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

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possible musics

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This was the one piece of mine that I played for Pran Nath, and his approval ("Playing this instrument like no one before... they will line up for you around the block") made me feel like a butterfly emerging from its chrysalis. The flavor was "mine" but the essence of his teaching, his "shape-giving", was deeply embedded. Brian Eno was then living in New York and had picked up my Vernal Equinox record and—by his telling—had spent a lot of time that summer immersed in it, so he came up to me after the concert and introduced himself and suggested that we work together on something. So we started hanging out a bit, having dinner and long talks, some nights at the Mudd Club and we discovered a great flow together which has continued on and off to the present day. He was working with the Talking Heads on Fear of Music at the time, so David Byrne joined in the hang (an apotheosis of which was reached when we three white boys got mugged together at an outdoor Caribbean Festival in Brooklyn that developed into a full-fledged riot. Headline: uncomfortable social reality scrapes the knee of idealized rainbow-tribe visions. Too bad no pictures of this.) and I was turning them on to some music, mostly African, they hadn't heard before on the French Ocora label. That African wind—and some of my trumpet (on 'Houses in Motion')—can be heard blowing through the Talking Heads next record, Remain in Light and on into much of the music world during the coming years. So Brian and I—with David dropping by from time to time to check it out and, memorably, to offer his starpower on the record if desired—began work on Possible Musics at Celestial Sound and I, of course, called in the incomparable Nana who turned me on to Aiybe Dieng, a terrific Senegalese drummer, and Brian brought in some people he'd worked with, like Percy Jones, who did that great bass part on 'Chemistry'. >>