Biography

Ron Geesin, composer, performer, sound architect, interactive designer, broadcaster, writer and lecturer was born in Ayrshire, Scotland, 1943. He has improvised his life rather like he plays the piano - with humour and passion.

He describes his live improvisations as "sub-conscious flow", studio music as "electro-melodic sound-painting" and his life as "chance careering". Tony Palmer [The Observer]: "behind this manic subterfuge there lurks a powerful musical intelligence". Robin Denselow [The Guardian]: "an accomplished composer and musician, an experimenter on the free form edge, poet, and a comedian with a taste for the absurd".

I was never particularly musical as a child but tended towards the solitary pursuits of stamps, moths, butterflies and girls. After shocking myself clawing up a pebbledash wall to catch sight of 3 naked girl-cousins changing clothes in my own bedroom, I turned to blowing harder on the mouthorgan and venting nervous energy on the banjo.

You'll see some of the bad ones in Musical History. The first main good ones were Victor Borge, The Goons, Chic Murray (Scottish comedian, deceased) and Surrealism.

I love wood and sometimes collect it, intending to work it into some useful suitcase support or bookcase, but the woodworm usually gets there first. Particularly interesting are Walnut, Plum, Laburnum and Box. After doing the sound structure for an Arts Council film on the wood sculptor Sam Smith, I got to know him and first experienced woodturning on his lathe. He was a rough scraper man with blunt tools so I sharpened them - I wonder if I should! If I had another lifetime - after all the other ones - I'd turn wood.

There were two main reasons why I devoted a lot of time in the 1980s to family history: one was that I was provoked by the frequent remark, "That's an odd name! Where's it from? Dutch or German, I should think."; and, my father never spoke about his background much beyond his father. So I set off to find out.