Very sad news today from Richard Preece...
It is with immense sadness that I write to inform you that my dearest friend Keith Girdler died on May 15th 2007. Keith passed away peacefully after a recent deterioration in his condition - he was diagnosed with cancer in July 2004. Keith was a truly special person and I know that many people will hold very fond memories of their time spent in his company. Keith is survived by his partner, his siblings and their families. We are all devastated at the tragic loss of Keith and we will miss him enormously.
Keith was known to many as the singer in Blueboy - a brilliant band who are still seen as influential many years since they last released a record. He was a gifted songwriter and he had a beautiful voice. I considered Keith to be not only my best friend but an amazingly talented person. It was a huge privilege to know him. Despite continuing to release records with his other groups Arabesque, Beaumont, Lovejoy and The Snowdrops, Keith's focus shifted away from music in recent years. He enjoyed a successful career, first by training as a qualified social worker and then developing a skilled role as Volunteer Services Manager for Age Concern Eastbourne. He was passionate about his work and the need to stand up for some of the most vulnerable elderly people in our society. Keith was exteremly brave and he continued in his work for as long as possible during his illness. I know that Keith was very highly regarded by his colleagues and the people for whom he provided care and
support in his work. He was a selfless and gentle person who genuinely affected everyone he knew with his warmth, kindness, humility and humour.
Keith wanted to be remembered, to use his own words, with 'happiness and smiles' - which for those of us fortunate enough to have known him, will come all too easily despite our grief.
Words cannot really come close to describing the feelings we have about Keith. However, I know that many people will want to express their sorrow at this news and their sympathy to his family and friends. If you would like to send a message of condolence, or share your memories of Keith, please send an email to:
Messages and tributes to Keith will be published online in the near future, when a suitable web location has been established.
Wednesday, 9 May 2007
I've been writing and responding a lot since I saw / experienced the new David Lynch film "Inland Empire". When I say 'film', perhaps I mean 'shock to the system'. When I say 'system', well, perhaps I mean 'system that breaks down'. I am in love with Lynch. It was an even more intense love to hear his sound compositions in this new work. The film, made entirely on high definition video, is therefore not a film, a kind of grainy nightmare (when has one ever been clear?). Broken mirrors and cut skin. His sounds penetrate the skin, rattle the bones. Like a stab from screw-driver and that's giving nothing away but gives you some idea. As a musician who is also a sound artist who is also a filmmaker who makes sound for film, well Lynch, you've done it again. He seems to enter my life at all the right times. In the way that Mullholland Drive defined a certain period of my practice and made me feel like it was worth it. In the way, strangely still, that Twin Peaks meant that TV was not dead after all (Buffy, Unit One, Jaaam - actually all Chris Morris, Nighty Night and Veronica Mars have come to the rescue since). Chris Morris too, with his intense audio assaults and sedative loops. Lynch lulls you there too, in Inland Empire. Noone uses sub frequencies to such disturbing and unpredictable effect like Lynch. He knows the effect image and sound coalition can have. It's not about emotion but about a pure visceral experience. He won't let this be an easy experience for anyone. He reminds us that the world rumbles with discontent and that earth is spinning out of control. He reminds us that our heads are full of noise and un/sub-conscious horror scenes. Last night I 'dreamt' that somebody loved me. Last night I 'dreamt' that a gun was being aimed at me but I couldn't move. This morning I woke up with a start.