It may be my age, but those moments when a piece of music really hits me in the solar plexus seem to get rarer and rarer. But during my recent extended travels in India I was metaphorically punched time and time again when listening to ECM's Codona recordings on headphones. Recent posts have touched on the potential of virtual concert halls and the fact that no one mixes for speakers these days , and the Manfred Eicher produced Codona sessions from between 1978 and 1982 really demonstrate the impact of the up close and personal sound of headphones . The line up for Codona was African-American trumpeter Don Cherry, Brazilian percussionist Nana Vasconcelos, and Colin Walcott on sitar, tabla, hammered dulcimer, sanza, timpani, and voice. The band took its name from a circus trapeze act of the early 20th century called the Flying Codonas , and the three albums packaged by ECM for CD as The Codona Trilogy capture the peerless musicians-beyond-frontiers performing their creative hig
Here we have an example of the failure to show visually whence came our music and how the whole of it came to be. A small matter, of course, for young people now go out into the world almost nescient about how the world as we know it came to be and how they themselves might find a place in it, for they were never properly taught such in the years of their 'schooling'. I'm an ex-pat retired historian who sometimes dreams of the A-Levels of yore (my yore). I kid you not that one september three decades ago, I started the first tutorial of a first-year European history course
by asking someone, anyone, to tell me what they knew about Hitler and Nazism. Nothing - not one could tell me anything at all.
I hope no one is asking what the hell that photo has got to do with history, for it has everything to do with it, including the fact that there are now people thinking Nielsen looked like an avuncular, bearded Scot with a shirt and photographer way ahead of their time.
The description "Radio 2.5" has achieved widespread currency in connection with this and other changes. When I read that description while travelling last week I had a feeling that it originated On An Overgrown Path some years ago. My feeling has been confirmed by a poster on the independent BBC Radio 3 forum -
Here is my 2006 post, which was somewhat ahead of its time -