anonradio: the next generation

Background Noise: Basil Kirchin exploratory music pioneer

Posted in Uncategorized by loops on March 21, 2011

The link is here

this morning, Basil Kirchin was a British drummer with a background in jazz music. His career included scoring films, to experimenting with the manipulation of recorded sounds which has seen him cited as “the father of ambient music.”Featuring the recently released soundtrack to the mondoish London 60’s  documentary film Primitive London. Also earlier more ambient music. He was born on August 8, 1927 and passed away on June 18, 2005. At the age of 13 he played drums in his father’s big band. After spending time in both India and Sydney he returned to Britain in 1961 and began experimenting with sounds collecting various environmental sounds. In 1967 the arts Council awarded him a grant to purchase a nagra tape recorder on which he recorded ambient sounds including those from the London zoo and the voices of autistic children. In the 1960s he began composing or will parts. Produced as part of the legendary Worlds Within Worlds series, this represents what Basil wanted to produce, rather that what he was told to produce. His idea was simple, to manipulate sound in a way that it would “reveal hidden characters, little boulders of unheard music, symphonies of new music”. And here Basil uses sound in every way possible, taking field recordings, structured and free jazz and moulding it by hand into a wild collage of music,. Animals, birds, brass, Austistic children and trams all melt into one extraordinary sonic whole. Kirchin was a major influence on Brian Eno and the Industrial Movement. The Quantum recording date from circa 1967 – 1973, and feature Evan Parker released in 2003. The following is an excerpt from each of the two parts. The CDs this morning released on the trunk records label. 3 min approximately

Track, Title, Duration (start, finish)

1, once upon a time, 9’,0’0”-9’0” (fade slowly)

2, special relativity,9’,9’30”-18’30” (fade slowly)

Some Very distinctive themes for  fairly obscure 1960s British films.

1.The Shuttered Room (based on an HP Lovecraft story) 1967 2’20”

2. The strange affair 1968 ~3’

Now CD released in December 2010 and again on trunk records. The soundtrack to the 1965 documentary film Primitive London. A focus on the underbelly of London in the 60s. Soundtrack by Basil Kirchin is strangely seedy and very evocative of the on screen journey through the lives of mods, rockers and strippers. He was one of the the most important composers of library, film, and jazz music to emerge from Great Britain in the 1960s.  It’s obvious from his use of sophisticated exotica, slippery, tropical cocktail lounge-jazz, haunting organ, and pulsing polyrhythmic elements that his strategies were already formulating in 1965. Kirchin had an ear for very dark and haunting melodies creating here with the aid of the theremin, which are amply evidenced by “Primitive London 4.”

Here is primitive London~1’1 –6 (13′ approximately) 

now slightly more abstract but in the same vein his music to another obscure British film from 1971, the freelance. With more experimentation and unexpected twists and turns. And a sophisticated  textural and dynamic palette. He was by now an established library music composer.

Track, title, duration

8, the freelance (abstract jazz 3),4′ 08″

9, the freelance (abstract jazz 4),9′ 49″

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