All that jazz

The work of mu­si­cian Basil Kirchin is be­ing cel­e­brated as part of Hull City of Cul­ture next week­end. Duncan Sea­man re­ports.

Yorkshire Post - Culture & The Guide - - 6/MUSIC -

Basil Kirchin may not be among York­shire and the Hum­ber’s most cel­e­brated mu­si­cians but his work over a 60-year pe­riod can cer­tainly be de­scribed as among the most vi­sion­ary to have ever emerged from this re­gion.

A drum­mer in his fa­ther Ivor’s jazz band, he went on work with fu­ture Bea­tles pro­ducer Sir Ge­orge Martin, cre­ate film sound­tracks – most no­tably the 70s Bri­tish hor­ror film The Abom­inable Dr Phibes – and ex­per­i­ment with in­dus­trial, or­ches­tral, psy­che­delic, am­bi­ent and found sounds.

He died in 2005 aged 77 but next week­end Hull City of Cul­ture 2017 is due to cel­e­brate his work and in­flu­ence with a week­end of con­certs un­der the ban­ner Mind on the Run: The Basil Kirchin Story.

Among the mu­si­cians tak­ing part are Sean O’Ha­gan of The High Lla­mas, sax­o­phon­ist Evan Parker, im­pro­vi­sa­tional duo Spring

Heel Jack and Jerry Dam­mers, founder of The Specials. The clos­ing con­cert at Hull City Hall, Mu­ta­tions of Mu­si­cal Mod­ernism, is be­ing cu­rated by Will Gre­gory of the band Gold­frapp, with con­tri­bu­tions from Saint Eti­enne’s Bob Stan­ley and Pete Wiggs, Björk col­lab­o­ra­tor Matthew Her­bert, Sonic Youth’s Jim O’Rouke and pi­anist Matthew Bourne as well as the BBC Con­cert Or­ches­tra. It’s be­ing recorded for broad­cast on BBC Ra­dio 3’s Here and Now.

Gre­gory may be a rel­a­tive new­comer to Kirchin’s work but hav­ing im­mersed him­self in his record­ings he says: “I’ve come to re­ally love it.” He adds: “It’s funny be­cause you speak to var­i­ous peo­ple and half of them say ‘I’ve never heard of him’ and half of them go ‘I know all about him’. It’s like ‘How have I missed out on this all this time?’ but it seems to be quite com­mon that peo­ple haven’t heard of him.”

Gre­gory, 57, who stud­ied mu­sic at the Univer­sity of York, recog­nises in Kirchin a fel­low sonic ex­plorer. “He’s def­i­nitely part of a move­ment that came up through the 50s and 60s to do

It seems to be quite com­mon

that peo­ple haven’t heard

of him.

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