January 20, 2016

Old 1972 TEB ad found...

My friend Mirco Delfino, who runs the exclusive interesting TEB Italian Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Third-Ear-Band/156660855584?v=info), sent me this old ad taken from the great Mike King's "Wrong Movements", a chronological history about Robert Wyatt.
The benefit concert was on January 23th, 1972 at the legendary Chalk Farm Road's London "Roundhouse" and the Thirds played there with  Paul Buckmaster.

Two days later the band played at the BBC a classic "John Peel session" with this strange line-up: Denim Bridges (guitar), Simon House (violin), Mike Marchant (guitar & vocal) and Peter Pavli (bass), and it's difficult to know if it was the same musicians who played at the Roundhouse even because at the time Buckmaster was in & out from the band...

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

December 19, 2015

Hydrogen Jukebox's promo card for peaceful and sonic Xmas holidays to all of you!

Note: This 1991 original Hydrogen Jukebox's promo card was designed by Ma.So. and based on the tarots cover concept by Glen Sweeney and the CD back cover photo by Lucia Baldini.

 no©2015 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)

December 05, 2015

New review about Gonzo CD by "Shindig!" magazine.

Here's a new review edited by Grahame Bent for "Shindig!" magazine (issue 50) about TEB Gonzo CD "New Forecasts from the Third Ear almanac":

no©2015 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)

November 15, 2015

Italian avant-garde composer Roberto Musci makes a tribute to the Third Ear Band.

Italian musician and composer Roberto Musci composed and recorded a tribute to the Third Ear Band based on original samplers of the band. 
Titled "Mosaic" it's actually a 'mosaic' of tracks build on various excerpts from original tracks of the Thirds, pieces as "Ghetto Raga", "Mosaic", "Air", "Druid One"..., treated with an original, innovative technique called "Plunderphonics".

Roberto explains the thing in this way: "This project is a musical tribute to the Third Ear Band ; it is not  a cover of their music  (it would be impossible, unnecessary and ridiculous), but music closely related and inspired by their art.
In recent years I have worked with Chris Cuttler in a project of Plunderphonics (ie: to sample music of a group to create new songs very close to the original music but different) . I have collaborated on a CD publishing by Recommended Records UK, dedicated to the music of Art Bears ("The Art Box" double and quadruple with the original music of the group and plunderphonics. In the CDs there are also songs made by Jon Rose, Otomo Yoshide, John Oswald, The Residents, Fred Frith). With this technique I’d like to create my own personal tribute to the Third Ear Band and using samples from their cds, filtered with effects and with “cut and paste technique", I created some songs".
Considering the interest of Rob Ayling for the project, Roberto has asked Gonzo Multimedia to realise a record from it. We will see what will happen. 
I have had the honour to listen to it and I think it's one of the best reworking of the Third Ear Band's ouvre...

"To absent friends, lost loves and old gods" (blog)http://robertomusci.tumblr.com/
Roberto Musci Web site:

no©2015 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)   

The new TEB's CD will be realised in February 2016.

The next TEB's record produced by Gonzo Multimedia (edited by Luca Ferrari) will be ready at the first months of next year, likely on February 2016.
Titled "EXORCISMS", it will show recordings from the 1988-1989 period, when the musicians involved was Glen Sweeney, Mick Carter, Ursula Smith, Lyn Dobson and Allen Samuel.
The art cover (as for the first two CDs) is by the great Martin Cook. Here below you can see a cover proof of the record based on a Cambodian devil mask...
no©2015 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)          

October 03, 2015

"Necromancers" CD sold also in Japan...

"Necromancers" CD distributed also in Japan by Third Ear (!) music shop with the classic banner on the cover...

 no©2015 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)      

September 27, 2015

A 1972 TEB's concert advert found.

Emerging from the Web it's this very interesting 'new' advert from the TEB's glorious past, from a period where little is known.

It's the advert, taken from "Time Out" issued on September 22-28th, 1972, about the concert the band played on September 30th, 1972 at the London Battersea Town Hall (other band involved Matumbi Band, an "afro-reggae" group!), just after the "Macbeth" project...

no©2015 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)   

September 14, 2015

Italian composer ROBERTO MUSCI talks about the Third Ear Band!

Avant-garde composer, performer, saxophonist and guitar player ROBERTO MUSCI (Milan 1956) has recorded  records, made videos, soundtracks for mute films, written books and collaborated among the others with musicians as Chris Cutler, Elliot Sharp, Steve Piccolo, Jon Rose, and Keith Tippett.
After a very interesting project of a tribute to the Third Ear Band unfortunately aborted (a wonderful 5:48 track titled "The awakening of Orus" was recorded...), just recently he has dedicated to the Third Ear Band some short lines at his blog http://robertomusci.tumblr.com/post/44601596678/third-ear-band-the-third-ear-band-was-born-in#notes
This is a short interview with him.

How did you know the Third Ear Band's music?
"Absolutely by chance. At the beginning of Seventies I used to go to Sinigaglia Fair in Milan (it's a flea market) with some friends: we was a bunch of "musical addicts" that every Saturday used to meet there for sharing opinions about records and music. I remember in that period after to be involved in Progressive and (more or less) hard rock I was now more interested in new kind of sounds (as like the so-called Canterbury sound, minimal music, Miles Davis' "Bitches Brew" and some records of Eastern and Arabic music). Just by chance I exchanged one of my albums with another, it was a strange record with a full size purple cover, with clouds and alchemical-ritualistic pictures
inside, and four tracks quoting the four elements taken from the pre-Socratic Archè.
After few days I was folgorated by that music as like Saint Paul on the road to Damascus or as the illumination of Buddha under the tree of Bodhi.
I'd never heard a music like that (and now it's the same, after around 50 years after) - a band with oboe, cello, violin and percussions in a Synth and Marshall world! A strange, deep music, with reminiscents of ancient and magic times; alchemical, sometimes obscure, sometimes solar, dances with obsessed rhythms, sounds from a pre-human world (in  the words of Lovecraft), chants from a far folk and chords of dissonant violins, near to the contemporary music.
I envy who doesn't know the Third Ear Band: the first listening of their music (expecially that related to the 1968-1972 period) is just like to go into a world of sounds and magic atmospheres."

Which elements of TEB's 'poetic' impress you mostly?
"Surely the way of improvisation and composition that generates a unique music; a music that wrap and alienate you.
The use of modal improvisations, with pentatonic and eptatonic scales derived from Arabian and Indian music culture, the mixing of particular timbre, the use of percussive rhytms with a metric dilatation, that ancestral call to the ritual music (from the ancient Egypt to the Druids). It's a strange sensation, but listening to their music in a room it seems that sounds are stratificating on different levels and the listener loses the cognition of time and space...".

How much TEB has influenced your way to compose and play music? 
"They influenced me very much when I recorded my first album in 1984 ("The Loa of music" - Raw Material). When one listen to it it's Glen Sweeney's obsessed rhythms and Ursula Smith and Richard Coff dissonant violins to be very evident. I'm very far from the second phase of the band (from 1988 onwards: "Live Ghosts", "Magic Music" and "Brain Waves") even if several tracks are very good, and it's a coherent evolution of their old atmospheres.
I've been so lucky to hear the Third Ear Band two times in Italy (maybe in 1989 and 1994... I'm not sure of the right dates): in spite I was very diffident (sometimes it happens when the distance between the album recorded in studio and the live concert is huge) I remember they was two wonderful gigs with the band able to recreate that particular magic sound (I don't recall the right line-ups but I'm sure there was an electric guitarist and a soprano player)."

Specifically, which TEB's compositions do you think inspired you more?
"Surely their first records: "Alchemy", "Third Ear Band", "Abelard and Heloise", "Music from Macbeth" and "Prophecies". For myself "Earth" and the music for Polanski's "MacBeth" are memorable".

Are you still listening to their records?
"Sure! From that period, with the Popol Vuh's music, Third Ear Band's music is timeless art that I'd listen to forever (and I'm listening to it from about fifty years)". 

One of the several projects made by Roberto in Multimedia.

What about that aborted project of a tribute to the Third Ear Band?
"The lure to recreate that old music atmospheres for letting them live is still great in me. Basically the project was inspired by John Oswald's work who coined the expression "Plunderphonics". His work on Michael Jackson repertoire (with related legal case, i.e the cover: Michael Jackson's head on a female body...) was really clamorous. The idea was to record a tribute to the Third Ear Band just using their original music for recreating that musical poetic and the sensations they gave to me, playing the right instruments and looking for that pictures linked to their specific iconography (ancient Egypt, Alchemy, Druids...). Of course I would like to close this project..." 

(a selection)

"The Loa of music" (Raw Material, 1984)

"Losing the Orthodox Path" (Les Disques Victo, 1997)



"Steel Water Light" (ReR Megacorp, 2001)

"The End of the World" (Auditorium, 2003)


"Vampyr and other stories" (ReR Megacorp, 2015)


"To absent friends, lost loves and old gods" (blog)http://robertomusci.tumblr.com/
Roberto Musci Web site:

no©2015 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)  

September 09, 2015

New Third Ear Band CD by Gonzo Multimedia out until the end of this year.

Gonzo Multimedia and Luca Ferrari are working on a  new TEB CD planned to be published until the end of 2015. 
It will be titled "EXORCISMS" and it will show recordings from the 1988-1989 period, when the musicians involved was Glen Sweeney, Mick Carter, Ursula Smith, Lyn Dobson and Allen Samuel.
(First hands) Sleeve notes by Luca and art cover (as for the first two CDs) by the great 'pictures wizard' Martin Cook.
no©2015 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)          

September 04, 2015

"Third Ear Raga" aired last July...


Californian Estero Bay 97.3 The Rock (http://esterobaycommunityradio.com/) aired last July 28th, 2015 Third Ear Band's "Third Ear Raga" (from "Hymn to the Sphynx"). The programme, conducted by Charlie Rosenberg, is titled "Space does not care: Sonic Attack on estero Bay".
no©2015 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)

August 27, 2015

Another great review on "Necromancers" CD!

Here's another very good review about "Necromancers" CD published on "Shindig" magazine issue 49 (http://wp.shindig-mag.com/). 

 no©2015 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)       

August 21, 2015

TEB's "Stone Circle" aired on an Italian radio programme.

Third Ear Band's "Stone Circle" was aired on August 4th, 2015 at the Italian Radio 3 programme called "Sei Gradi" (Six Grades) (go and listen to at http://www.radio3.rai.it/dl/portaleRadio/media/ContentItem-9b2fa418-0880-4b84-ba6b-a6a1d22161f0.html#).
Radio journalist Luca Damiani introduced the band as "one of the few researching a kind of music not necessarily Blues or Rock", with straight relation with traditional Chinese and Indian folk music...

With an usual habit in Italy, no quotations to the extraordinary adventures the reformed band lived during the Eighties with three brand new records for MaSo and some great live concerts around the country. Nothing about this Archive, of course...
Anyway, in spite of the endemic Italian music journalists' ignorance and superficiality about facts, Third Ear Band experience is still existing with two new CDs and some little suprises in the next future...
In loving memory of Glen Sweeney, Paul Minns, Ben CartlandMike Marchant, Mel Davis and Roger Bunn.

no©2015 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)                                               

August 14, 2015

Some reviews on TEB's Necromancers CD.

After "Necromancers of the Drifting West" has been released, some reviews are surfacing from the Net...

"When I saw this and saw no information about it, as well as who was releasing it, I was very, very suspicious, but I am very happy to report that this is a great and very high quality release sonically for all very rare or unreleased recordings from 45 years ago. First there is 16' of the TEB's very first professional recordings, then there is a high quality outtake from the 1st album, a very interesting, electric outtake from their shelved third Harvest album, from before Macbeth, and three off-air, but quite decent sounding tracks from a BBC "In Concert" broadcast, hosted by John Peel. It additionally features informative and seemingly correct notes from uberfan and band archivist Luca Ferrari. In short - any fan of the band has to own this. Highly recommended."
"Third Ear Band were a British psychedelic folk band that evolved within the London alternative and free-music scene of the mid-1960s. Members came from The Giant Sun Trolley and The People Band to create an improvised music drawing on Eastern raga forms, European folk, experimental and medieval influences. They recorded their first session in 1968 for Ron Geesin which was released under the pseudonym of The National Balkan Ensemble on one side of a Standard Music Library disc. Their first actual album, Alchemy, was released on the EMI Harvest label in 1969, (featuring John Peel playing jaw harp on one track), followed by Air, Earth, Fire, Water (aka Elements) in 1970. They recorded two soundtracks, the first in 1970 for an animated film by Herbert Fuchs of Abelard and Heloise (which first saw release as part of Luca Ferrari's Necromancers of the Drifting West Sonic Book in 1997) Luca writes: On 1996, when I decided to write a book on the Third Ear Band, I collaborated with of all the members of the group, except Richard Coff (apparently no one knew where he was) and Ursula Smith. The first time the title was intended for the book, it was called "Tickling the Third Ear" and the idea was to make an historical, chronological reconstruction of the TEB's story to free the band from that aura of mystery surrounding his story. But just at the end of the writing, when I completed the essay for the introduction, I decided for "Necromancers of the Drifting West": for myself, in fact, the Band has advanced the so-called World Music and the multicultural/intercultural dimension of the relation between West and the rest of the world. At the same time, in my opinion, their music was a sort of sign, a monition of musical (and cultural) decline of the old Europe (for that reason the image of 'necromancers'). A group strongly political, I think, because "silence", acoustic (as natural) sounds (no words), minimalism aesthetic, are really 'political' today, in this age of excess of experiences."
(Downtown Music Gallery Newsletter, July 2015 - http://www.downtownmusicgallery.com/Main/news/Newsletter-2015-07-17.html)

"Le label Gonzo Multimedia s'apprête à sortir deux CD d'archives du mythique groupe acid-ethno-experimentalo-médiévalo-folko-psychedelico-etc. THIRD EAR BAND.
Le premier, Necromancers of the Drifting West (du titre de l'ouvrage de Luca Ferrari, grand porte-parole de la légende du groupe), contient huit morceaux enregistrés entre 1968 et 1971 et restés officiellement inédits jusqu'à aujourd'hui. On y trouvera ainsi des pièces du National Balkan Ensemble (pré-THIRD EAR BAND), un inédit issu des sessions du premier album, Alchemy, un inédit provenant d'une session pour un disque qui n'a jamais vu le jour et une session BBC de 1971.
Necromancers of the Drifting West sortira le 25 mai prochain, et devrait être suivi de la publication d'un concert du groupe (dans sa configuration des années 1980-90) qui n'était sorti qu'en K7. Restez à l'écoute..."

no©2015 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first) 

July 02, 2015

The biography on English pianist Mike Taylor written by Luca Ferrari now available at Amazon.co.uk

The biography on English piano player Mike Taylor, written by Luca Ferrari and published by Gonzo Multimedia, is available at Amazon.co.uk at the page 

Here's the front and back cover of the book:

Inside the book, memories of Dave Tomlin (who played with Mike and  shared with him a flat in Kew) and Steve Pank about Taylor and the London underground scene with some references to the Giant Sun Trolley and the Third Ear Band.

no©2015 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)     

June 14, 2015

"Paul Minns ruled the nature and shape of the Third Ear Band...". Interview with MARY HAYES, Paul Minns' former wife! (part one)

After many years one believes to know almost everything about a certain thing, but surprises are fatally behind the corner... 
On March 3rd, 2014 Mary Hayes wrote me an unexpected letter through my personal e-mail (read it at http://ghettoraga.blogspot.it/2015/04/good-chances-to-have-soon-interview.html).
So after some months we arranged a multi-parts story about Paul, her and his family, a way for investigating the true origins of the TEB from a different point of view...

"In 1967, I first met Paul when I was living in Oxford Garden W11. Paul lived close by in Elgin Road, W 11. Both addresses are in Ladbroke Grove - known as part of the Grove.
Historically and educationally, Paul's life was different in regards to his earlier Senior school years at the London's City School for Boys, on the river Thames - probably as a Chorister scholar and was a student of the oboe and piano.

Paul's experience of musical life started as a member for the British Youth Orchestra as an oboist player - and work wise, he became a book typographically designer. Paul, therefore, had two careers, one as a musician, and two, a career as a book designer, both areas he was a brilliant artist. Paul was not affected by musical tastes, he was a natural with his interest in playing the oboe, and obsessed with the oboe sounding beautiful in musical overtones, and would constantly practice getting the reed and oboe right in tone and expression.

Paul and Mary after  married with friends

At this period, the Third Ear Band was in its babyhood, created by Glen Sweeney, drummer, and Paul Minns, oboist.
Glen Sweeney's method was tinkering with musical articulation - osculating with musical rhythms - Drum rhythms, jazz orientated. For Glen Sweeney, the meeting with Paul was visually, a dream come true.

Paul Minns playing the oboe became intermingled with a vision of Asian and Indian harmonies matched by musical and classical overtones. Musically, Paul's playing of the oboe became imbued by hauntingly melancholic sounds by escalating expression in nature and harmonies in mysticism.

A very young Paul Minns (courtesy of Mary Haynes)

Both good - for Paul Minns was the first musical debut for the Third Ear Band. Paul Minns playing became a masterly use of the 'oboe' and its mysticism. Both bad, because Glen wanted glory in his own articulate mould - as a success story. Glen Sweeney pushed the group - and Paul Minns, by playing the oboe - ruled the nature and shape of the Third Ear Band from 1966 -1989, which in essence would have been forever expanded musically".

(end of part one - to be continued)

no©2015 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)