“I was a sound recordist from the age of 11, long before Richard Kirk, Stephen Mallinder and I got together as Cabaret Voltaire,” announces Chris Watson in the new August issue of The Wire. “I was inspired by Stockhausen and Pierre Schaeffer and musique concrète. I also read this fantastic little yellowed paperback I still have called Composing With Tape Recorders written by an Englishman with the fabulous name of Terence Dwyer. There was a picture of a tape loop going round a jam jar on the cover. To see that as a 14 year old made me think that this was exactly what I should be doing: recording sound."
Earlier in the same issue, Anthony Child, aka UK Techno producer Surgeon, tells Derek Walmlsey, "It began with playing with tape recorders, like a lot of people do, and then taking them apart, and getting hold of an old reel-to-reel and tape editing and stuff like that. I found a book in the library called something like Composing With Tape Recorders, and I thought this was fantastic, just playing around.”
Composing With Tape Recorders was published in 1971 by Oxford University Press. It was subtitled Musique Concrète For Beginners. Chris Watson would have come across the book sometime in the early 1970s; Anthony Child at some point in the early 90s. Terence Dwyer also wrote a series of books for teachers titled, Making Electronic Music: A Course For Schools. So how many more of the UK's electronic music auteurs owe their start to this previously unknown educator?
We think he should be told...