Charles Hayward has performed and recorded innovative work for over thirty years and remains an icon of modern music. Beyond his awe-inspiring ability as a drummer lies broader artistic expression which combines a fascination with songwriting, sonic composition akin to painting and the 'synesthesia' of sound and image.
Hayward has always been artistically ambitious. In the late 70's his trio This Heat hit the 'New Wave' with a genuine alternative. He recalls long and intense discussion between group members at rehearsals, mental 'limbering up' that was embodied in the challenging aesthetic and political sensibility of their recordings and performance. This Heat was at the avant-garde of the punk explosion and their cerebral and visceral impact still sound unique and unforgettable.
Charles Hayward continues to mesmerise audiences to this day. Working as a solo artist, his speed, dexterity, timing and sheer athleticism with a drum kit overflows into the poetry of his performance and song. When he collaborates his playing becomes an equal constituent in a collective exploration of musical expression and communication. It began with free-jazz but continues to evolve. It’s little surprise that John Coltrane is a major influence. For Charles Hayward, live, ‘controlled’ improvisation continues to inspire him and sits comfortably alongside his other solo and collaborative endeavours.
Director Peter Bromley is a master image maker whose creative life began as a self-taught photographer. Bromley’s early works are fine crafted black and white prints. His love and appreciation of visual arts and his devotion to the golden age of cinema with Jean Luc Godard as a guiding light, drew him to work in digital video production. Bromley is dedicated to the creative act, something he perceives as vital to existence and central to his teaching. He pursues artistic collaboration and this documentary was made possible through the collective efforts of the 1968 Film Group. Bromley is ideally suited to document and interpret this extraordinary talent.
© David Somerset British Film Institute