Mont Campbell

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Hugo Martin Montgomery Campbell (born 30 December 1950), formerly known as Mont Campbell, now Dirk Campbell was a British progressive rock musician, best known as a member of progressive rock band Egg. In his own words, he later "forswore the genre of rock music altogether, even the experimental variety (where can one find that now?) and began to develop an interest in folk tradition and, increasingly, non-western music."

Biography[edit]

Born to Mary Elizabeth Shaw ("Jackie") and Lieutenant Colonel Hal Montgomery Campbell of the Royal Tank Regiment ("Archie"), in Ismaïlia, Egypt, Campbell was named Martin after his grandfather, the composer Martin Shaw. The family moved to Kenya in 1951, where they lived until their return to the UK in 1962, their son having preceded them by a year. In 1966, the family moved from Brighton to London where Campbell attended the City of London Boys School. While at school he met guitarist Steve Hillage and keyboardist Dave Stewart, whereupon the three formed the band Uriel in early 1968. Following Hillage's departure, the band changed its name to "Egg". Campbell played bass guitar in the group and was its main composer, citing Igor Stravinsky as his main influence.

By 1972 Campbell had become interested in mysticism and was involved in the Subud movement. He left Egg and attended the Royal College of Music, studying the French horn and composition. He reunited with his former Egg bandmates for their final album "The Civil Surface" in 1974, which consisted of unreleased material from 1971–72, including what many view as his masterpiece in the progressive rock canon, Enneagram. He also played and composed for the Ottawa Music Company, a large ensemble co-led by Dave Stewart and Chris Cutler, which brought together members of Egg, Henry Cow and Khan, along with other composers and instrumentalists.

After a brief stint with Gilgamesh, in 1975 he again linked up with Stewart as part of the original line-up of National Health, for which he composed several pieces, including Paracelsus, Agrippa, Zabaglione and Starlight On Seaweed. In June 1976, prior to National Health securing a recording contract, Campbell left the band after a UK tour, a radio session for the BBC and a one-off French festival, which was his final appearance with the group. His compositions finally appeared twenty years later on the archive collection "Missing Pieces".

In 1977, he changed his name to Dirk Campbell and moved away from rock music. After releasing his first solo album, Music from a Round Tower in 1996, he has in recent years focused on world music, including a link up with The World Wind Band. He has also been involved in film scores, including performances for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire as well as television programs.

Discography[edit]

Solo[edit]

  • Music from a Round Tower (Resurgence RES-120-CD, 1996) U.K.
  • Music from a Round Tower (East Side Digital ESD 81212, 1997) U.S.
  • Music from a Walled Garden (MFA-02, 2009 - dist. Burning Shed) Worldwide.

With World Wind Band (Dirk Campbell & Jan Hendrickse)[edit]

  • Safar (Hermes Records, 2006)

With Uriel[edit]

  • Arzachel (Evolution, 1969)
  • Arzachel Collectors Edition (Egg Archive CD69-7201, November 2007 - dist. Burning Shed)

With Egg[edit]

  • Egg (Deram POCD-1843, March 1970)
  • The Polite Force (Deram POCD-1844, February 1971)
  • The Civil Surface (Virgin VJD-5026, 1974)
  • The Metronomical Society (Egg Archive CD69-7202, November 2007 - dist. Burning Shed)

With National Health[edit]

  • National Health Complete (East Side Digital ESD 80402/412, 1990)
  • Missing Pieces (East Side Digital ESD 81172, 1996)

With others[edit]

  • Slapp Happy / Henry Cow Desperate Straights (Virgin, 1974) [French horn]
  • Hatfield and the North The Rotters' Club (Virgin, 1975) [French horn]

Sources[edit]