The Tapeworm presents…



TTW#126 – Simon Fisher Turner – Life Recordings From Prospect Cottage And The Ness

Cassette only – limited edition of 126 copies
Buy on Bandcamp

The life recordings on this C40 cassette are raw, unedited transfers from Dungeness made with a Sony Walkman Professional WM-D6 by Simon Fisher Turner. With the voice of Derek Jarman recorded on 20 June 1992 in his cottage as he begins to write “Chroma”, and sounds from around the nuclear power station in the fifth corner at the end of the globe.

Tape transfers by Philip Marshall. Tape transcriptions by Lisa Swarna Khanna. Mastered by Phil Julian. Artwork: Russell J.R. Harris for Anal Witchery.

From child actor to teenage pop idol, from self-confessed “extreme sound freak” to acclaimed solo recording artist, Simon Fisher Turner’s career has been nothing if not varied. His early acting credits included film and TV roles from “Tom Brown's Schooldays” 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 briefly 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. His work with films has continued unabated since Jarman’s death.


Electronic Sound (UK):

“Can you edit this?” says the late writer and filmmaker Derek Jarman about four minutes into this collection of 1992 recordings, made by his friend and collaborator Simon Fisher Turner at Jarman’s cottage in Dungeness.

To Fisher Turner’s credit, he didn't edit Jarman’s various readings and improvisations included here, each one focussed on the colour white. We hear pages turning, hesitations, mistakes, phones ringing, the clearing of throats. “Are these alright?” enquires Jarman nervously. “Yes, very nice,” responds Fisher Turner. It is a brief and illuminating glimpse of the connection between these two friends.

The tape is balanced with location recordings made around the other local draw of Dungeness – its ominous nuclear power station – capturing the ceaseless hum of power cables, and generators. There’s also a brief encounter with a bee, some rhythmic metal bashing, waves crashing onto the shore, fishermen, and the lonely footsteps on the pebble beach.

Bleep (UK):

There’s no stopping The Tapeworm in 2020, and lucky for us, they’re content to release whatever they feel like regardless of genre. Dungeness field recording producer and musician Simon Fisher Turner goes totally raw with nothing more than a Sony Walkman Professional WM-D6, the far off sounds of a nuclear power station, and the recorded immortal voice of Derek Jarman in this most intimate of compositions.


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