TTW#04 - Simon Fisher Turner - De Dentro Hacia Afuera
Cassette only - limited edition of 250 copies
A: Carboneras Saints Day, 16 July 2002
B: Solo Piano Improvisation #54
Outside: Carboneras Saints Day, 16 July 2002 – procession of the Virgen del Carmen, recorded at Carboneras in the provence of Almería.
Inside: Solo Piano Improvisation #54 – one of two improvisations recorded at Eastcote Studios, London, 2003, for the film “I'll Sleep When I'm Dead”, directed by Mike Hodges.
From child actor to teenage pop idol, from self-confessed “extreme sound freak” to acclaimed solo recording artist, Simon Fisher’s career has been nothing if not varied. His early acting credits included film and TV roles from Black Beauty to The Big Sleep (re-made with Robert Mitchum). At the same time he was fronting various '70s pop acts, and at the age of 17 was signed to Jonathan King’s UK Records, releasing his first solo album in 1969.
After that precocious start, Simon followed an often eccentric, sometimes outlandish musical path. He operated on the fringes of punk; performed briely with The The; became Musician in Residence at the ICA in 1980; released two albums as one half of a fictional French female duo know as Deux Filles. But through all this Simon was developing a deep and abiding interest in the stuff of sound, accumulating a vast library of collected sounds from daily life. It is this interest which now forms the basis of his improvisatory, eclectic approach to music making, and is manifest on his most recent solo albums on the Mute Label (his discography comprises some 30 solo albums to date). From trite pop to extreme sound-freakery, the mature SFT (as he now styles himself) has arrived at a mesmeric originality.
Simon’s life as a film composer stems from his association with Derek Jarman in the 1980s and 1990s. His scoring credits for Jarman included Caravaggio, The Last of England, The Garden and Edward II. His final film for Jarman was the powerful, poignant Blue, where a soundscape recorded by Simon at Eno’s country house, together with Jarman’s AIDs-inspired spoken words, stood in for visuals - only a blue screen was projected. The film won a Michael Powell Award. Simon subsequently toured Blue round the world, performing his music at live screenings.
His work with films has continued unabated since Jarman’s death, recent credits including the Anna Campion-directed Inertia and Bipolar, Don Boyd’s My Kingdom (on which he collaborated with Deirdre Gribbin), Paul McGuigan’s Ganster No. 1 and Mike Hodges’ Croupier and I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead.
While adept at avant-garde projects such as Blue, Simon Fisher Turner is nothing if not adaptable and responsive. He has also worked on a number of television documentaries and advertising commercials - including, most recently, one for Macmillan Cancer Support in 2008.
He is currently working on the soundtrack to The Invisible Frame, starring Tilda Swinton, for release later in 2009 – further information can be found at www.filmgalerie451.de
Actor turned musician Simon Fisher Turner has had a long and illustrious career, TV and film, from punk rock to extreme avant sound making, this latest releases comes in the form of a super limited cassette on the Tapeworm label, number 4 for those of you keeping track, with previous installments from Philip Jeck, Stephen O'Malley, and a recording from a text by Baudrillard. Turner's contribution to the series is an odd one. The A side is a super cool field recording from Spain, the procession of the Virgen Del Carmen, you can hear people talking, laughing, footsteps, various ambient sounds, until the music starts, a swirling festive gypsy big band, horns, snares, strings, peppered with huge booms (fireworks?) and of course the voices of people lining the procession route, wheels on the dirt road, what sounds like distant thunder. Really really nice.
The other side features two solo piano improvisations, recorded in 2003 as a film score, very haunting and atonal, strange angular melodies, lots of space, little flurries of notes, looped and hypnotic sounding, slipping from dark and almost balladic, to more jagged and manic and back again. Cool stuff for sure, not sure how the two sides tie together, but each on its own is a super satisfying listen.