©2010 Luca Ferrari
January 15, 2010
TEB viola player Ben Cartland with the band on very first sessions recorded as The Balkan Ensemble and the first "Alchemy" recordings is passed away on past April 2007. He was living in the Northamptonshire where, in the last two years, was playing avantguarde music with Northamptonshire Composers Association (one of the composition is the instrumental "Englefolk" available at the association MySpace page - http://www.myspace.com/northantscomposers).
I've asked to Mark Beaumont, chair of the association, a short testimony: "I knew Ben for some two years and he partly inspired the Association. Ben did a multitude of different things with his life as his 'archives' reveal. He talked about many of them and not others. Research into Third Ear Band suggests to me that that is Ben. He was certainally involved in a band at about this time. Someone also made a similar enquiry about a year ago. So while I cannot confirm there seems a very good chance that he was the same person. So elusive was he that even his mother who I am in contact with probably wouldn't know, but will ask around...".
On Northamptonshire Composers Web site (http://www.northamptonshirecomposers.org.uk/history.html) the same Beaumont writes: "(...) By March 2007 we had started a mentoring programme with Nelson Oenga of Luton Business & Computing College, to develop our skills in working as a team to organise future events. Our ‘pilot’ event to be organised in this way was a concert forming part of the Northampton Carnival entertainments with its musical theme Northampton Meets New Orleans. The concert was scheduled to the afternoon of Sunday 10th June. About six weeks before the Carnival Concert, Ben Cartland died in hospital. As a very active composer and Association member during its first year, the event was dedicated to his memory and his ‘Kenya Medley’ was performed".
Very strangely, on July 17th, 2005 - as from the fogs of past - he appeared one day to me writing to my old Web site after the reading of a piece on the projected "The Dragon Wakes" album.
He wrote: "It was fascinating finding/reading your article on the Net. Some info, expecially concerning the early years (well, years when I was considerably involved in the band) seems to strike my memory, which has also dimmed over the years concerning all details, as not quite accurate. Not that it matters anyway. It was tragic to hear about Paul's death - he and I made a lot of music together (before Richard Coff appeared on the scene) and I'll always remember him (his musical sensitivity) with respect and affection. It's very good the compilation's dedicated to his memory. Well, just thought I'd send this... don't expect a reply but feel free to do so if you wish.
Best regards, Ben Cartland (ex viola player, Third Ear Band)".
At the time of my book on the band, none knew where Cartland were: I could ask him some questions about the origins of the group. For myself, as for Richard Coff, even Ben Cartland had been swallowed up by the Black Hole of Time...and after that kind e-mail he disappeared another time...
As TEB fan David Aragon wrote me later: "If you google 'Ben Cartland', you get the Northamptonshire Composers' Association, and a notice that Ben Cartland has passed away. I wonder if this is the Ben Cartland that I knew when he was with TEB? It was a long time ago, but I remember him well, a very nice person and he was responsible for my interest in Indian raga music, and taking up the violin".
Who remembers Benjamin Cartland? Every memories of him post here will be a good way to celebrate his art & his life...
©2010 Luca Ferrari
©2010 Luca Ferrari
Edited by Luca Chino Ferrari