jon hassell | atmospherics | possible musics
Jon Hassell atmospherics : stories in words and pictures

1977 | 1979 | 1980 | 1981 | 1983 | 1986 | 1987 | 1989 | 1990 | 1994 | 1997 | 1999 | 2005

possible musics

 I | II | III | IV 

Possible Musics / Fourth World Vol 1—First, let it be said that this title (and this record) form a powerful nucleus of two concepts which became extremely influential: the pluralizing of "music" to suggest that there is more than one (foreshadowing the "diversity" movement before the term "political correctness" poisoned the well) and the 1+3=4 formula as a symbol for an idealized interbreeding of "first" (technological) and "third" (traditional) world influences in a way that aspires to be both "metaclassical" and "metapop." This formulation framed a lot of possibilities that are still being explored and refined (and inevitably, banalized). In October 1977, I did a concert at The Kitchen (premiere showcase of the New York scene) which was supposed to feature some of the Earthquake Island musicians but that didn't work out so I made some background textures from isolated tracks of the 24-track tape along with a transformation of the lush intro to a 10cc (the UK group) song into a "harmonic tambura" (another musician functioned as a kind of "tape DJ", cueing all the backgrounds) and played over that with my newfound technofriend, the harmonizer. A glowing New York Times review of this concert ("Jon Hassell, Trumpeter, Opens Vistas") was a great moment of validation and inspired me to go beyond the diary entries of mounting despair (alternating with ecstatic notes of love about spicey soirées with the young French-Vietnamese trapeze artist, the svelte London model showing off her new Kamali bikini at my loft on Park Avenue South, and the soothing sweetness of the Spanish-Filipino with hypertrophy of the clitoris who later had an operation, became a model, then a nun). In June 1979, I did another Kitchen concert which introduced an early version of 'Charm'. >>