The Windmill Percussion installation on Walthamstow Marsh, 2002.
The Week of Small Miracles
One of which was this commission by the LMC for an installation on Walthamstow Marshes in 2000. My proposal, for a Windmill Trombone, was based on the 'Martian Whistler' priciple, and supposed to generate tones by a windmill whirling pipes around at high speed; these pipes would each be composed of a tube within another tube (trombone fashion), the inner tube fastened securely to the rotating windmill, the outer spring loaded so as to slide further outward as the speed of rotation increased, thus increasing the length of the pipe, and the resonating air column inside too. The idea was that the fundamental frequency of the note produced would decrease as the length increased, but as the speed increased the harmonic produced would rise integrally in the manner of the 'Martian Whistler' toy of the 1980s. I was intrigued to hear the correlation (if any) between the two, and the possible tone rows (or 'tunes'?) produced. Sadly, despite many experiments, I was unable to produce a note from any of my tubes to realise this interesting theoretical installation, and had to settle for plan B, the Windmill Percussion instead!
When the LMC launched Resonance FM on May 1st 2002, I thought it a good opportunity to air some of the archive recordings I had from the Chinapig Club (particularly), and proposed a weekly show to that end. Running throughout the first year of the station, the content expanded to include archives from Elton Dean's 'Jazz Rumours', Tony Wren's 'Free Radicals, and collections from Marcio Mattos, Adam Bohman, Richard Beard, Tim Fletcher and many others. We uncovered recordings going back as far as the Plough at Stockwell, and the LMC of 1979, of some amazing and definitive music. My thanks to all involved in that project, and long may Resonance FM flourish in all its creative eccentric originality.