Saturday 1 May 2010

Richard Scott

Richard Scott exchanged formative experiments with synthesisers and drum machines in the post-punk early eighties for a move to London and the free music scene. Inspired by encounters with John Stevens, Evan Parker, Derek Bailey and AMM, he studied briefly with Steve Lacy, completed a doctorate thesis on free improvisation, and made extended trips to play music in West Africa. Subsequently he has aimed to straddle these two musical worlds searching for connections, through free-improvisation, between music, movement and the body. Richard uses a system of complex motion-controlled electronics, based around the Buchla Lightning.
In the 1990s he moved to Manchester, where he played and recorded with Bark!, Stock, Hausen and Walkman, Grew Trio and Pool and recorded the plunderphonic album Magnificence of Stereo with Rex Casswell (sruti BOX records). He has worked on a variety of projects with David Ross including Let's Make a Solar System (Inu.itu records) and Long Shore Drift ( and recently released an electroacoustic album, Wood Wind Tide with Clive Bell (Kwan Yin records). In 2009 PSI released Essex Foam Party by Grutronic, the first release (possibly ever?) to make subsatntial use of the Buchla Lightning in the context of freely improvised music.
The Buchla lightning is reminiscent of two conducting wands which can be used as percussive controllers, as a kind of sophisticated theremin, as virtual space controllers, as an array of potentiometers or in many other ways. Richard has further combined the wands with two Nintendo wii-mote controllers strapped to the handsets creating a bank of switches, controllers and shift keys which can be used to alter the response and mapping of the lightning on the fly as it is mapped through STEIM's interface software JunXion. The controllers are then routed to the live sampling environment LiSa and an internal synthesizer and external processors. The instrument as it stands is designed to be an improvising instrument, as heard on the recent Grutronic CD "Essex Foam Party" on Evan Parker's PSI label but he is also exploring its potential as compositional studio tool, in 2009 creating two electroacoustic pieces featuring percussionist Gustavo Aguilar. He is currently exploring the Buchla Lightning as a means of interacting with other media, for example film, light and sound diffusion.
Richards sound sources for this instrument are varied but are in many cases derived from musicians who he works with, for example Evan Parker, Clive Bell and Gustavo Aguilar. He also works and performs extensively with analogue modular synthesizers which form the sound source for much of his solo work, including a variety of unusual devices such as Rob
Hordijk's blippoo box, Jo Grys's Jumpstep sequencer, STEIM's cracklebox and Tom Bugs' postcard weevil.
He lives in Berlin and Manchester where he is currently studying electroacoustic composition, and is an Artist-in-Residence at STEIM, Amsterdam focussing on infra-red and movement based perforance technologies.