"In the very early days, when all film came from the US, benshi could explain the projection technology and also mediate strange western customs to the Japanese audience." Clive Bell on the narration of silent cinema in Japan, the Burmese record industry and Ugandan Video Jokers
"Is there some synergistic link between UK improv and comedy? To the headphone-clad listener deeply immersed in an AMM album, the answer might be no. To the audience chuckling at an Alan Tomlinson trombone solo, it’s clearly yes."
Clive Bell ponders the fragmented London music audience
You read correctly: the sage Mr Bell buffs his crystal ball (well, his laptop screen), peers into the fogs of 2015 and sees double
Clive Bell on plunging one's head into a brazier of burning coals, playing for the angels and the legacy of Ostad Elahi, reclusive tanbour master
Clive Bell muses on the biwa as vehicle for Japanese epic, and finds parallels in Irish folk ballads and beyond
Clive Bell on the recent furore over Sam Callow's accompaniments to traditional British folk singers.
“That musician really gets up my nose”. Like a bloodhound, Mr Bell picks up on the scent of a new musical accompaniment and asks whether it's gesamtkunstwerk or gimmick.
Clive Bell wonders about the fate of the musician-instrument relationship in the age of the laptop.
Clive Bells laces up his travellin' shoes and goes for a wander through the clips, clops and squeaks of footwear in music.
Clive Bell looks at the resurgent interest in near forgotten 1960s Cambodian pop music, before the Khmer Rouge came to power.
All aboard with Clive Bell: "Musicians love trains. They sing about them, imitate their sounds, and scamper, instrument in hand, for the last departure homebound after a show."
Clive Bell takes a look at the Tweets, the column inches, the bitching and the I’m-above-all-this-nonsense that music competitions attract.
Who gives a toot about the flute anymore? A panegyric by Clive Bell on the once potent pipes of Pan, and some green shoots of hope for this currently degraded wind instrument.
Clive Bell on the continuing appeal of the music box, from inventive Polish packaging, high street trinkets and grown up toys like the German Polyphon.
"Retail is retail, whether it’s a cup of coffee or an Eliane Radigue CD" says Mark Wastell to Mr Bell.
Clive Bell looks at the threatened ecology of instruments and the people who still play them.
Dennis Johnson's newly recorded piece November, which inspired La Monte Young's The Well Tuned Piano, rewrites the history of minimalism. Clive Bell talks to the elusive mathematician.
Clive Bell on the recent glut of monumentally proportioned music, and imagining the person who forks out hard-earned cash for an "obese release"
In the first of a new series of columns written for thewire.co.uk, Clive Bell pitches an imaginary book about Westerners who rewired World Music as if they were saving the whale.
Stream Clive Bell's telephone interview with the film director about his new album, Crazy Clown Time
Clive Bell interviews Yasunao Tone
Listen to a radio history of the LMC