Ernest Hood (1923–1995) was born into a musical family in Portland, Oregon, and remained there for the rest of his life. He began a promising career as a guitarist in a globe-trotting jazz ensemble but had to transition to less physically demanding instruments after a debilitating outbreak of Polio in his late twenties. Hood took up playing the zither and began experimenting with synthesisers and incorporating field recordings into his work with jazz ensembles as early as 1956—a very new musical idea at the time.
Having collected decades of environmental sound recordings, Hood put them to use on his most significant opus, Neighborhoods, in 1975—an exercise in what he called ‘musical cinematography’, capturing the sounds, images and moods of childhood. Like many artists at the time, Hood was fascinated by the idea of the period between 1950–1960 as a time of innocence immediately before the seismic socio-political changes that shook America in the following decade. The album was reissued by Freedom to Spend in 2019 to critical acclaim.
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- GRC4 #40
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