October 29, 2011

Revealed who is the conga player playing in TEB TV German appearance! (UPDATED)

Thanks TEB fan Mirco Delfino (follow his interesting TEB Facebook's fans page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Third-Ear-Band/156660855584?sk=wall) at last we have the right identity of the mysterious conga player who played at that TEB TV appearance on German music programme "Beat Club", recently published on an official DVD.
According a redear of that page, his name is Gasper Lawal, and all the clues are absolutely reliable.

From the notes of one of his solo 1980 album "Ajomase" we learn that "Gasper-Lawal, African percussionist extraordinary, is the son of Herbalist Asorono-Akejiwori Lawal. Born in Ijebu-Ode, Nigeria, Gasper came to England in the sixties and gigged with numerous African bands before deciding to involve himself with session work, as a means of expanding his musical horizons. He worked with Ginger Baker’s Airforce, Steve Stills, the Rolling Stones, Funkadelic, Joni Haastrup, Sonny Okosun, Barbra Streisand and many other names before joining Clancy in 1975. In 1977 Gasper returned to Nigeria for a while, returning to England to record ‘AJOMASE’ – which means “we all have to do it together”.

Gasper Lawal from the TEB 1972 "Beat Club" DVD.

Other infos come from another source (http://www.centrohd.com/biogra/l1/gaspar_lawal_b.htm):"Gaspar Lawal b. 23 September 1948, Ijebu-Ode, Nigeria. A percussionist and bandleader, Lawal left Nigeria to settle in the UK in the mid-60s. Basing himself in London, he became rapidly established in the session scene, and over the next ten years recorded with a large number of local and visiting musicians, covering a wide variety of styles, including Ginger Baker's Airforce, Stephen Stills, the The Rolling Stones, George Clinton's Funkadelic and Barbra Streisand. In 1975, he joined London-based rock band Clancy, leaving in 1977 to return to Nigeria. Moving back to London in 1978, Lawal formed his own group, Afriki Sound (later renamed the Drum Oro Band), creating a highly individual style which succeeded in marrying traditional West African roots music and instrumentation with elements of experimental rock and jazz. A fervent believer in the value of traditional African music, Lawal was also convinced that it needed to develop and could benefit from the incorporation of certain western ideas and influences. With Afriki Sound he released two superb albums on his own Cap label, "Ajomase" (which in Yoruba means ‘We all have to do it together’), which spawned two dancefloor hit singles in Kita Kita and Oromoro, and "Abiosunni" (Yoruba for ‘Are you sleeping or what?!’). Both albums featured the cream of expatriate African musicians living in London, notably Olalekan Babolola (percussion), Tunji Omoshebi (trumpet), Abdul Salongo (guitar), Don Amaechi (guitar/percussion/kora/keyboards), Ray Allen (saxophones) and Osibisa's Mac Tontoh (trumpet). In the mid-80s, Lawal was a founder member of Britain's Black Music Association, a pressure group which worked to achieve greater exposure and better working conditions for black musicians".  

From a blog called Permanent Condition (http://permanentcondition.blogspot.com/2007/01/gasper-lawal-ajomas-abiosunni.html) we learn also that Lawal played on important underground albums as Graham Bond's "Magick" and Vivian Stanshall's first solo...
You can find him/his music also on You Tube: 

A Gasper Lawal solo discography:  
Ajomase (LP - Cap Records, UK 1980) 
Abiosunni (LP - UK, 1985) 
Kokoroko (LP - Hot Records, UK 1986)
Kadara (CD - Globe Style, UK 1991)

Main collaborations:
Alexis Korner - "Alexis Korner 1961-1972" 
(Castle Communications, UK 1986)
Funkadelic - "Funkadelic" 
(Westbound Records, USA 1970)
Graham Bond -"We put our magick on you" 
(Vertigo, UK 1971)
Stephen Stills - "Stephen Stills 2" 
(Atlantic, USA 1971)
Vinegar Joe - "Vinerar Joe" 
(Island Records, UK 1972) 
Graham Bell - "Graham Bell" 
(Charisma, UK 1972)
Babe Ruth -"First Base" 
(Gramophone, UK 1973)
Vivian Stanshall - "Men opening umbrellas ahead" (Warner Bros, UK 1974)
Carol Grimes - "Warm Blood" 
(Caroline, UK 1974)
Decameron - "Mammoth Special... plus" 
(Mooncrest, UK 1974)
Babe Ruth - "Amar Caballero" 
(Harvest, UK 1974)
Clancy - "Seriously Speaking" 
(Warner Bros, USA 1975) 
Joan Armatrading - "Back to the Night" 
(A&M, UK 1975)
Clancy - "Everyday"
(Warner Bros, USA 1976)
Eddy Grant - "My turn to love you"
(EPIC, UK 1980)
Wishbone Ash - "Number the Brave" 
(MCA Records, 1981) 
Camel - "Nude" 
(Cherry Red, UK 1981)
Hugh Masekela - "Techno-Bush" 
(Jiva Afrika, UK 1985)
The Associates - "Perhaps"
(WEA, UK 1986) 
3 Mustaphas 3 - "Heart of Uncle" 
(Phonogram, UK 1989)
The Pogues - "Peace and Love"
(Island  Records, UK 1989)


no©2011 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)

(file updated on October 30th, 2011)

October 25, 2011

Third Ear Band music on You Tube: the perfect soundtrack of creativity!

You Tube is not just the slavish useless revival of the TEB's tracks right taken from the original albums, but it's  most of all the place where TEB wonderful music can meet the Arts, becoming a very suggestive soundtrack of pictures, homemade videos, paintings, drawings... ideas.
Here is a list of videos where TEB music shows its brilliant vocation to become the perfect soundtrack!

            "The Cat's Eyes" by Moebius-Jodorowsky ("Ghetto Raga").

          "Totentanz" by Dino Battaglia ("Abelard & Heloise" pt. 6).

"A Midsummer's Night Dream" by W. Shakespeare. Drawings by Cristina Breccia, words by Norberto Buscaglia. Music by The Third Ear Band ("Abelard & Heloise" pt. 2 & 3).

        Homemade video with TEB's "Eternity in D" as a soundtrack.

"An attempt to put images to a track by my all time favourite band". An homemade video by TEB fan Will Hulbert with TEB's "Mosaic".

Another homemade psychedelic video by Will Hulbert with a rare radio version of "Water". 

A monologue talked in Italian based on a poem titled "Ho perso la testa per Salomè" ("I've lost my head for Salomè") written by S. Giovanni Battista on 32 A.C. The music is "Earth" by the Third Ear Band.

Illustrations from the rare "Mutus Liber" edited on 1677 by such Altus. The TEB track used for this video is "The Cauldron" from "Music from Macbeth".

"Les Songes Drolatiques de Pantagruel" painted in 1973 by Salvator Dalì. Music from TEB's first album ("Dragon Lines").

               "The Mantegna's Tarots" with TEB's "Groom's Dances".

"The Magic Calendar", lithographs by Manuel Orazi printed in 1896. The soundtrack is the wonderful "Druid One".

"Waldkammer", the art of Madeline Von Foerster. The music here is "Abelard & Heloise" part 2.

"The Garden of Earthly Delights" by 'psychedelic' doped Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch. With the music of the Third Ear Band as a perfect soundtrack (excerpts from "Macbeth").

"Lark Rise" played by the Thirds as a musical comment for "Alchimie des Philosophes" painted by Salvador Dalì.

The incredible Hopi Dolls painted in 1969 by American Homer H. Boelter with the beautiful TEB's "Stone Circle".

A tribute to Don Cherry, Michael Hurley and the Third Ear Band (some quotations of "Eternity in D"...) by the genial post-folk-warrior Sedayne with references to the great Snock (the title of this track is infact "Snock Mandala").

no©2011 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)

October 20, 2011

Italian harpist VINCENZO ZITELLO tells his fascination for the Third Ear Band music...

Vincenzo Zitello (http://www.vincenzozitello.it) is a very famous Italian harpist. Composer and concert artist, he started studying music at a very early age, playing the transverse flute and the viola. The first person to spread and pioneer the Celtic harp in Italy, from 1976, he dedicates himself to his musical studies, taking part in Breton cultural and musical seminars held at the “Ti Kendalc'h” with Dominig Bouchaud and Mariannig Larc’hantec. In 1978 he forms the harp and oboe duet with Roberto Mazza, author on 1991 of the wonderful
TEBish private cassette  titled "Scoprire le orme". On 1980 he specialised in the bardic harp and Celtic singing with the monster Alan Stivell. From 1986 he has recorded eight albums and had important collaborations with some of the most known popular music (Ivano Fossati, Pooh, Alice...) and folk Italian artists (Peppe Barra, Lou Dalfin, La Sedon Salvadie...).

Just this year he has recorded a brand new record, "Talismano" [Talisman], another important work about the Holy Land of the Harp.
Among his records, "Atlas", recorded in 2007, is directly inspired by the Third Ear Band's music, one of the favourite band ever of Zitello. You can listen some tracks of it on Zitello's Myspace at http://www.myspace.com/zitellovincenzo or buy the album on Itunes.
Starting from this evidence, I've asked him some questions about his connections with the Third Ear...

How did you compose "Atlas", the record you've admitted it's been inspired by the TEB's music?
“I’ve composed "Atlas" between 2006 and 2007. It’s a work I’ve thought about since the Seventies. On 1973, when I discovered the Third Ear Band, my music wasn‘t the same anymore, also the way to conceive it. For years I’ve considered them my masters of sound perception.

With the musician with whom I was playing at the time [Roberto Mazza], I was really conditioned by them – both of us we loved really much their style and in some ways we imited them or, better, we was on the same track, for us they was an huge benchmark. 

"At that time I wasn’t playing harp, I played the violin, and listening to a band like them that was handling classical music in a contemporary creative way – but with such out of the way improvisational freedom, at the same time extremely alchemical and magic – where so many memories was converging, for myself it was a really innovative philosophical state of music. Most of all, it was completely out of the usual Rock soppiness of that time: it seemed to me something that aim to our soul, a dream...  

"On that days I was listening to very few music, I just consumed all the TEB’s records. Of course now I’ve got all their CD’s.
Then the time brings you to other countries, but at that time I was so young, just 18, and very hardliner and obviously naïve about things. Now I’m 55 but I’ve never forgotten them…
So all these impressions was the fuel to compose “Atlas”, a comeback to my origins in a more conscious way.
For years I was thinking of doing a record inspired by the Third Ear Band's music, I wanted to do it in a contemporary and personal way, I’ve always looking in my composing spirit their magic, their colours. The instruments I use to play lend myself to it, and the peculiar mutation of the TEB music... Their track titles struck me. In my opinion they was an extraordinary thing, then and now...".

Which tracks composed by you are inspired by the TEB's music?
"It's more easy for me to tell you which tracks aren’t inspired by the Third Ear Band. No one!!!"

When have you met the Band?
"The person who let me know the TEB was Roberto Mazza. A great oboe player, with a wonderful sound. I suggest to  music fans to listen to all his works. I think he’s the player who better has got the Paul Minns’ inheritance. We’ve played together for many years, until 1982."
Which are the main elements you've taken from their experience for putting in your music?
"Their sound becoming, the continuous mutations, the full and the melody that opens constantly to deep images, also their way to use strings and most of all their spirit: while I was composing some orchestrations I was thinking about that TEB music aura...".

                                                                           Vincenzo Zitello - "Celtic Raga".
Do you think they are still up-to-date? Why?
"I think their spirit is very relevant, indeed not much it's been done to spread them. Contemporary music needs new perspectives, in some way TEB music has been out of styles and fashions, but it contains a view that music needs. After rock, jazz and folk we need now a brand new music away from the trite styles, and I found in the TEB music excellent and still authoritative culture and inspiration for the present time, at least until the album titled "Prophecies"...".

Are you still listening to their records?
“Yes, of course. I prefer most of all “Third Ear Band”, but “Alchemy” is that enraptures me”.

How would you describe the TEB's music?

"I would describe it as a sound intuition, something that expands counsciousness in a magical way, and in the same time it is perfectly rooted in the European cultural memory. Eastern contaminations are the same of Western medieval music... TEB music has a wonder one can found in the Reinassance alchemical experimentations; a research that collect the collective memory of an organic freedom almost lost in Europe. Their sounds are real, they haven't temporal masks as like their perceptions that communicate. You can love it or you can detest it, because you don't understand it...".

Which is your favourite TEB's tracks? Why?
“My favourites are “Air”, “Water”, “Fire”, “Earth”, really amazing. Then “Ghetto Raga”, “Druid One” and “Stone Circle”.

no©2011 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)

October 15, 2011

New Third Ear Band DVD update.

About the new TEB DVD titled "The Lost Broadcasts" recently announced at the page http://ghettoraga.blogspot.com/2011/09/lost-teb-video-brodcasts-out-in-october.html you can contact GONZO MULTIMEDIA (http://www.gonzomultimedia.co.uk)
at the address below:

by e-mail
customerservicesgonzo@gmail.com (for all queries about products and ordering)
info@gonzomultimedia.co.uk (for general non-order related enquiries)

by post:

Gonzo Distribution Ltd.
c/o Brooks City,
6th Floor New Baltic House
65 Fenchurch Street,
London EC3M 4BE

Fax: +44 (0)191 5121104
Tel: +44 (0) 191 5849144

International Numbers:
Freephone 08000 825 699


Freephone 18666 747 289

English Gonzo Multimedia has in its catalogue many other interesting videos with rare broadcasts of Incredible String Band, David Allen & Gong, The Byrds, Edgar Broughton Band, Hawkwind...

no©2011 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)

October 10, 2011

TEB quoted on the wonderful Rob Young's essay on English folk 'visionary' music.

On the wonderful monumental "Electric Eden. Unearthing Britain's visionary music" (Faber & Faber, London 2010), an essay on folk music written by Rob Young, editor of famous English magazine "The Wire", a little place is dedicated to the Third Ear Band (with a generous quotation of this archive).

Here's the excerpt:
"(...) Harvest was also the home to the Third Ear Band, who pursued a rarefied version of Pink Floyd's abstract music of this period. They were a loose conglomerate of occult-minded instrumentalists that had its origins in The Giant Sun  Trolley, one of the many acts  appearing at the  14 Hour Technicolour Dream. Percussionist Glen Sweeney, the group's one constant member, began his career by seizing the bandstand in London's Hyde Park with several freaky friends, and playing even after the police informed  them that music was banned from the park. (They politely asked wheather  the rule applied to the birds.) After Sweeney and oboist Paul Minns took part in a December 1968 multimedia event  at the Royal Albert Hall called The Alchemical Wedding - at which John Lennon and Yoko Ono conducted a forty-five minutes bag in - The Third Ear Band sculpted an esoteric chamber music from acoustic elements; their first album was duly  titled Alchemy.  With track titles such as 'Druid One', "Stone Circle', 'Dragon Lines' and 'Egyptian Book of the Dead', these were incantational songs-without-words, a ritualistic consort music whose atonal tinctures sometimes recalled the European  folk-chamber music of Béla Bartok and the terse reductionism of Anton Webern, sometimes the free play of John Steven's Spontaneous Music Ensemble.  John Peel even turned up  to play Jew's harp on 'Area Three'. 'I call the music alchemical  because it was produced by repetition', explained Sweeney, whose muted battery of hand drums shaped hypnotic hymns to the fearful symmetry of the elements and the heavenly rotations. This was not cultish window dressing, though: the group made connections with Druid orders and accompanied their dawn solstice ceremonies.  Third Ear Band (1970), often referred to as Elements because its four lenghty improvisations 'Air', 'Earth', 'Fire' and 'Water', found the group - now a quartet with the addition of Ursula Smith (cello) and Richard Coff (violin, viola) - propagating a fungal acoustic music with spores of pan-European folk, Early Music and oriental drone dynamics. Their meditational medievalism found its way  into two film soundtracks they created in 1970 and 1971: for a German television  film about Abelard and Heloise, and for Roman Polanski's dark-age rendering of Macbeth. The  Third Ear Band's arcane, absorbing music stands as one of several unexplored lanes leading away from the psychedelic garden that remains neglected and 0vergrown".
(Rob Young, "Electric Garden", pages 472-473)

Read the synopsis of the book at the Faber & Faber Web site:
Visit Rob Young's  blog on folk music at http://www.electriceden.net

 no©2011 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)

October 04, 2011

Maybe an interview with Chief Druid David Loxley?

Just in  the first days of October, Steve Pank has sent me the photo below, portraying David Loxley (Chief Druid) during the druid ceremony of the Spring equinox in Tower Hill (London) on 2010. Just behind him Carolyn Looker, Glen Sweeney's missus.
As you know, David Loxley was very close to the TEB from the beginning, involved with Druids and drawing TEB's first concert posters.

Thank to Steve, maybe one day we'll have an interview with him about that years and the band's connections with the Druids...

                                                                                                                                            Steve Pank ©2010 

 no©2011 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)

October 03, 2011

Third Ear Band being almost reincarnated...

ChrispH, musician of Norwegian avant-garde band Famlende Forsok, has answered me about the file  published  in this archive some weeks ago at the page http://ghettoraga.blogspot.com/2011/08/norwegian-band-famlende-forsok-quoted.html

I think maybe even our latest project also has references to TEB. We are about to finish an album as a result of three concerts we held during the last three years loosely based on drones/electronics/acoustics/poetry. I think this live piece also proves this to be a bit influenced to TEB in bringing "the oriental" into experimental western (unscholared "rock") music. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=klf-x0X745w Sound quality is a bit poor. Plain old video recorder I guess. ChrispH (playing that lously Akai pseudo-shenai)".

Watch and listen to the track below: after three minutes of  electronic carpet, infact, TEB seems almost to be reincarnated here & now!

                                           Famlende Forsok live October 1oth, 2009

no©2011 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)