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Indian E-music – The right mix of Indian Vibes… » Jon Hassell, music’s great globetrotter: ‘Be more aware of the rest of the world!’


Jon Hassell, music’s great globetrotter: ‘Be more aware of the rest of the world!’

Delivered... Alexis Petridis | Scene | Tue 28 Jul 2020 10:30 am

The 83-year-old is heralded by everyone from Bono to Basquiat for his ‘fourth world’ vision for music – and pop has caught up with him

Crackling down a phone line from Los Angeles, Jon Hassell apologises in advance. Now 83, the multi-instrumentalist and composer – a hero of Brian Eno, Björk, Bono, Jean-Michel Basquiat and others – fell in his recording studio earlier this year, breaking his leg. The subsequent recuperation in a convalescent hospital went on for four months. He had no visitors, due to the coronavirus pandemic, “so I only had my cell phone to maintain contact with the outside world”.

It is an experience that has had after-effects. “I’m feeling a little bird-out-of-cage-like,” he says. “I’ve just got a new apartment and I’m sitting here looking at all the things I’ve brought out of storage yesterday. The place is full of stuff and I have to dig through a lot of things now. And that kind of includes my memory,” he adds, referring to our conversation. “You might hear me searching for really polished answers. But let’s give it a try.”

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