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Fireside Chat – Jon Hassell

Red Bull Radio March 27, 2021 40


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Raised in Memphis and based in Los Angeles, Jon Hassell is a trumpeter, composer and ambient electronic musician who is regarded as the godfather of “fourth world music,” a term that Hassell coined while working on Brian Eno’s 1980 album, _Fourth World Vol. 1: Possible Music_. The Eno record draws on ethnomusicology, field recordings and deconstructed technologies to create cosmic soundscapes that melt time and place together; that sound was introduced on Hassell’s own 1981 album _Dream Theory in Malaya_, where eastern percussion blends with his trumpet-playing. After studying composition in the US, Hassell worked with Karlheinz Stockhausen in Europe, and with minimalist masters La Monte Young and Terry Riley; he also became a student of Hindustani raga master, Pandit Pran Nath. As a cult figure himself in the decades since, Hassell’s sound is much copied but arguably, never bettered.

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