November 03, 2013

An interview with Glen Sweeney on an old Italian book.

Italian musician and journalist Pierluigi Castellano dedicated to the Third Ear Band an interview in a book edited in 2004 by publisher DeriveApprodi ( titled "Le sorgenti del suono. Trenta incontri con musicisti straordinari" ("The sources of sound. 30 meetings with extraordinary musicians" - pages 192, € 13.00). 
Among the others, original interviews (just in Italian) with 'monsters' as Terry Riley, John Cage, Philip Glass, Uri Cane, Alice Coltrane, Brian Eno... to investigate the origins of their sound.
As the author states in the preface, the aim of this book is "to detect the freedom of choice inside and against the limits imposed by present conditions. Suggesting an idea of musical expression deprived of gerarchies, with processes of contamination taken even from scientific disciplines, and restating the power of collision between subversive power of art and his reduction to the logic of a controlled communication".

About the Third Ear Band, in December 1989 Castellano asked few  questions to Glen Sweeney related to the origins of the group, the first two albums recorded ("Even today I like much to listen to them: in particular the second one that probably is the best album we have done..."), the experience with Polanski's Macbeth.
About this Sweeney reveals: "(...) Personally, I had the idea that a soundtrack were something of too artificial, not so ideal to make good music: so I replied we were just available to improvise on the pictures he'd given to us. (...) I think music we recorded was very very good, but it happened something of very funny: the copy on which we had worked was b&w and just the evening before  we realized Polanski's Macbeth was a wonderful full color movie... Obviously it was really pleasant, while the black and white ones was so glum...".

no©2013 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)  


  1. Hi Luca, see if this link is interesting for you: a long interview with Davey Payne, who also played with the People Band. Glen is mentioned once.

  2. Thanks Mirco for this thing, very intersting... more for about the London jazz scene history than the Third Ear Band's... A clear example of good journalism!

  3. Another new: French composer Bernard Parmegiani died. Many sites report that he performed live in London with TEB in the 70s... do you know if it's true??
    All the best

  4. Oh yes, they did :-) I just read this in your book!

  5. Some years ago, I tried to contact him for an interview through his official web site but he didn't reply me. Anyway, he played with the TEB on June 24th, 1970 at the Royal Festival Hall for the "Sun Wheel Ceremony".
    Soon I will put a stuff on the Archive to commemorate him. Thanks.