Basil Kirchin, secret English musical legend, is dead

Thanks Simon for letting me know that Basil Kirchin died on June 19th. I'd never heard of Basil until Simon's email arrived, but I'm glad I do now. He was a 100% paid up legend, inspiring people like Brian Eno and Nurse With Wound. He did things like being the first person to ever tour with their own PA system in the 1950s, and possibly the first (of countless) person to claim to be "writing music for an imaginary film". I'd very highly recommend this short history from Trunk Records, but this quote (from an interview with Bob Stanley in 2003) seems to capture what he was about: "If you take the human voice and slow it down five octaves, immediately everything you can hear drops away. Take birdsong, all those harmonics you can't hear are brought down - sounds that human ears have never heard before. Little boulders of sound. In 1964 it was hard to capture. There was only reel to reel tape, and it took eight or nine years of my life. It was long and hard and painful. Now with the new technology you can hear these boulders of sound without changing the pitch, which is miraculous!"
On and off through the Sixties and Seventies, Kirchin stayed in an autistic community at Schurmatt in Switzerland. "These autistic children, the sounds they make when they try to communicate are unbelievable. They jabber away and of course it's gibberish and meaningless. But if you record it and apply the techniques I've me, you can hear what they're trying to convey."
... [click to continue reading]

sad news, this; i've been a fan since i borrowed a friend's copy of _worlds within worlds_, and johnny trunk's earned my eternal thanks for making these remarkable musics accessible to all.
As Basil leaves our world,an irreplaceable hole appears.I worked with him,and Keith Herd on some of the demos of the 60's & 70's.Basil was an intense man,who worked tirelessly at his art, never,in his lifetime receiving his just acclaim.He is destined to become a legend.
it is really sad news
Post a Comment

<< Home
Music Thing on Twitter
    follow MT on Twitter

    Music Thing Hits:
    Music Thing Heroes:
    Music Thing Friends:
    My music gear for sale
    DIY Modular Synth
    Matrix Synth
    Create Digital Music
    Analog Industries
    Boing Boing Gadgets
    London Video Production
    Wire to the Ear
    Palm Sounds
    Noise Addicts
    Retro Thing
    Analogue Haven
    Music Thing Massive
    About Music Thing:
    Send tips to Music Thing
    About this site
    Music Thing Massive
    RSS Feeds

    Problem with the ads?
    Please let me know