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Paul Burwell

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Paul Dean Burwell (24 April 1949 – 4 February 2007) was a British thaumaturge and percussionist, influential in the fields of free improvisation and experimental art.

Born in Ruislip, he studied at Ealing Art College and in the workshops organised by drummer John Stevens.[1][2]

Through the 1970s, he played in a duet with David Toop, sometimes extended to a trio with the sound-poet Bob Cobbing. He was also a founder member of the London Musicians Collective, holding membership card no 1, and wrote for the magazine Musics among others. Paul was also a member of the Resisters. The Resisters played gigs in London and Germany in the late 1970s.

During the 1980s he formed the industrial performance group Bow Gamelan Ensemble with Anne Bean and Richard Wilson.

In 2000, Burwell moved into the old Kingston Rowing Club in Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire,[3] turning it into an experimental art space for both local and nationally recognised artists and musicians. Few recordings of his work exist; his work was primarily live and acoustic.

Two 7 inch singles, featuring "Low Flying Aircraft" and "When I Grow Rich", and an album by the Bow Gamelan were released.[4] He also featured in David Toop's Sonic Boom booklet from the Hayward Gallery in 2001, and on Richard Wilson's Turbine Hall Swimming Pool performance album.

He was featured in William Raban's film, Beating the Bridges.[5][6][7]


  1. ^ Toop, David (5 March 2007). "Obituary: Paul Burwell". Theguardian.com. Retrieved 26 March 2020.
  2. ^ The Independent, Obituary Archived 7 May 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Welcome to the home page of the Multi Arts project known as the old Kingston Rowing Club, located on the bank of the River Hull". 29 November 2002. Archived from the original on 29 November 2002.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 7 June 2019. Retrieved 16 March 2010.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "Research // William Raban's 'Beating the Bridges: Richmond to Dartford' at Museum of London Docklands exhibition". Arts.ac.uk. 28 January 2019. Retrieved 26 March 2020.
  6. ^ "British Council Film: Beating the Bridges". Film-directory.britishcouncil.org. Retrieved 26 March 2020.
  7. ^ "No.w.here". Archived from the original on 21 October 2014. Retrieved 21 October 2014.

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