Cat. No.: SRP074CD
Release date: 1st October 2021
Formats: 1 CD
CD / ltd. edt: 300 copies digisleeve
November 11th, 2020 the year of six feet apart, a brutal summer behind us, the desert haboob’s dust long settled, the big lying brat in the white house won’t let go, an icy wind blowing soft and low, vaxxers and anti vaxxers, masked bandits and shopping carts, all the stages gone dark, all eyes wide open and shut six feet apart.
On a cool but sunny winters day we gathered at the FurstWurld Gallery, each in his own bubble reflecting, dreams six feet apart, Hutch from Joshua Tree setup the studio with great mics and methods of placements, you see, Hutch was Kyuss’s live sound man since the beginning.
This was Danny Frankel's first time having a 3rd Ear Experience. We had ideas, but no maps, we brought in Trevor Madison who had never played keys before, never played in a rock band, we counted in the first jam, not in numbers, but in colors, and so began the collaboration with Danny, and the ghosts of Covid roamed far from the haunted house, and we, warmly safe and sealed in by the desert, filled the great silver quonset hut of the world with music, far from the madding crowd, six feet apart. - go!
All the jams on this record were originally jammed upon an underlying drone made up of tampuras, didgeridoos, cellos, synths and basses.
#1. A Beautiful Question (6:00)
Dhrupad, a Hindu word, meaning "large-footed pillar" Dhrupad is considered to be the oldest of major vocal styles. It is thought to be spiritual, heroic, thoughtful, and has the power of embedding wisdom in the performer and the listener.
Robbi has for many years been fascinated by Druphad music, specifically through learning to play the Rudra Vina. Over the years he has slowly incorporated the seven main “ornaments” of dhrupad into his playing. Ornaments create fine nuances, textures and expressiveness to a simple melody, making it complete in and of itself without the need for accompaniment. The opening track Robbi and Danny dive straight into a dhrupad laden piece “A Beautiful Question”
#2. What Are Their Names. (18:18)
The day we opened this jam up in the studio to see what we got, a notification came up on the screen from a friend
“THEY ARE STORMING THE CAPITOL!!!!”
What Are Their Names is a protest song that asks the question who is running the country and why they run it with “such a thoughtless hand” It is a call for peace - “peace is not an awful lot to ask” What all great anti-war music has done was help define the call of activists and unite people in the call for peace and justice.
What are their names written by David Crosby comes off an album “if only i could remember my name”. which Robb considers in his top ten ‘must own’ on an island.
#3. Cosmos Glazed Elephant. (4:16)
Cosmos glazed elephant is a drums and percussion jam, with an uncompromising Danny layering drums and percussion. Amritakripa and Scott Heller form a cosmic background, a wall of synths.
#4. Weep No More, My Friend. (14:48)
Robbi and Kripa were working on ideas for a jam when the news came over that Robb’s dear friend, guitarist and songwriter Neal Casal had hung himself. Weep No More is the title of a song that Robb penned lyrics for and Neal released on an album called “rain,wind and speed”
Robb was asked to cover the song for a fundraiser album for the Neal Casal Music Foundation. While Kripa was jamming to the jam, Robbi got the idea to sing the song over the intro motif. That version appears on the album Highway Butterfly: The Songs of Neal Casal.
Here is the full original version of the jam, now dedicated to the memory of Neal Casal. The 2nd part of the jam features a relentless and dynamic performance by Danny on drums and percussion. The 3rd part of the Jam shows the band’s magic chemistry as each instrument weaves a delicate tapestry over a haunting African marimba.
#5. Timelessness speaks Pt 1 (8:19)
The first movement in indian classical music called the alap is unmetered, improvised. unaccompanied, and at a slow tempo. Says Robb “ I find it one of the most difficult things to do, to improvise with no meter - almost impossible.” I wanted the musicians to experience this, so we set up a drone and sent Danny in to improvise over it, time-less. After ten minutes, we muted Danny’s track and sent Jorge in to play over the drone timelessly. Each musician took a turn. At the end we unmuted everyone's tracks and was surprised, it seemed as if the musicians were jamming to each other, exchanging and complimenting each other - fucking psychic music man! There is a lot to be learned about life and the invisible thread that sews all things together. We unknowingly felt it…. we played it.
#6. Timelessness Speaks Pt 2 (12:03)
So after the band did the timelessness experiment Robb asked the musicians to go in and jam together, allowing the feeling of timelessness and that invisible thread to be the guide, but this time for Danny to keep time and play the groove that he feels. This is the first take of the evening that was played with these thoughts of timelessness in mind.
Musicians and collaborators
3rd Ear Experience was formed by AmritaKripa and Robbi Robb as a means of sharing their experimental psychedelic space jams held at various locations in the Mojave Desert, featuring different players, friends and musicians of like mind.
Jorge Bassman Carrillo who is also a native desert dweller has appeared on all 3rd Ear Experience albums and is a solid member of the live band.
Danny Frankel - Drums and Percussion
Drummer/Percussionist Danny Frankel started out in New York in its early Punk-Rock days playing at iconic venues like CBGBs. It was there that Brian Eno discovered his band the Urban Verbs, which resulted in a Warner Brothers deal. Later Frankel was discovered by Lou Reed for whom he drummed for several years.
Along with Lou Reed, Danny Frankel has performed and/or recorded with John Cale, Wilco’s Nels Cline, Laurie Anderson, Marianne Faithful and Beck, to name just a few.
Scott Heller - Spacey Synths
Also known as Dr Space, Robb has admired Scott Hellers music via Oresund Space Collective since moving out to the Mojave desert in 2004. Scott's pure improvisational music provided the perfect accompaniment to the desert ambiance with its wide open spaces, its big skies and ultra vivid milky way.
Scott and 3rd Ear Experience first collaborated in 2019 on an album called Ear to Space. Scott’s other projects include, Dr Space's Alien Planet Trip, West Space and Love, Black Moon Circle, Automaton, Albino Rhino, Deep Space Destructors, Aural Hallucinations, Doctors of Space and others ...
Becca Byram - B3 Organ
a.k.a. Analoggirl, Becca is an analog keyboard specialist, who has worked with artists like Blondie, Keith Richards, The Dead Presidents, Toots and the Maytals, and Moby. Commenting on a 3rd Ear Experience Facebook post Becca wrote “I would love to lay down some B3 organ tracks on your jams.” - The offer was immediately accepted!
Troy Page - Didgeridoo
‘Cinematographer, storyteller Hang pan and didgeridoo player.. Robbi was blown away by how much control Troy has of the didgeridoo and how perfectly pitched it sounded. The didgeridoo Troy used on the album was initially crafted by master craftsman Patrick Stevens from an agave plant Troy gave him. After that Troy spent many hours and days further sculpting it to get the perfect drone and overtones. Agave is also the major ingredient in the band’s favorite drink!!
Trevor Madison - Keys
Trevor Madison; songwriter, guitarist and vocalist living in Joshua Tree has never played keys in a band before and it was this naive quality that the band thought would open unexpected pathways during the jams. A pleasant surprise was had by all!
Teddy Quinn - Lead Vox
Robbi and Ted met at a jam session in Joshua Tree. While setting up Robbi began to play phrases from the David Crosby song “What Are Their Names” which Ted Quinn being somewhat of a musicologist recognized immediately and decided then and there that he would be working with Robbi. Shortly thereafter Robbi, Amritakripa and Ted recorded an album entitled “Sunburst Golden Border” under the moniker “Rock Art”.