Born in Watford, Herts in 1950, I found the pretensions of grammar school profoundly unfulfilling so, at 16, I went to work in a chemical factory which proved equally unrewarding. Several more congenial years in the Ministries of Aviation and Technology followed, working as a junior photographer and studying at Ealing Technical College while riding my Lambretta. In 1970, I (briefly) became a hungry full-time photography student at Medway College of Design.
I joined Enfield College of Technology in 1971 and was involved in the setting up and operation of a new photographic unit. In 1974 I moved to the Mixed Media Workshop at Hornsey College of Art, working in sound and image with artist Eddie Franklin-White and others.
In 1977, we joined the School of Music at Middlesex Polytechnic and moved to the Trent Park campus in “rural” north London. I built studio facilities (including an early, all-digital setup) and worked as sound designer and operator on a number of stage productions in London and at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. I undertook recording work (both engineering and production) with a number of innovative composers including Robert Boyle and Paul Robinson, improvising percussionist Frank Perry and singer/songwriters Ray Bradfield and Tony Kendall.
Louise and I met in 1979 and married in 1980. Daughters Rachael and Hannah followed in 1983 and 1985. In 1986 we moved to a Hertfordshire village where we have lived ever since (with a variable number of cats). Louise has become the very successful headteacher of a large special school (recently rated “outstanding” by OFSTED). Rachael became a teacher and married Stuart in 2007 and our first grandson, Alfie, was born in July 2008 followed by younger brother Jack in December 2010. Hannah studied in Edinburgh and now has a thriving career in theatre costume in the West End.
In the late 1990s (with Andrew Deakin and John Dack), I helped to create the (then) unique BA Sonic Arts course at Middlesex University, becoming its leader in 2002. This course soon built a worldwide reputation for innovation and quality but, unfortunately, proved to be too radical for the University. After failing to support it adequately for a number of years, the programme was finally closed by a hostile management in 2010 at which point I took early retirement. I took this decision partly as a result of frustration with the philistinism of an anti-academic management that saw merit only in courses that could be cash cows but, more importantly, in order to focus on my own creative activities and on the drinking of beer.
I’m presently involved in research, writing and photography………. and drinking beer !
Click here to see a slideshow of some favourite biographical images.