Trevor Wishart (b. 1946)
I first came across Trevor Wishart’s music at a Huddersfield contemporary music festival in the 1980s. They diffused his tape piece Vox V (1988) and I came out of the concerthall physically trembling with awe. This was the surreal future of electroacoustic music. He gave a lecture describing ways he’d found to trick the human ear into perceiving impossible things.
Through his impelling book On Sonic Art (1996) which first taught me how to approach concepts of ‘landscape’ in electroacoustic music, I began to develop my own electroacoustic musical language. That book distinguished itself from more traditional notated music, and in so doing, made many readers believe that ‘sonic art’ was a new thing that made it unnecessary to learn about older musical techniques. It’s not. It’s a fascinating continuation of music. His book Audible Design (1994) is also interesting.
Wishart’s piece Red Bird (1971) is extraordinary by the way he harnesses psychological schema to produce surreal sound worlds.
Wishart spoke in 2016 about ‘The Secret Resonance of Things‘ q.v.