Hearts of Space Gave me a New View of Jon Hassell

Hearts of Space Gave me a New View of Jon Hassell

Hearst of Space

One April 24, 2009, Hearts of Space presented Program 873: “More Ambient Cool”. The first offering was by the trumpeter Jon Hassell, “Last Night The Moon Came Dropping its clothes in the street”, from a new album of the same name.

Last Night

I really liked the piece. I have previously had very little contact with Mr Hassell’s music, I think just the albums “Fourth World, Vol.1 Possible Musics” and “Power Spot” back in the cassette days. Let me tell you, I had no idea then what was going on.

Now, with Stephen Hills introduction, I had an inkling of an idea of Mr. Hassell’s influences. You can read all about Jon Hassell in Wikipedia.

I also found an interview of Mr Hassell which was done at WXPN, Public Radio at The University of Pennsylvania.

What I came away with, after Stephen’s interview, the Wikipedia article, and the interview was pretty much to take the advice that Philip Glass gave about listening to Einstein on the Beach: don’t try to bring too much into the experience, just let the music play over you. If you like it, then, well, listen on.

So, I got myself a bunch more albums and I am now thoroughly enjoying the music of Jon Hassell thanks to the gutsy play of Stephen Hill to include Mr Hassell’s work in the HOS orbit. Mr Hassell is also included in PGM’s 845 Summertronica; 731 Magic Realism; 696 Possible Musics; 563 Fascinoma, actually a Hassell title in itself; 498 Vernal Equinox; 455 Equator; 250 Liquid Desires; and a couple more.

Stephen and co-Producer Steve Davis must have really liked the album Maarifa Street/MagicRealism 2. It powers much of PGM 731 referred to above.

Since I am recovering from pheumonia and have some time, I decided to take Mr Hassell for a You Tube ride. I found a five part set of videos of Maarifa Street. You Tube now offers a higher quality video with decent sound. These videos can be downloaded in mp4 via a bookmarklet in either IE or Firefox. I got all five parts. Then I merged them into one seamless 58 minute video For this work, I usually use AVS Video Editor 6 from AVS4YOU. But the software told me that I needed a Quicktime plug in. I do not have or want Quicktime, so, instead, I used ConvertXtoDVD3 from Avangate. This gave me a DVD which I then ripped back to mp4 with ImTOO DVD Ripper Platinum from ImTOO. All in all, a fair piece or work. But it was worth it. Mr Hassell is seated with the trumpet, there are several other players, not much movement, and all of this really big music is coming out.

Here are a few of the other albums I got. They were chosen at random, so there is no claim here to their relative importance.

Fourth World Vol 2Maarifa StVernal Equinox

So, thank you to Hearts of Space for bringing a new musical influence into my life.