December 02, 2020

"The Secret Canticle Of The Elements". JENNY SORRENTI and TULLIO ANGELINI celebrate the Third Ear Band!

At the beginning of 2020 Italian musician Jenny Sorrenti and musician/promoter, Tullio Angelini  wrote a short piece about their favourite psychedelic record  for a special issue on psychedelic music published by Italian magazine Classic Rock. They selected TEB's second album inspired by the primordial elements. A piece that's a real act of love for the band, full of passion and emotion. Here below you can read a more extensive version of it, written by them later, exclusively for Ghettoraga Archive (Jenny and Tullio also proposed the pictures included).

"It was March in the early '70s when someone told me about a house in Vomero, a neighbourhood in the hilly area of Naples, where some guys were listening to great music. At the time the vinyl was 'just out' and imported from England. We young musicians, afflicted by that process of decay that music was undergoing, increasingly more deficient in emotion, expressed words of great satisfaction for this.
He was a Neapolitan photographer who opened his house to let us listen to the latest news in various musical genres: from underground to psychedelia, from folk to rock. He had lived two years in London, working in the photographic field and selling newspapers outside the subway.
So it was in that Neapolitan house that I tuned in, for the first time, with the vibrations and frequencies of the Third Ear Band, and the secret was immediately revealed to me.  
I don't remember exactly where, but in that period I bought the second record of the band, the one with the same title, dedicated to Air, Earth, Fire and Water. This listening brought me a significant personal change. The Third Ear Band's sound is rarefied, ancestral, continually hovering between non-ordinary writing systems. 
The settings describe forms and compositions in a constant dialogue between East and West. Frequent is the reference to the Indian raga integrated by the improvisational practise, a band's true staple. A particular interest seems to be dedicated to the recovery of some sounds, memorized without any formal declaration and internalized as if they were in clandestinitySince that time my perception of music and life were totally new, to the point that this profound transformation helped to free my mind. A process and alchemy that led me to live with visions, colours, sensations never experienced before and without having to resort to who knows what psychotropic substances.
This record let me foreshadow the excellent, wise mutation, and so I approached the listening with surprise, amazement and fear: a fear as of something of unknown and esoteric. The weaves between oboe and violin, hypnotically supported by percussion, were the paradigm of a language in progress that I had intercepted and undertaken. It had broke that classicism, until that moment, so prominent in the structure and form of the songs.
Those notes, that succession of phrasings and performances led me to a naturally altered vision of reality, encouraging me to explore in the depths of my heart and my sensibilities... Without any hesitation, it was the most beautiful psychedelic record ever heard: in fact, in our first album of Saint-Just, titled with the same name of the band, I deservedly thanked them in the sleeve credits. 
Jenny Sorrenti (photo by Francesco Desmaele).

I remember that... in '74 I discovered that Paul Buckmaster, already a member of the Third Ear Band, in Macbeth album, had participated, as a musician, to the first album of a Neapolitan percussionist friend of mine. I was intrigued by the character. So I discovered that he had studied cello at the Conservatory of Music San Pietro a Majella in Naples, where I also had done some exams when I was studying Opera. Paul was of Neapolitan mother and English father... precisely the opposite of me!
His mother, a graduate pianist, had chosen for him where he would grow up and study, so he preferred my hometown. I felt honoured by it. When I went to London to contact some musicians, I also wanted to meet Paul Minns. I wished that, but I couldn't, I had a little time. I had to return to Italy to continue working on "Suspiro", my first solo album.
Tullio Angelini (photo by Luca D'Agostino).

Despite the succession of generous and honourable plots of violin, oboe and cello, supported by the percussive procession, the music of the Elements is still unalterable today, like a rock worked by strong arms and able to carve over, images and representations resistant to the passage of time. 
A doubt arises...! "Could we really interpret all this?"
A workshop of sounds and symbols that, at first, surprised us like an almost mischievous spirit and immediately afterwards filled our hearts with its initiatory grace. The instruments used were like knockers in the night, which made our devotion grow even more... to the point that, through their messages, the music itself became part of our being. Even now their sound is powerful, vigorous and we seem and know that we can still blush when we listen to them. In the album of elements the heavens unfold, the earth stretches out, the waters flow, the fires are unleashed. So if there is a music that has helped our artistic self to become more creative and courageous, that music has undoubtedly been this and will reveal so much more as we continue to walk our way the same way... through lives. 
That's how the music of the Third Ear   Band sounded, that's how it sounds, an extraordinary sonic wonder that makes us imagine that we are among the rare and lucky secret witnesses.
What is highlighted in this album is the rise of sound, its becoming. You can perceive something not imagined and even less organized or edited. Not even improvisation can sanction this overcoming. Along with the notes of the score, behind them or perhaps within them, it seems to be a place where extraordinary things happen, in the guise of a temporal extension capable of putting the musicians out of control. 
After all, air, earth, fire and water belong to Nature, to its divinities, to the formation of the world. This is not conditioned by scans of existential time, without difference between past, present and future, but by the contemplation of the eternal. The harmonies, rhythms, melodies of the four album's tracks of the album are always and only functional to the creation of dimensions that have the common characteristic of inescapability.
Slowly the knowledge of sharing an unaltered and in time never dormant attraction for this band... so ineffable. This is
the first motivation for this writing, which we signed with four hands.

Paul Minns playing at the German TV in 1970.
Finally, we would like to affirm that Paul Minns' oboe (he is still our hero!), with its timbre, continues to emit signals that reach us from afar... perhaps bound to the secret of archaic rituals. It never caught us unprepared but, on the contrary, always receptive to the sublimation of... signs."

Jenny Sorrenti and Tullio Angelini
Rome, November 2020



- Jenny Sorrenti - 


- Tullio Angelini -   

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