Ian Baxter - Sound Artist
Maintained by Ian
I have been composing and recording since I was a kid, making collages of guitar with my Amiga 500 and sampler and carrying out primitive overdubbing experiments by linking 2 tape decks together. This became serious around 1999, when I got a 4-track recorder and started to produce cassettes of music in a post-rock vein (under the influence of Mogwai and David Pajo's M projects). Around 2001 I was blown away by Brian Eno and his ambient experiments (particularly Discreet Music and Music for Airports) and picking up on his influences led me to the world of experimental music, including Cage, Feldman, Reich and others which shifted my musical interests away from traditional rock instrumentation and towards creating gradually changing soundscapes made with sound materials mostly assembled and manipulated in the studio. Parallel to this I had a career in several rock bands, most notably playing drums in The Yell. Something I have, for now, retired from.
I have used experimental to describe my music after Cage's definition - that is, composing music where the outcome is not necessarily foreseen. There is usually some element to my work that has been arrived at by chance but I stop short of calling myself an improviser.
My earliest efforts almost exclusively went for instrumental sources such as guitars, trumpet and other acoustic instruments but I increasingly find myself turning to other sources such as field recordings, electronics and software. I don't associate myself with electronica, despite using a computer for the majority of my work. I see my relationship to electronics and technology in the tradition of what Thom Holmes has called "Soldering Composers", building my own equipment and devices that hark back to an era when composers got their hands dirty with wires and circuits or more recently, computer code.My music has made it into the public domain by traditional album style releases, concerts and gallery shows (see chronology of works) and I have enjoyed several collaborations with other artists: Supplying the soundtrack for a film 'Breath and Heart' by Jeamin Cha, dancer Airelise has used my piece 'low pulses' for her piece 'Third Life' and I have worked in collaboration with artists, poets and historians in residence at Bank Street Arts; Bryan Eccleshall, Angelina Ayers and Karen Harvey to provide a sound elements to several multi disciplinary collaborative works.