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Ron Geesin

Ron GeesinBorn: 17-Dec-1943
Birthplace: Stevenson, Ayrshire, Scotland

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Musician, Author

Nationality: Scotland
Executive summary: Audio innovator, co-wrote Atom Heart Mother

Contrary to popular misconception, the origins of Ron Geesin have very little to do with geese; in fact he was sprung from a moist patch of fungi cultivated by Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Geesin on the green fields that blanket the county of Ayr. Practically from the instant of his spawning, rambunctious Ron started tooting and plonking away, but it was only after getting his first harmonica at age 11 (having fallen under of the influence of mouth-harpist Larry Adler) that anyone else recognized that it was music rather than sinus congestion that was being expressed. The banjo was added to his repetoire four years later, at which time Ron became active with an amateur jazz band in Glasgow (to the negelct of his "conventional" education). By the following year, school had given him the boot (poor compensation for having wasted so much of his time) and young master Geesin began making more constructive use of his waking hours by teaching himself jazz piano and performing as a one-man jugband. By age 17 he turned professional and joined the Original Downtown Syncopators, a "trad jazz" combo that kept him creatively constrained for four years, after which he moved to London and struck out on his own.

In London, the creative whirlwind gestating in Ron Geesin's cranium unleashed itself upon the unsuspecting world. In addition to his talents as a multi-instrumentalist, he began working in the medium of tape-splicing and electronics -- his efforts in this direction allowing full expression of his absurdist humor, liberating the process from the pall of morbidly-serious academia that had previously prevailed. The first manifestation of this arrived on the Transatlantic label in the form of A Raise Of Eyebrows (1967), the content of the tracks ranging from bizarre audio collage (A Raise Of Eybrows), to blistering freeform banjo (Certainly Random), to trad jazz arrangements (Ha! Ha! But Reasonable), to odd spoken interludes (Positives). Such recorded output was complimented by Geesin's anarchic, mostly-improvised solo live performances (an example of which can be heard on the track No. 8 Scalpel Incision Foxtrot, originally broadcast on BBC1 in 1969).

Among those whose attention was drawn by Ron's inventive outbursts was Pink Floyd songwriter and bassist Roger Waters. In 1970 the two combined their efforts to create the soundtrack for Roy Battersby's bodily-function documentary The Body, Water's conventional voice-and-acoustic-guitar pieces providing a lull between Geesin's flights of (sometimes anatomically-derived) audio fancy. That same year Waters enlisted Geesin to create and direct the orchestral arrangements for Pink Floyd's Atom Heart Mother (although the ungrateful bastards failed to actually credit his work in the liner notes until years after the original release). Other music industry big-shots such as John Peel and Pete Townshend also recognized the importance of Geesin's music -- Townshend having provided the financial means for the release of As He Stands (1973), Ron's first album on his self-created label Ron Geesin Records.

In the decades since establishing himself as a solo entity, Geesin's list of creative endeavors has expanded beyond comfortable enumeration. In addition to Eybrows and Stands, he continued his increasingly electronic-based explorations on Electrosound, Vols. 1 & 2 (1972/1975), Patruns (1975), Atmospheres (1977) and Right Through (1977). A collection of his absurd writings was issued in 1974 as Fallables. His catalogue of soundtracks composed for British film and television continues to increase its already ridiculous proportions, and frequent appearances as a presenter, performer and (occasionally) an actor have been made on British television and radio. In the 90s, Ron expanded his resume to include the creation multi-media installations such as the interactive Tune Tube (1990) and his 1993 video work Auditorium (realized in collaboration with Ian Breakwell). The 90s also ushered in a long-overdue resurgence of interest in Ron's recorded output, and several collections -- Hystery in 1994 and Land Of Mist in 1995, and reissues from his extensive back catalogue came to pass. He continues to issue (and re-issue) recorded works through his own Headscope label.

Father: Kenneth Frederick Geesin
Wife: Frances Helene Reid (m. 1966)
Son: Joe Geesin (music writer)
Son: Dan Geesin (artist/musician)
Son: Fraser Geesin (artist)

    Pink Floyd Collaborated, Atom Heart Mother (1970)
    Ron Geesin and Roger Waters Vocalist/Multi-instrumentalist 1970
    Ron Geesin

Official Website:
http://www.rongeesin.com/

Author of books:
Fallables (1975)


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