Tubular Bells II Interview - Le Top

January 1, 1970
Yvan Le Bolloc'h & Bruno Solo
Canal+ (French TV)


Yvan Le Bolloc'h: It’s time now to welcome our guest Mike Oldfield whom we’ve got to speak nicely since a pipe explosed close his ear!

Bruno Solo (voice-over): It’s in 1973 that this english composer and guitar player aged of 20 won the prize with his instrumental piece Tubular Bells which became the main theme of 'The Exorcist' movie. Some good albums later, the loop is looped with Tubular Bells 2, the return... Please welcome Mike Oldfield.

YLB: Mike Oldfield, you’re back with Tubular Bells 2. Then, why have you waited 20 years to make a sequel of the number one?

Mike Oldfield: This is about 5 years ago, I though: "Maybe it’s about time I play music like myself". And I was also watching Spielberg sequel to ... erm... I think it was Indiana Jones you know... I'm thinking if you can have a sequel to a film maybe you can have a sequel of a piece of music, an instrumental music... and I had the idea of Tubular Bells II... And it all came from here...

YLB: And so you gave the premiere live performance of Tubular Bells 2 at Edinburgh ... and it was in front Prince Charles... It was in the beginning of September... and this idea how did it come?

Well, we wanted a place to focus the first performance... Edinburgh castle was somewhere I used to play when I was 13. But on those days I played on the street and people would threw me money... Now I was on the top of the castle... And I had to organize it as if it was a classical concert. We had a conductor, we had 20 musicians who could read and also understand synthesizers. We had two computers which threw out commands to the different synthesizers... which channel to be on, which program to be on, what sounds to play, what volumes... So it was a mixture of a classical concert and technology advances of the last 20 years...

YLB: This was a charity concert. Can you tell us more?

Oh !... The charity... yes... It was Prince Charles' Scottish charity for... erm... what he does it’s he gives money to young people who have ideas to start a business in order to regenerate the economy of Scotland. And... erm... we managed to give them 70000 pounds for that charity which he was very happy with...

YLB: Contrary to Tubular Bells, on Tubular Bells I each piece has a title. How do you do to name an instrumental ?

It’s difficult... erm .. The reason why Tubular Bells II has titles it’s because I had complaints. I was on the shower playing... after playing squash and this friend of mine said: "Anytime I want to listen one of your records, I have to listen the all thing... and it’s one hour, you know....I want to pick up the little piece I like... ". So then we had the idea of splitting it into little sections because a CD player can just flip, flip, flip, flip... erm... you can’t pick up the needle like you could do with an old vinyl record.

YLB: Michael, do you see this guitar? It’s waiting for you. Can you play for us a little piece of Tubular Bells II?... Sentinel for example.

Sure...

(He takes the guitar and plays 14 seconds of Sentinel.)

YLB: Thank you. So Mike I would end by offering you something. It’s a surprise. Can you close your eyes?

(Mike closes his eyes and we hear some bells ringing...)

Ho? Ho?

YLB: Ho ! Ho ! Now you can open your eyes...

Ch'ding! Hey! Hey! Oh... hey...

(It's a chime with tubular bells.)

YLB : So you can hang it up on your door, and it will be like a grocery... Of course this have to do with Tubular Bells...

Yes... tubulaire... Cloches tubulaires...

Yes! "Cloches tubulaires" exactly!

C'est très gentil, merci...


Mike Oldfield Tubular.net
Mike Oldfield Tubular.net