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The Free Art Research Trio (FART)
[Summer 1971 - 1973]

xxx Personnel xxx
Max Hutchinson: electrapiano w/filters
Murray Graham: sound coordinator
Chris Judge Smith: lignaphones, voc
Dave Mitchell: sax
Heebalob II
Heebalob II
The Modern Beats
Peter Hammill II
The Modern Beats

xxx Discography xxx
Only tape loops.

xxx History xxx

Judge: "...We (Max and Judge) were both keen on free improvised music, not rock, but free jazz, but we found that free jazz people were incredibly humourless, grey and dull. So we started FART. This is what we did: I played percussion, but wooden percussion only. I had a drumkit made entirely of wood, a wooden bass-drum, wooden tom-toms, lots of wooden xylophones, everything, blocks of wood with hammers and saws, whole instruments made out of rulers on great sounding-boxes, and all with contact mikes stuck on them. Max played an old electric Hohner piano with all the guts taken out and various sorts of things stuck in it, through a whole series of fuzz boxes and wah-wah pedals. The third band member was a 'sound co-ordinator' and his job was to record everything on an old domestic tape recorder, on a tape loop. Now, Max and I would play free, improvising and we'd be recorded for tree minutes. Then automatically, at the end of that tree minutes, it would get played back over loudspeakers. We would play along with that, making different sounds, and that would be recorded on a different tape-loop. Then both of these tape-loops would be played back automatically, and then we'd improvise again, so there'd be six of us. So all our pieces were exactly nine minutes long... ...We dressed up as scientists. We had long white laboratory coats with slide-rules and clipboards and it was very funny. I'd play a saw, miked-up, sawing a block of wood, and Max'd be bouncing beach balls on top of his piano, and all that kind of stuff. It was a good thing to do and the music sounded great; it was wonderful!

...We played at the International Carnival of Experimental Sound in 1972. ...We did not tell the organizers that we'd hired space-suits (laughter) and we appeared at the back of the stage in these huge silver suits, with a Geiger counter making clicking noises, testing the stage for radiation, before announcing our concert, and explaining that protective clothing was optional, but that members of the public were warned that our music was mildly radioactive. At which point, we were grabbed by Security who didn't know who we were, and carried screaming and kicking from the Roundhouse in front of five thousand odd. It was great publicity!

... Another time, Max promoted a Free Music event, quite a good concert, and hired in all the best of the free musicians, but of course featuring us as well. They were not pleased. They were not amused at all. Because of course, a lot of them are superb musicians, absolutely superb, and we weren't superb, we were just lunatics... Our finest hour however was when we played at Ronnie Scott's club, the proper downstairs jazz part of the club. So we couldn't have been that bad, I suppose."
(Pilgrims no. 16)

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