Music Works Together

January 4, 2017

collaborationoriginal image, sans gym, from this video (link)

I remember back in high school, my bud Richard and a couple other musicians went into the empty gymnasium at lunch. There was (the mandatory) massive stage with a piano and Rich sat down and began to play. He did his standards, Beatles to rag time, but finally started to play the piano lead for Tubular Bells. Suddenly people started showing up – peeking their heads through the doors – to see who was playing. In no time, there was a crowd of teachers and students getting into the music coming from this unexpected source. The lure of music.

In this clip from the BBC, recorded in November, 1974, we see several musicians playing through Tubular Bells. Mike Oldfield’s work was really part of a whole tide of new, experimental, progressive sound that was being created at the time. The most important point for me here is the collaborative work of a bunch of young musicians sitting around playing off each other. Honestly, at the time, this is what we all dreamed of doing…..none of that 9-5 BS.

But Richard was killed by a drunk driver, Mike went to California to go to school, we all drifted apart and for us, the personal, creative side of (collaborative) music making was gone.

I’m just going to lift the following from the YT entry so that I can add links: Tubular Bells Part 1 with a “cast including Oldfield, his brother Terry (flute), Fred Frith (and other members of Henry Cow), Steve Hillage, Pierre Moerlen, Tom Newman, Mike Ratledge, Mick Taylor, Karl Jenkins and others”.

Mike Oldfield ‘Tubular Bells’ Live at the BBC 1973

YouTube post by Peter Nicholls

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