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Album Review

Russell, Arthur and The Flying Hearts – “Ballad of The Lights” – [Presspop]

felix   2/12/2016   10-inch, A Library

In the early 70s, at the age of 18, Arthur Russell, a formally trained cellist, moved from Iowa to San Francisco; he studied North Indian classical music at the Ali Akbar College of Music and Western composition part-time at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. It was during this time that he began his association with Allen Ginsberg: accompanying him on the cello as a soloist or in groups while Ginsberg sang or read his poetry. By the mid-70’s Russell moved to New York where he collaborated in the rock project Flying Hearts: which included artists such as David Byrne, Rhys Chatham, and Peter Gordon. The first piece comes from the mid 70’s with the Flying Hearts. “Ballad of the Lights” was written and recited by Russell; Ginsberg accompanies. The second piece “Pacific High Studio Mantras”, chanted by Ginsberg, is a Tibetan mantra recorded in July 1971.
–Double Felix

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