VIDA 000 TRIPLE VISION 000 IGNITION FILMS 000 THE PRESENT 000 A HISTORY OF MY PROJECTS
SOUND AND MUSIC
I began by writing poems, drawing and then learning music - I took up Spanish guitar at 8. The idea of the 'Renaissance Man' was empowering - what if you had an interest in everything? As a conscious intellect surely it was the duty of that entity to be curious? Music was pretty dominant in my childhood and teens. I joined a group at 13 playing guitar and moved to another playing bass, a three piece with a guitarist who looked like Jimmy Hendrix - Mark Arthurworrey - and a drummer who later became Satus Quo's drummer, Jeff Rich, a very good jazz drummer at the time. At 16 I formed another group with Gary Heath, Reverie, still on Rickenbacker bass. This group was motivated by Peake's Titus Groan, Russian literature, the dreaming side of Human Nature. By the time I was 19 we'd sold all of our equipment, bought an E-type Jaguar, sold it at a profit and made an album entitled 'Reverie' with Linda Stevens, Tomand Mick (with songs composed from the age of 17 forwards with Gary). We recorded an album with the members of Van Der Graeff Generator doing the technical work on the valve based desk that Jimi Hendrix recorded some of Electric Ladyland on, using other equipment hired from Hawkwind.We went to Wales and recorded 3 songs and a long form piece 'Q.D.B' for which we hired a large amount of percussion. Played a gig at London's Speakeasy with 3 of the members of Queen doing the PA. An early single (recorded in a rehersal room) probably influenced by Sparks Single00Wide White Sea recorded at Trident Studios (later The Long Soft Silent Years)
The Long Soft Silent Years000Witch of the North Shore000Dark and Stars and Roses
Q.D.B (The Reverie)000Another Q.D.B off tape
By 1973 Reverie had become Strange Mercy (via working with Al Murphy who recorded for Heaven 17 and Kate Bush and Henry the drummer). Mike who was a singer joined, then Cass the singer. Somewhgere in here we played with 3rd Ear band for a bit with Eddie the drummer (and then there was a stint with tewo drummers in Kings road rehesal rooms). Then Paul, the drummer from Atomic Roster joined, as Tony Lowe I and Gary Heath had composed pieces like 'Planetside, Strange Mercy, Reality is the Same Vase of Flowers, and Conversations.
By late 1975 I had applied for and by 1976 entered North East London Polytechnic (later called the University of East London). My BA was in Communication Design and the ideas of Macluhan, Buckminster Fuller, Staford Beer and Edmund Carpenter were dominant. This course was of course the visionary predecessor of the digital age but the technology was analogue. Here I came across graphics, radio photgraphy and film again and began to experiment in the realm that would later become digital. Within six months I had become involved with video and we formed Vida. As we went on we became more jazz influenced and by 1976 we had written 'Even Stranger'. There's real musical acumen in terms of composition and strong musicianship going on (we jointly composed and I guess I must have been about 23 then). There are many more pieces but these are now lost. Tis track is p[robably the only one with Gary, but with Fred on Piano and on drums Akai: Even Stranger000
There's actually a video shot in 1976 of a Strange Mercy rehearsal where we were running through some of the ideas in Even Stranger.
Lastly, there's a couple of more recnt things called Alive Again and Towards Aquarius. I still play guitar - it's a lifelong learning process.
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