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Brian Eno created an ideal circumstance for Hassell’s futurist vision.
This video documents the trumpet player and father of “fourth world” music, Jon Hassell, in one of his most extraordinary live recordings. Filmed in what has been renamed as Brookfield Place but is still commonly known as “The Financial Center” by longtime New Yorkers, the space was recently reopened after a series of renovations resulting from its partial destruction during the September 11th attacks.
The towering palms still stand in the atrium, and it creates a surreal juxtaposition with surrounding contemporary urban architecture. This sets an ideal environment to house Hassell’s unified primitive and futurist compositions. Eno had a hand in creating this maximalist vision and went as far as outfitting the venue with 200 speakers that night. Eno was also behind the board, carefully live mixing the entire performance.
Hassell plays his trumpet in a seated position, and the slithering moans of his instrument are modulated by a series of pedals. The mood is brooding but is softened by the intermittent sounds of the rainforest at night, bird songs and other samples from the natural world.