Third Ear Band  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Third Ear Band evolved within the London alternative and free-music scene of the mid 1960s.


Members came from The Giant Sun Trolley and The People Band to create an improvised music drawing on Eastern raga forms, European folk, experimental and medieval influences. They recorded their first session in 1968 for Ron Geesin which was released under the pseudonym of The National-Balkan Ensemble on one side of a Standard Music Library disc. Their first actual album, Alchemy, was released on the EMI Harvest label in 1969, (featuring John Peel playing Jew's Harp on one track), followed by Air, Earth, Fire, Water (aka Elements) in 1970. They recorded two soundtracks, the first in 1970 for an animated film by Fuchs of Abelard and Heloise (which first saw release as part of Luca Ferrari's Necromancers of the Drifting West Sonic Book in 1997) and then in 1971 for Roman Polanski's film of Macbeth. After various later incarnations and albums they finally disbanded in 1993 owing to leader and percussionist Glen Sweeney's ongoing health problems.

They also opened The Rolling Stones Free Concert at Hyde Park on 5 July 1969.

Collective band members


  • The National-Balkan Ensemble (1968)
  • Alchemy (1969)
  • Third Ear Band (1970)
  • Abelard and Heloise (1970)
  • Music from Macbeth (Soundtrack to The Tragedy of Macbeth, Roman Polanski's film adaptation of Shakespeare's Macbeth) (1972)
  • Prophecies (1972 (or more likely 1978) - released in 1991)
  • Experiences (compilation 1976)
  • Live Ghosts (1988)
  • Radio Sessions (1988)
  • New Forecasts from the Third Ear Almanach (1989)
  • Magic Music (1990)
  • Brain Waves (1993)
  • Live (1996)
  • Magic Music (1997)
  • The Magus (1972 - released in 2005)

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Third Ear Band" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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