November 12, 2012

What TEB has to do with Prog? An age-old controversy.

Swimming in this putrid, polluted, toxic river of nonsense that is often the Net, recently I've discovered an album of an Italian group professing to be inspired by the Third Ear Band, Ballo delle Castagne (Dance of Chestnuts), described by the label as "a psychedelic journey from west to east. More then ever, the oriental sound is still present

and expanded through a journey deep in prog rock music. From Kraut rock to West coast music with special mention to Italian Godfathers of Prog Rock, Ballo delle Castagne release his new records featuring special guest like Carolina Cecchinato (Egida Aurea) and Maethelyiah (Blooding Mask)". 

Inside an interview ( the musician Marco Garegnani states: "... and the Third Ear Band. I think they are a mysteric creature that in some ways influenced me, mainly for about the more tribalistic-ritual parts of the record..." - but listening to the music I think there's no trace of it - just a boring, quite  conceited Prog music so far from the magical spirituality of "Alchemy" or the pagan soul of the "Elements" album.

Anyway you can check by yourself and form an opinion about it (

My personal point of view is that TEB is often exploited by musicians to increase the real value of their project: a sort of easy credit card because TEB music sounds esoteric, magic, arcane... at the end eccentric and strange, and the evocation of it can charme fans around the world...

So, after all these years, for myself  the Questions are:
What TEB has to do with Prog? 
Why usually musicians and journalists use to categorize TEB music as Prog?

Of course, as usual here any free opinion will be well-accepted...

no©2012 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first) 

November 01, 2012

Singing Serpent Tarot: English artist Eleanor Boyce uses TEB's "Mosaic" for a video of her Tarots.

Eleanor Boyce
English artist Eleanor Boyce uses "Mosaic" as soundtrack for a slide-show/video of her own Tarot designs titled "Singing Serpent Tarot".

Painter, sculptor, illustrator, writer, researcher, director, performer, Witch and Shaman... Eleanor Boyce lives and works in Scarborough (& Whitby), England: you can watch her intriguing world at

A nursery crymes doll by Eleanor
Because her inusual choice I've asked Eleanor some few questions:

Why have you selected just "Mosaic" for your virtual show?
"To begin to answer this question I shall quote from the SINGING SERPENT prologue:
'The Song the Serpent Sings is often a hushed and remote whisper in the dark, barely audible, drowned by a cacophony of other sounds. At times it is an urgent calling and, at on occasion, a beauteous melody underscoring our existence. It is carried on the breath of a wind, the dance of a wave upon sand, the flicker of flame, beat of heart and upon the flap of a moth wing. It is everywhere and nowhere in particular, ancient, primal,constant and eternal, a Song that remains forever the same. It is the Soul Song, Spirit Song, Deep Self Song and this Song belongs to us all - we need but only listen, learn and sing along.' My Tarot is designed, and written about, in such a way as to facilitate the opening up of the recipient to the Serpent Song which resides within. When the eye is focused upon an archetypal symbolic image for any length of time, the deeper regions of mind, where intuitive wisdom resides, are stirred.
The virtual show of my Tarot images is very short, but does have a touch of the hypnotic and if it were of longer duration it would, no doubt, have effect in moving the mind to a different level. In the light of what has been so far said, it would be of no surprise to hear that the music I should chose for this project was selected with some deliberation.
As with specific archetypal visual imagery, certain music, also has the same power to transport the listener, and facilitate the opening of the doors of mind into the same inner space. Third Ear Band created such music. I sat in a darkened room with the show on the screen and dropped a few pieces into the timeline, playing back with the visuals to determine the effect. There was no doubt that 'Mosaic' was the one for it. I guess it is no accident that the musicians who created the piece, and myself, were/are possessed of pagan sensibilities, for it seems to me that our aims, though working in different genres, share a harmony of intent. The result of the marriage of their music and my visuals is a happy and magickal one, and I do not feel any other music would have done".

What are the qualities of 'Mosaic' you feel are so perfect for your project? 
"The piece has an elemental, a pure primal, even raw quality to it, yet at the same time is highly sophisticated and this, together with the blend of instruments, imbues it with both a timelessness and a universality. The repetitions, spaces and rhythms are almost hypnotic as if they are directly affecting the alpha rhythms of the brain itself, which, indeed, they may well be doing, for the auditory experience of 'Mosaic' (and other pieces by the band) are certainly conducive to the entering into an altered state of consciousness. My drawings, too, are somewhat elemental and primal, but not lacking sophistication, built upon line, space and rhythm, stripped of reference to any one time, place or ideology. Whether or not they hold the same beauty as the Third Ear Band piece I have chosen to accompany them is not for me to judge, but I hope, to some degree they do, for someone, somewhere".

How and when did you know the Third Ear Band music?
"Many, many years ago I visited a friend, as I was apt to do often in those days, who had the most phenomenal music collection I had ever seen. It stretched around all the walls of his room, leaving only space in the middle of the room for a mattress and cushions. He was an avid collector, and nothing delighted him more than introducing his friends to musical gems he had acquired. I remember him saying "You will love this, Eleanor ... it is weird enough for even you!" as he slipped Third Ear Band's 'Alchemy' from its sleeve and placed it on the turntable. He was absolutely right!! I sank back into the cushions in ecstasy. I purchased the album the very next day. It was the same time my fascination for the Tarot began to seed, so there is also a personal reason as to just why something from this particular album is so fitting to accompany my own Tarot deck". 

[Watch Eleanor Boyce's Tarots deck at]
                                   SINGING SERPENT TAROT
"There is something very right about the video being uploaded to YouTube and all this occurring at Shamain - the Celtic ending and beginning of the year, when the dead are honored and the 'veil between the worlds' is thin. The Seasons Blessings to you!!"
(Eleanor Boyce)

Concept, Artwork, Video, Tarot designs:

Digital re-master of 'Mosaic' from the album ALCHEMY (1969 EMI)

Background template:

no©2012 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)