Third Ear Band - Macbeth LP
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"As a luxurious aperitif for the future release of the Elementsalbum (including its extra sauces), Munster Records bring us Macbeth, the staggering soundtrack by the English band Third Era Band for a Roman Polanski's film, recorded and produced in 1971. A magical invitation urging the listener to dive into unsuspected regions of boldness, unpredictability, and an intimate abstract-folkster-experimentalism. According to the founding member Glenn Sweeney, 'the music was called alchemical because it was produced by repetition.' However, mind it, such repetition doesn't follow the same musical structures of, let's say, Terry Riley, Steve Reich or Philip Glass due to its indefinite nature of internal-twisted and tormented passages of a peculiar poetic enchantment. The band, formed in Canterbury, started in 1967 playing an oriental hypnotic-free-form-folk. Signed to the prosperous cult label Harvest, they debuted in 1969 with Alchemy, an instrumental jazzy-psych improvisational album. A fully formed masterpiece came in 1970 on the already aforementioned self-titled opus, also known as Elements. For Macbeth, their third one, just the main chief Glenn Sweeney (assorted percussion) and Richard Coff (viola and violin) remained from the original four-piece line-up. It was recorded when half of the quartet -- Richard Coff (viola and violin) and Ursula Smith (cello) -- had already departed, and they were about to record a third album entitled The Dragon Wakes . . . Aside from a few sessions, this album was never completed. The themes presented on the film were composed in an improvised manner while watching black and white excerpts of the oeuvre. The music, recorded in six weeks at George Martin's Air Studios, in July 1971, has the same unconventional and quite unique dimension as the film itself. It is an auteur music for an auteur film . . . There is an arty-medieval atmosphere overall, and it's folkishly ludic in tracks like 'Overture', 'Iverness', 'Court Dance' and 'Fleance', where the experimental interjections function as colorful devices. 'Fleance' -- with the guest singer Keith Chegwin -- is a scintillating highlight. The poetic assaults of concrete music are present in themes like 'The Beach', 'Ambush', 'Prophesies', as if every drumming fractures, singing seagulls or sharp whistles where conducting us to waves of fear into the unknown. There are other lost beauties in its official 44 minutes like the minimal oboe melody of 'Lady Macbeth' floating as a centipede of dreams or the lyrical guitar chords of 'The Banquet' punctuating a climax of sheer mystery..." --Fernando Naporano