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|Birth name||Ronald Frederick Geesin|
17 December 1943 |
Stevenston, Ayrshire, Scotland
|Genres||Avant-garde, experimental rock, musique concrète, symphonic rock|
|Instruments||mouthorgan, fretted strings, banjo, keyboards, percussion, cello, tape recorders, computers|
|Associated acts||Pink Floyd, Roger Waters|
Ronald Frederick Geesin (born 17 December 1943, in Stevenston, Ayrshire, Scotland) is a Scottish musician and composer, noted for his quirky creations and novel applications of sound. Geesin is well known for his collaborations with Pink Floyd and Roger Waters. He is thought to be the inspiration for the experimental track "Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving with a Pict" on the 1969 Pink Floyd album Ummagumma, which featured Waters ranting in a Scottish accent mimicking Geesin. After the band found themselves hopelessly deadlocked over how to complete the title track from Atom Heart Mother in 1970, he worked with Pink Floyd as an orchestrator and organizer, and he also wrote the brass introduction. Geesin also collaborated with the band's Roger Waters (the two men shared a love of golf) on the unconventional film soundtrack Music from "The Body" (1970), sampling sounds made by the human body. Ron Geesin played piano with The Downtown Syncopators, a Dixieland band emulating the 'Original Dixieland Band' during the 1960s. The band was based in or near Crawley, Sussex, UK.
After his first solo album, A Raise of Eyebrows, in 1967, Geesin launched one of the first one-man record companies, Headscope, with the self-released As He Stands, Patruns, and Right Through. In 1971 he produced the pastoral "Songs for the Gentle Man" by Bridget St John. Many of his electronic compositions were used as soundtracks to ITV's 1970s and 1980s television broadcasts for schools and colleges. After scoring The Body (1970), his other film scores include John Schlesinger's film Sunday Bloody Sunday (1971), Ghost Story (1974), Sword of the Valiant (1984) and The Girl in the Picture (1985).
In the 1990s, Headscope released a pair of CDs, Funny Frown and Bluefuse, melding modern technology with appropriated and found sounds. In 1994, Cherry Red Records released the Hystery CD, an overview of his career. In 1995, Cleopatra Records released his Land of Mist CD, a collection of instrumental ambience. In 1995, See for Miles Records re-issued his first two vinyl albums on CD. Headscope followed in 2003 with the CD Right Through - and Beyond, a reissue of his last vinyl album, unissued material and a Sour New Year suite.
Geesin has long been interested in the potential for environmental sound and video installations. In 1970 he produced a sound-work for the British pavilion at the Osaka world fair. During the 1990s, he collaborated with the artist Ian Breakwell on video projects such as the large-scale work Auditorium and live art pieces such as Christmas Carol (1991) in which four synchronised figures dressed in Santa Claus costumes performed in Newcastle's Northumberland Street, having been banned from the Gateshead MetroCentre.
One of his rare appearances with other artists on the same album was on the extraordinary record "Miniatures - a sequence of tiny masterpieces" (Cherry Red Records, 1980) produced by Morgan Fisher. Like all the other 50 tracks on the album, Geesin's exhilarating synth/vocal/banjo track "Enterbrain Exit" was about one minute long.
2008 saw Ron Geesin recreate Atom Heart Mother live on stage at the Cadogan Hall, Chelsea, London, featuring brass, choir, cello, and Italian Pink Floyd tribute band Munn Floyd. The track was presented alongside a Geesin solo performance; Atom Heart Mother itself was extended to 35 minutes, to take in a segment as written and again as recorded. The second night saw David Gilmour join them onstage for the performance.
His 2011 album, a dense, continuous work 50 minutes long, is called "Roncycle1" and is available from Tonefloat Records in the Netherlands. In 2012, he was asked by The History Press to write his version of the history of Atom Heart Mother (suite), published in July 2013 and titled The Flaming Cow. An avid collector of spanner wrenches (amassing 3,000 specimens over a thirty year period), in 2016 he published "The Adjustable Spanner" because nobody else had done so.
Geesin is married to the artist Frances Geesin, and the two collaborated in 1990 on 'Tune Tube', a sound and light installation at the MacLellan Galleries.
- Ron Geesin (private EP) (1965)
- A Raise of Eyebrows (1967)
- Music from The Body (1970) (with Roger Waters)
- Electrosound (1972)
- As He Stands (1973)
- Electrosound (volume 2) (1975)
- Patruns (1975)
- [Atmospheres] (1977)
- Right Through (1977)
- Magnificent Machines (1988)
- Funny Frown (1991)
- Bluefuse (1993)
- Hystery (1994) (Compilation)
- Land of Mist (1995)
- A Raise of Eyebrows/As He Stands (1995) (2 albums on one CD)
- Right Through and Beyond (2003) (Right Through plus additional tracks)
- Biting The Hand (2008)
- Roncycle1 (2011)
- Samla Mammas Manna & Ron Geesin: Live Tonkraft 1975 (Swedish Radio recordings) (2013)
- The Flaming Cow: The Making of Pink Floyd's Atom Heart Mother (2013)
- The Adjustable Spanner: History, origins and development to 1970 (2016)
- Evans, Christopher "Ron Geesin Biography", Allmusic. Retrieved 17 August 2014
- Cavanagh, John (2014) "Geesin still energised from Atom Heart Mother", Glasgow Herald, 28 March 2014. Retrieved 17 August 2014
- Ian Breakwell, Christmas Carol, 1991 Retrieved 10 November 2014.
- (16 July 2013), 'The Flaming Cow: The Making of Pink Floyd's Atom Heart Mother' - Ron Geesin Retrieved 25 May 2015.
- Official website
- An interview with Ron Geesin by "Floydian Slip" host Craig Bailey, November, 2010 (http://www.floydianslip.com/pink-floyd/interviews/ron-geesin.php)