|This biographical article relies too much on references to primary sources. (April 2009)|
|Also known as||High T. Moonweed|
6 February 1952 |
|Genres||Progressive rock, psychedelic rock, electronic music|
|Instruments||keyboards, synthesizer, theremin, guitar, harmonica, vocals|
|Associated acts||Gong, Hawkwind, Crystal Machine|
|EMS Synthi AKS, VCS3, Minimoog, Mellotron, Theremin|
Timothy 'Tim' Blake (born 6 February 1952, at Queen Charlotte's Hospital, Shepherd's Bush, west London), is a keyboardist, synthesist, vocalist, and composer with both Gong, and Hawkwind. Blake is best known for his Synthesizer and Light performances as Crystal Machine, with the French Light Artist Patrice Warrener.
They were sometimes joined on keyboards by the young prodigy Jean-Philippe Rykiel.
Blake first worked as the engineer at Marquee Studios, where Daevid Allen was recording his first solo album Bananamoon in 1971. At the end of the sessions Allen had invited Blake to come back to France to be Gong's sound mixer, but he refused. He eventually joined Gong full-time in September 1972 as the band's keyboard/synthesizer player, being among the first to bring the synthesizer out of the studio and on to the stage. He appears on all 3 albums of the Radio Gnome Invisible trilogy; Flying Teapot, Angel's Egg, and You. He left Gong in early 1975, prompting the eventual departures of almost all of the other members of the 'classic era' (with the exception of Pierre Moerlen, who continued the band under the name of Pierre Moerlen's Gong).
Blake began a solo career under the name of Crystal Machine, which is noted for being the first live act to introduce the use of Laser lighting in the entertainment world. After 2 solo albums 1977's Crystal Machine and 1978's Blake's New Jerusalem, Blake joined another noted "space rock" outfit, Hawkwind, for a short stint between 1979 and 1980, and has sporadically rejoined them on several occasions, and since December 2007, is still with Hawkwind, with whom he performs on Theremin and what he chooses to call " Virtual Lead Guitar" .
He reunited with the 'classic-era' line-up of Gong (minus Pierre Moerlen, who died in May 2005) for a one-off concert in November 2006 at the 3rd Gong Family Unconvention (Uncon) at the Melkweg in Amsterdam.
Blake's discography contains more than 25 titles, including eight solo albums as Tim Blake - Crystal Machine. Since 2006, Blake removed all his solo albums from the disk market, preferring to make them available as mp3s from his own web site. As well as his work with Hawkwind, Blake continues to work with Patrice Warrener on his Chromolithe Illumination System, and doing concerts with Jean-Philippe Rykiel.
Blake currently lives in the Poitou region of France.
- 1977 : Crystal Machine
- 1978 : Blake's New Jerusalem
- 1979 : "Waterfalls in Space" ( digitally re-released in 2007)
- 1991 : Magick
- 2000 : The Tide of the Century
- 2002 : Caldea Music II
- 2006 : Live Waterfalls in Space
- 2012 : "Noggi 'Tar"