To write or not to write, that is the question.
Having never had the patience to keep a conventional diary, or been particularly prone to publicly spreading the tedious details of my day to day existence, when I was approached by Krimson News (via Markus Reuter) regarding this, my first reaction was a resolute no. Who really wanted to read about me queuing for a bumper bag of muesli in the East Anglian heat, or the very avoidable circumstances of my latest gig disaster? Then again, in my guise as responsible citizen, perhaps it was my duty to provide a peculiarly apt example of what every young musician should avoid.
RF’s initial reasoning behind the diaries (I think) was to expose the reality behind the myth of life as a professional musician. A way of making clear the mundane, often draining events that are as much a part of the artistic life as the few minutes of bliss and connection with Art that we’re all actually striving for. In the process, through his extraordinary language and eccentric concerns, he enhanced his enigma and created dozens of imitators on dozens of e-groups. Hey, a reason for doing this!
Working on the premise that occasionally reading the diaries of RF, Pat M and the infamous Sidney Smith has not led me to a) hate them, or b) regard their work as any lesser, I proceed.
My name is Tim Bowness and I’m a musician.
Over the last 20 years, I’ve produced a variety of music with a variety of musicians and, despite the often bizarre situations this has led me into, the thrill that making some of this music gives me, means I still come back for more. I’ve had experience on labels as diverse as hip UK indies One Little Indian and Probe Plus, specialists Third Stone, Voiceprint and Materiali Sonori and a brief period with major Epic/Sony. Despite this, I’ve actually lived to tell some tales.
I’ve done some work that has involved collaborations with Robert Fripp, Mel Collins and Pat Mastelotto. I’ve also worked in some capacity with Jansen, Barbieri and Karn (Japan/Rain Tree Crow), David Torn, Ian Carr (Nucleus), Jarboe (The Swans) and many others, both well-known and not.
No-Man, my most enduring and successful band is an ongoing collaboration with Steven Wilson (also of Porcupine Tree, IEM and Bass Communion). For further details check out www.no-man.co.uk and http://burningshed.co.uk/aconfession.
Other projects include improvising Electronica outfit Darkroom, Art/Prog Rockers Henry Fool and my more intimate, textural singer-songwriter work with the supremely aristocratic ‘Lord’ Peter Chilvers which grew out of our work with Ambient Folk band Samuel Smiles.
Recently, I’ve also started working with German mavericks Centrozoon (www,centrozoon.de). Six months, eight gigs, twenty four songs and innumerable Mastelotto and Munyon mixes later, I guess we’re a band.
In addition, I co-run an online, on demand CD/CDR label called Burning Shed.
The label has attracted interest and attention from Radio One’s John Peel, Radio Three’s Late Junction, The Wire and The Sunday Times and is similar in artistic and idealistic focus to DGM. I could bore you witless with our modus operandi, but I suggest you take a look at www.burningshed.com instead.
When former Creation boss Alan McGhee suggested that diversity was the key to survival in the modern music industry, he was probably right. For my part, I’m testing his theory. Very possibly to destruction.