as he had some beautiful parts worked out.

Jim 'gypsy' Hayes
All this time we were the Third Ear Band and Glen went round the record companies trying to get a deal for it, but failed.
After the recording was done and could not be sold, the band fell apart immediately. Jim lived in a caravan in the country and had no telephone so we had no way of contacting him, and we never heard from him again. As Paul had left the band we had nowhere to rehearse and Mick, Glen and I were heartbroken that the 2 years we had spent bringing the album to fruition had not found a buyer, so we split up. 

It was a few years later when I got a call from Glen saying the album was out and there was a copy for me. So I went round his house and there I found out that he had re-titled the band the Hydrogen Jukebox. Mick and I didn't know that was going to happen, but I can understand it, as it is completely at odds with the Third Ear Band as everybody knew them".

Mick Carter during the sessions of "Apocaliptic Anthem".

What do you think about the album realised?
"I love the music on the album, but I suppose I'm a bit like most people who find the lyrics a bit hard going. There was no way that Glen would alter them so that's what we had to work with".

What do you remember on the rehearsals and the recordings at the Dansette Studios in Kent?
"The recordings were done live over two days. There was no rehearsal as we had worked everything out before. The recording was made in one room with just a few microphones and there are very few overdubs... I played two bass parts on "Kingdom of the Brave" but I don't remember much else about the sessions as they were so long ago".

Which was the problems to play electric bass in that kind of music and your specific ones?
"When I joined the band Glen had already decided that the band would be playing songs to which he supplied the lyrics, so the music had to be structured as opposed to the freeform stream of consciousness style that was at the heart of the Third Ear Band. As there wasn't a vocalist at that early stage rehearsals would generally start with Glen laying down a beat and the rest of us throwing in ideas that we either had pre-formed or which occurred to us as the sessions went on. We would hang on to the ones that promised to be most suitable for the lyrics that we were complementing.  

TEB or Hydrogen Jukebox? Another shot from the sessions.
I didn't have any difficulty playing electric bass in this scenario as Mick was there playing electric guitar, albeit heavily modified by his extensive pedal board, so the band wasn't set up to be in any way like the Third Ear Band that everybody knew. I only had a rudimentary knowledge of the band's output and I had never seen them live, so, in some ways, I was unburdened by having to make the music become a continuation of that ethos".

Why the band split? What's happened to the guys, expecially to Jim?
"As I said, the band split up at once as no buyer could be found for the record and we had lost our rehearsal facility as Paul had left the band. And Jim just disappeared, never to be heard of again".

Mick Carter and Brian Diprose listen to the album recordings.
Still in contact with Mick? He's a very good person, I remember him as one of the more kind and positive guys I've ever met in music biz. "Yes, I'm still in touch with Mick... We speak on the phone from time to time but I don't see him very often. My sister is married to his brother by the way..."

After this experiences did you play in other bands? Any records recorded/produced?
"I carried on playing and still do. I worked with many fine bands, mostly in blues/soul settings but the music scene had changed completely by the time we finished
the album. 

Brian Diprose with bass playing with Jack Brookman & Old Street Blues
I was in London and all the bands were young and playing punk rock or very stripped down aggressive music and I had to search hard for bands that still wanted players like me. I have been lucky to have kept playing ever since, mostly with covers bands, but with good quality musicians. My current band is The Bluerays which consists of players who have all been professional at some stage of their lives. You can find out about us if you go online to 'Lemonrock...The Bluerays." [go to http://www.lemonrock.com/bluerays]

             The Bluerays at The Three Wishes Winchmore Hill in August 2015

How would you define you?
"I don't know how I define me... I'm a pretty good bass player who likes reading, crosswords and the occasional pint of good beer."

Thanks for all Brian, very interesting and charming...
Brian Diprose with Jack Brookman & Old Street Blues
"Hope that's of use to you Luca. It's been so many years since those days that it's hard to be totally accurate with the details. It's a shame how the music business had taken a completely different track by the time our record was finished but it's great to have it on CD as a reminder of what we achieved. My biggest regret is Paul leaving just before we recorded it. I know that diehard Third Ear Band fans will see it as a sell out, but I think it has a charm and character that stands up on its own...".

Brian Diprose rough discography*

Steve Ashley - "Stroll On" (LP - Gull Records, UK 1974)
He played bass on "Fire and Wine". A CD edition, titled "Stroll On Revisisted", was realised in 1999 by Market Square Records as MSMCD 104. 
Glen Sweeney's Hydrogen Jukebox - "Prophecies" (CD - Materiali Sonori MASO CD900018, Italy 1991)
Anne Briggs - "Sing a Song for You" (CD -  Fledg'ling Records FLED 3008, UK 1996)
Recorded in 1973 but realised in 1996.
3P Sweet - "Too Close to the Moon" (single - Record Records RR1, France 1982) 

* "Sorry, Luca, I made a few other records that never sold and I can't remember them now, but I mostly play live".

no©2016 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)