December 21, 2016

An exclusive interview with avant garde musician Neil Campbell.

Neil Campbell is a very inspired, original contemporary avant garde musician. According the influent magazine The Wire, with Richard Young and John Bower, he "provided the map co-ordinates for much of what passed for a post-punk UK underground during most of the 80s and 90s". A quite necessary, fresh breath full of ideas and amazing sonic surprises in this often oppressed popular music world. His recent public admission of his appreciation of the Third Ear Band music persuaded me to ask him some questions. Here's the interesting short interview that came out...

1. How/when have you known about the TEB?  
"I suppose I'd heard about them in the 1980s from friends, with words to the effect that they were some kind of "weird hippy" band, but I never heard them until my friend Richard Youngs taped me a copy of The Elements in the mid-90s. Richard had a taped copy of the LP himself, from Matthew Bower (Skullflower, Sunroof! etc), who I believe found out about them from John Godbert (who now plays with me in Vibracathedral Orchestra). So there's something nicely circular about the whole thing for me".
2. What do you think about their old records? And what about the last reunion expeience in the '80's?
"I don't think I've heard any of their reunion records in any depth, but the quartet of Alchemy, The Elements, Macbeth and Abelard & Eloise just sounds better every year to me. There are so many ideas in there too, especially on Macbeth, that I can't see the appeal of them wearing out for me. I love how they sound totally out their on their own, strangely more "punk" than "hippy"." 

3. Which elements of the TEB music are ended in your compositions?
"Not at all, or at least not consciously. I think I was well on the path I'm on by the time I heard TEB, so they probably just validated what we were already doing. I always liked recording things live, with minimal polish, and most of their records feel like they were done that way."

4. What do you think about the evidence TEB is still inspiring many underground avant-garde contemporary groups/musicians? Do you think their experience is still exclusive for the fate of contemporary music? And why?
"There was something about the ricketty boldness of TEB that really resonated with me and many of my friends involved in maybe pushing the boundaries a little in underground music. It seemed like a tonic to the harsh certainties of some of the noise/industrial music we'd grown up with as teenagers, in that it had both a fragility and a solid sense of just doing its own thing, regardless of fashion or convention. Sturdy music, human music.
A few months ago, Vibracathedral played a big indie type festival in Manchester, and all bands were asked to answer a few brief questions for the printed programme. I'm always a bit cynical about this sort of thing, so answered the questions quickly and without any real thought. One of them was to answer a Recommended If You Like for Vibracathedral - I said "Third Ear Band and Throbbing Gristle", which seems quite accurate really." 

5. What are you doing now? which are your next steps?
"Constantly recording and experimenting at home, playing regularly with Vibracathedral Orchestra (mainly at home, for our own amusement, but occasionally we play in public), and playing more sporadically with bands like Early Hominids (hand-built electronic anti-music), UK Muzzlers (rough punk/tape collage confusion) and Stygian Manor (conceptual goth). In the past week I've been hard at work on an duo release with my Vibracathedral comrade Julian Bradley, which has just gone up on Bandcamp ( So, constantly busy, mind full of new ideas. There are never enough hours in the day!"

Neil Campbell references 
The official Web site:
 no©2016 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)     

December 05, 2016

TEB is still a parameter for some kind of underground music...

the question is: "Stuff like Vibracathedral Orchestra/Third Ear Band?"
Ashtray Navigations
Some bloggers write down their suggestions, confirming the TEB is still a parameter for some kind of music...
As always, listen to all this music and decide by yourself...

Neil Campbell 

Our Love Will Destroy The World 

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

November 27, 2016

"Alchemy" album cover at a V&A Museum exhibition in London.

It is titled "You Say You Want a Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966-1970" and it's a new exhibition at the London Victoria & Albert Museum  until February 27th, 2017 (
"This major exhibition will explore the era-defining significance and impact of the late 1960s, expressed through some of the greatest music and performances of the 20th century alongside fashion, film, design and political activism",  the organisers declare. 

Among lot of artifacts of the period displayed, also the cover of "Alchemy" and a copy of the rare magazine "Albion" created by Steve Pank in May 1968 (now valued around $350).
On the 3CDs realised for the exhibition (64 tracks selected by journalist and writer Jon Savage) no tracks by the Thirds, of course, even if there are some questionable choices (The Rascals, The Impressions, Martha Reeves & the Vandellas, The Flies...).

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

November 19, 2016

TEB new CDs update.

Dear TEB  compulsive listeners,
I have to inform you the announced TEB CDs ("Spirits" and "Brain Waves" reissue) will be available next year: "Spirits" release date is January 27th, 2017.
Gonzo Multimedia's Captain Rob Ayling wrote me it past week - the decision is due the amount of records scheduled by the label (expecially Rick Wakeman's old and new ones).
I'm sorry, but we have to wait for it...

Anyway I'm proud to tell  Carolyn Looker and me are editing the first collection of poems, writings, drawings by Glen Sweeney. It will be published next year, I hope until Summer.

Luca Chino Ferrari

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

November 14, 2016

Glen, Carolyn and Leonard Cohen...

When I met Glen in the second half of '80's I discovered he and his missus Carolyn loved the music of Leonard Cohen. At the time, in his Sheperd's Bush flat he had all the Cohen albums' cassettes and sometimes  he loved to quote excerpts from Cohen's lyrics.
Because I loved too much Cohen  me too, during the Italian tours sometimes it could happen we chat about his music and his poetry... (also about Bob Dylan, Sun Ra and Indian music, other Glen's favourite topics).

Years later Carolyn sent me as a gift a copy of a Leonard Cohen biography written by Ira Nadel, a very good portrait with clever and sensitive insights on Cohen's art.
The day after his death, on November 10th, I wrote to Carolyn because I recalled she and Glen would love Leonard Cohen. She wrote me back this: "Yes, you recall well, I am a huge fan of Leonard Cohen and I listen to him all the time. The news did not surprise me as his new CD is very much a transition to the next life. His son did the arrangements and the music is beautiful. Being Buddhist I'm sure he was totally prepared..."

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

November 09, 2016

Some interesting short reviews on TEB's historical albums...

Mike McLatchey wrote some interesting reviews on TEB's first era albums. It's all published on "Exposé" an American  Web site devote to "exploring the boundaries of Rock".
The Third Ear Band's page is at
with reviews of "Alchemy" and "Third Ear Band", and "Druid Grocking" 1970 video with a very funny title:"Any Band without a Silver-Jacketed Oboe Player Is Not Cool Enough".
Here below you can read the reviews...

"There really was no other quartet like the Third Ear Band, they were even singular in 1969, showing up on the Harvest label next to Pink Floyd. They're difficult to describe, perhaps something like a psychedelic medieval raga band might be close. The instrumentation was unusual with its mix of cellos, violins/violas, oboe/recorders, and table/hand drums, and the combined sound was a bewitching acoustic drone that could sound like Indian classical music, renaissance folk, and hippie drum circle all at once, although the musical strands came together in a very cohesive way. The pounding, insistent drumming sets up something very pagan and tribal, with the strings chopping away and the oboe weaving modal melodies on top, the results lifted by the mythical and mystical titles. I've always found this a completely mesmerizing listen, like opening up some imaginary fabled land and culture from aeons ago. Discogs files them as Neo-Classical and Avantgarde, neither of which seem to fully capture what their sound was like."

"The Third Ear Band quartet got even more experimental for the follow up to their debut album, reducing a bit of the Renaissance feel of some of the compositions on their debut Alchemy. The results were quite a bit more dangerous and certainly more dissonant, with the strings adding some eeriness to the proceedings. I still remember playing this album for the first time in a local record store friendly to progressive music in the early 90s. A customer who had been shopping started shooting quick stinkeye looks at the manager who was at the counter and began to pace the aisles frantically until the dissonant violins and cellos madly moving the album forward must have made her break. She steamed up to the front, screamed "How can you listen to this music?!" and both the manager and I kind of stood with our mouths opens until she immediately exited the front of the place in a huff. We looked at each other and I go, "You should save this one for when you need to clear the place," and we both broke into laughter. So yeah, not for the squeamish, this one, but the album does vary more than what this customer heard, giving unique sonic paintings to all of the four "Elements."

                    TEB 1970-1972 with Paul Minns dressed with the cool silver jacket!
 no©2016 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)    

October 28, 2016

Glen Sweeney's original manifesto for "Alchemy"!

Searching for old TEB's tapes for Gonzo, I've found in my archive this little manifesto drawn by Sweeney  at the beginning of 1969, some months before the publication of "Alchemy".
It's a different version of the well-known writing printed on the album cover where he (and the band) explained his ideas about the music...

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

October 22, 2016

An handwritten poem by Glen Sweeney.

Written in 1979 by Glen Sweeney, this handwritten poem was included in my old "Necromancers of the Drifting West" book  published by Stampa Alternativa in 1999...
It would be cool to edit a book with all the poems, graphics and drawings by Glen! Which's your idea about it?

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

October 14, 2016

"Brain Waves" reissued.

While we're waiting for the next TEB CD titled "Spirits", for the beginning of next year Gonzo Multimedia and Ghettoraga will realise the reissue of "Brain Waves" with a brand new booklet full of writings and photos and, most of all, some bonus tracks recorded in the '90's.
In fact the album is now delated, available through the Web at around £ 20.  

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

October 03, 2016

Stereolab's Tim Gane included TEB's track in a Jazz compilation!

Stereolab founder Tim Gane included in April 2016 TEB's "Fire" in a Jazz & Avantgarde mix compilation edited for Fact, a Web magazine. 
At you can listen to a two-hours sequence of beautiful music played by giants of the English Jazz scene as Ian Carr, John Surman, Mike Westbrook, Lol Coxill, Mike Taylor, Michael Garick, The New Jazz Orchestra... and avantgard musicians as Cornelius Cardew, AMM, Scratch Orchestra... and surprisengly TEB's "Fire".
Apart the TEB's tune you can listen also to the marvellous Mike Taylor's "Pendulum" with Dave Tomlin playing the soprano...

"Tim Gane knows a thing or two about jazz.

The Essex-born musician and studio maverick may be best known for absorbing krautrock, psychedelic pop and freaky library music into the peerless back catalogue of his band Streolab, but the jazz ethos of freedom and experimentation has always been a key influence on his approach.

Currently fronting his new band Cavern of Anti-Matter, a kraut-informed trio that’s just made its epic debut with a triple-album, Gane has put his motorik impulses on pause momentarily to produce this two-hour odyssey into the undersung corners of avant-garde and free jazz.

“British jazz and other new music that’s mainly from the ‘60s and ‘70s, but that’s not to make any particular point about that,” is Gane’s concise introduction to the mix, which spans the radical minds of free improvisors Lol Coxhill, Cornelius Cardew and AMM, library music from Basil Kirchin, pioneering jazz-rock from Ian Carr and much more. Two hours!

It’s easily one of the most head-spinning mixes we’ve ever had the pleasure to bring you, and serves as a proper education if, like a lot of us, you’ve ever wanted to dig deeper into jazz but weren’t quite sure where to start".

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

September 27, 2016

Old album by Af Ursin referred to the Third Ear Band...

"Blackest Ever Black presents a new vinyl edition of Af Ursin’s 2005 masterpiece Aura Legato, and its first outings on CD and digital formats.

Af Ursin is the alter ego of Finnish autodidact composer/improviser Timo van Luijk. He began his musical activities in the mid-1980s, co-founding the Noise-Maker’s Fifes collective with Geert Feytons in ’89. During the ’90s he developed his solo work under the name Af Ursin, before establishing his private press, La Scie Dorée, in 2001. It continues to act as the main platform for his own music, including regular collaborations with Christoph Heeman (as In Camera) and Andrew Chalk (as Elodie), while his other label, Metaphon (run with Marc Wroblewski and Greg Jacobs), is focussed on archival presentations from the likes of Michael Ranta, Joris de Laet, and IPEM. 

Van Luijk’s work is rooted in the use of acoustic instruments (wind, percussion, strings), but his special sensitivity to the timbral qualities of each instrument, and his deft blurring of them, results in a sound-world that is mysterious, amorphous and hallucinatory, full of suggestive shadows, creaks and whispers. Informed by years of intensive listening to various types of free music, exploratory drug use and especially the “irregular organic forms” of the Belgian countryside where he resides, van Luijk’s process begins always with pure improvisation: music played in an intuitive, sensual way, without the employment of conscious technique. He performs and overdubs each instrumental component himself, and out of this process micro-structures and loose arrangements emerge: the piece becomes an improvised composition. Over time he has evolved his own richly poetic musical language, full of allusions to drone, acid folk, classical, Musique concrète and jazz, but beholden to none. 

Originally released on La Scie Doree in 2005, in an edition of 350 copies, Aura Legato is one of van Luijk’s darker and more acutely psychedelic offerings. It’s a work of profound interiority, but one that also conjures images of old Europe and fin-de-siècle decadence – dabblings in Thelema, the fog of the opium-den – and has earned telling, if inadequate, comparisons to Third Ear Band, Nurse With Wound, Mirror and HNAS. Fully remastered by Noel Summerville, the album has never sounded better, and our vinyl edition replicates the original’s ornate presentation: sleeve die-cut in the style of a 78rpm record, with gold detailing and individually hand-glued labels. Due to be released in May 2016, we urge you to acquaint yourself with what is, unmistakeably, a modern classic".

Listen to this wonderful music (full album) at:
Decide by yourse if the reference to the TEB is correct...

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

September 18, 2016

Two TEB amazing rarities for Krazy Kollektors on ebay!

This week we have two  TEB amazing rarities on sale on ebay.
Starting bid at $ 9.99 (or buy now at $ 24.99) is an incredible funny 8-track cartridge cassette of "Alchemy" printed in U.S.A.  as  Capitol SXT-376.
You can check it out at
The bids will stop tomorrow...
Can you imagine someone driving a car with "Duid One" or "Ghetto Raga" playing on his stereo?

Also we have a white label promo copy of "Macbeth" soundtrack (with promo letter inside).
Seller Alan Watters wrote me an e-mail just to let me know it:

"Hi there Luca,
I thought I'd let you know I am selling my white label promo copy of Macbeth by the third ear band (with promo letter) on eBay. I have put a few pictures up so you and others can check it out. I have the price quite high on it as I'm reluctant to sell but offers are welcome. If you have any questions I'd be happy to answer them.
Keep up the good work, all the best from Alex." 

Also his ad is at ebay Web site but I cannot find it...

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

September 13, 2016

New interview with music arranger and producer Paul Buckmaster on the Net.

A new interview by Michelle Lanz with Paul Buckmaster  is available at 89.3KPCC radio Web station (
No words about the TEB, but some interesting things on David Bowie, Elton John and Miles Davis...

Meanwhile Paul has recently changed his personal Web site with new photos and stuff at

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

September 03, 2016

"Movements" on the Net around the Third Ear Band...

It's clear to me the Third Ear Band is an evergreen band! The evidence of it is that the Net is still interested into TEB's music and often bloggers/fans/ journalists dedicate pages to Our Alchemical Esoteric Band.
From the beginning of this year I like to advise some interesting stuff:

in Februry 2016 French Web site "Rythmes Croisés" wrote a review on "Exorcisms" at; then, Web site "Pound for Pound" published two inspired pieces in March 2016 on "Alchemy" and "Third Ear Band" at and at
showing is still possible to write personal ideas about the music,   despite the discouraging social networks' attitude just to post music, pictures and video without a word, ideas, opinions, analysis... (but, yes, "I like it"...).

Again in last March, on the strange "Mouser" site such "Isidis" wrote a very inspired thing about "Abelard & Heloise" soundtrack, a short personal speculation about love... ( ).
And what about the sale of  a "Third Ear Band - Collection of 4 x original issue LPs on EMI Harvest from this experimental rock" on the site "The Saleroom" of Warrington (Cheshire, UK) for an estimate price of 60-80 GPB (read here)?

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

August 29, 2016

A temporary cover for the next TEB's CD...

Talented designer Martin Cook is working on the next Third Ear Band CD titled "Spirits". This below is a temporary cover for Gonzo Multimedia's on line use...
Do you like it?

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

August 26, 2016

Roberto Musci's video tribute to the Third Ear Band!

Titled "Mosaic", this below is a beautiful tribute our friend Roberto Musci dedicated to the Third Ear Band based on his personal reinterpretation of the old classics recently published  by Gonzo Multimedia.

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