W. A. Davison
Canadian W. A. Davison has been creating experimental music for quite awhile in solo endeavors and collaborative projects. Above, his solo cassette on the Doomsday Transmissions label. Below, his more recent improvisation CD with the group, Six Heads. His visual art and film sense also plays an important role in the presentation of his music.
His more recent improvisation CD with the group, Six Heads. His visual art and film sense also plays an important role in the presentation of his music.
Well, even though I began recording my own music on cassette in the early 80’s and started my first tape label Rembrandt X-Ray (with my friend G.C.Denton) in 1985, I was completely disconnected from the tape trading scene at that time. Didn’t even know there was such a thing! (How such a ridiculous state of affairs could have happened is a story for another day!)
I didn’t find out about cassette-culture until around ’87/‘88 and
didn’t start to get connected with other home-tapers until 1989 when I moved from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Toronto.
Once in Toronto, I got involved in the local music scene and started a new cassette label called Anathema (which later became Disembraining Songs). Even though I was excited to discover cassette-culture, I was slow in making contacts within it. A lot of energy went into my local scene, live performances, and all the other art forms I work in (film, performance art, visual art, writing, etc.). I’m not sure who I made my first tape trade with but I suspect it was someone I met locally – possibly Ron McFarlan of Dust That Collects or some of the guys from Mind Sculpture (Jim DeJong, Jared Davison, Neb Rakic). I became friends
with Rob Olver (Freedom In A Vacuum label) pretty early on and probably traded with him too. And I traded with my good friend (and Phycus bandmate) Brian Damage (Musicus Phycus/Total Zero label) and with Monty Cantsin/Istvan Kantor/Amen (Neoism!). Oh yeah, and Kevin Paisley too (Mutant Cactus Recordings). Probably a bunch of other folks I’m forgetting.
Some early international contacts for me were DAS of Big City Orchestra (US), tENTATIVELY a. cONVENIENCE (US), Hearing Trumpet (US), Alistair Binks of Crane Up label (UK), Barry Fuller of BV Tapes (UK), All Brentnall of Bandaged Hand/Mlehst (UK), Rodolfo Protti of Old Europa Cafe (It) and Francoise Duvivier (Fr).
Through the 90’s I released a bunch of cassettes on my own label and had some stuff out on other small labels. I also ended up on a number of compilation cassettes, LPs, CDs, and videos including “Macrocephalous Compost 2” (Old Europa Cafe) and the infamous RRR-500 lock groove record from RRRecords.
I’m still making tons of music (and all the other art stuff I do) and
running Disembraining Songs (sporadically). And I have to say, I’m a much better networker now than I ever was in the 90’s. Internet and email began to make a huge difference in my life in the late 90’s/early 00’s and now Myspace, Youtube, Facebook, etc. are even more of a boon! I was pretty terrible at keeping up with correspondence back when it was all letter-writing. It’s soooo much better now (for me, at least)!
Thanks for the invite, and for starting this site, Don! Very cool!
I encourage old friends and new to get in touch with me at
davison(at)recordism(dot)com! You can also check out what I’ve been up
to at http://www.recordism.com