BASIL KIRCHIN AND JOHN COLEMAN – Mind On The Run

Basil Kirchin, a forgotten genius of post-war British music, was an influential jazz drummer, creative free-spirit and pioneer of Musique Concrète. Kirchin wrote a lot of albums, Mind on the run is one of the most representative Library record he wrote with fellow John Coleman. A milestone in british avantgarde.

The world of library music is an odd, even paradoxical one. Ostensibly made to be rented and used as incidental music for TV, radio and film when budgets don’t allow for original compositions, these albums should by rights tend towards the conventional, towards characterless pastiche for the widest possible application. In fact, though, especially in the ‘60s and ‘70s, the non-commercial―or more accurately, the differently commercial―library music industry was notable for the fertile experimentation that its often unrecognized or even uncredited composers and musicians indulged in. One of the key figures attracted to the field was English jazz drummer Basil Kirchin.

A true one-off, Kirchin had started out as a drummer in his early teens, working with his father Ivor Kirchin’s big band during World War II, before drumming with some of the biggest names in British jazz after the war. An early countercultural instinct took him to India on a spiritual quest of self-discovery in the late ‘50s, after which he relocated to Australia and then back to England again at the turn of the ‘60s, pursuing the parallel interests of jazz drumming and sonic experimentation. As rock ‘n’ roll and skiffle overtook jazz as the youth music of the era, he continued to work with his father, but his passion became the experimental music he was simultaneously working on, experimenting with tape recorders and found sounds to create new and unusual music. It was this strand of his work which would lead to his collaborations with De Wolfe Music, the production company that pioneered library music in the UK.

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2021