jon hassell | diorama 1

diorama 1979–1980

di-o-ra-ma: A three-dimensional miniature scene with painted modelled figures and background




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Verbatim notes in red

18Sept80 Meet Gil Evans for lunch at Chinese Restaurant on 7th Ave. We used to live in same building before I did the window thing and split for California. I'm dumbfounded to learn that he's not rolling in royalties. (This is GIL EVANS, people! Porgy and Bess! Sketches of Spain! Into the Cool! If he were living in France he'd be wealthy and wearing the Legion D'Honeur.) We walk over to Masabumi Kikuchi's studio where Gil sits down at keyboard and lays down some changes. This whole idea—that I'm here with Gil Evans, watching him stretch out those fingers and find those chord voicings that were so deeply grooved into my soul—blows me away. What a dear, sweet man—Flash forward to 2002: Having dinner with Miles Evans, his son, the (what else could he become with a name like that?) trumpet player, at Chan Dara in LA and ogling the Thai babes together. It feels good to maintain some contact with this noble lineage.

04Nov80 Write outline of EGH for presentation to Sam. Sam was one of the heads of the label, Editions E.G. "EGH" is Earth's Greatest Hits. What a great idea: re-package the most incredible pieces at ethnic music-chosen by myself, Eno, and Robert Palmer of the NY Times—and return the profits to the tribes who made the music! Again, short-sightedness ruled and the world had to wait for the likes of Bob Geldof and Peter Gabriel.

27Nov80 Thanksgiving. Nice gathering chez Brian and Alex with Walter, David Byrne, Kristine McKenna, Toni Basil, Laraaji. The Actuel cover gang celebrates: Brian Eno with his then girlfriend, Alex; Walter DeMaria, the earth artist; David Byrne of the Talking Heads with Kristine McKenna, the music writer and Laraaji, the 'new age' musician who Brian put on his Opal record label.


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