A trip into the Fourth World with an icon of experimental music.
Since the 1970s, Jon Hassell's albums have transported listeners to imaginary worlds. The inspiration for these worlds is drawn from a rich variety of cultures and musical styles. Hassell uses the phrase "Fourth World" to describe his music, an East-meets-West fusion that's often marked by his singular trumpet playing, wandering percussion and evocative track titles like "Toucan Ocean," "Cobra Moon" and "Dream Theory." It's a style that inspired Brian Eno, with whom Hassell shares a close but complicated relationship, and countless other experimental musicians. Hassell, who grew up in Memphis, studied under Karlheinz Stockhausen in Cologne before moving to New York, where he became part of the city's avant-garde scene. Now in his late '70s, he continues to perform live, and he recently published a book titled The North And South Of You. Aaron Coultate took the opportunity to spend time with Hassell on his recent visit to London.