Stuart Marshall (1949 - 1993) was one of Alvin Lucier's earliest and most innovative students. He served as an important link between the British visual arts scene of the 1970s and American experimental music of the same epoch.
After graduating from Wesleyan in 1976 I spent a year traveling around Europe as a Thomas J. Watson Fellow, researching the musical fringe. I imposed on Stuart's hospitality in Newcastle, sleeping in his guest bedroom and hanging around Newcastle Polytechnic, where he taught. I fell in with his students as they founded Ayton Basement -- a legendary, if short lived, Newcastle performance space. I witnessed the rise of punk firsthand (and turned down an offer to start a band -- dang!) I played a couple of concerts at Butler's Wharf in London (an equally legendary venue) which, if memory serves me, were attended by David Toop and almost no-one else. Stuart remained one of my closest friends and an artistic sparring partner until he died. My son bears his name.
By the end of the 1970s Marshall had shifted to working primarily in video and film, and his sound pieces are largely unknown today. In an attempt to correct this lapse I am uploading to my web site his 1972 Master thesis, an essay by Lucier, two scores and a few links.
MA Thesis for Wesleyan University Department of Music, 1972.
Score, 1972 (as faxed to me by Gavin Bryars in 1993, with new computer program printouts by Matt Rogalsky, 1993).
Score, 1976. Sometimes titled "Heterophonics" (Stuart had problems settling on a title for this piece).
Mailing card for Stuart's performance at Butler's Wharf in London, December 18, 1976. Addressed to me as a houseguest wearing out his welcome.
Review by David Toop of performance of "Heterophonics" ("Idiophonics") at Butler's Wharf, December 1976. From Readings Number 1, February 1977.
Review of concert by Alvin and Mary Lucier and Stuart Marshall in The Village Voice, includes a description of "Sagging and Reading Room". March 30, 1972.
Poster for the opening season of performance series started by students of Stuart's in an old warehouse on the quayside in Newcastle. A very strange space consisting of a pair of inclined tunnels with creepy gutters on either side. Cold and dark, as I recall.
Photo of Stuart Marshall and Nicolas Collins performing a piece of Marshall's in Ayton Basement's first season. Possibly Stuart's last pure sound performance work, at a time when he was increasingly engaged with video. I'm hazy on the details, but I recall that we both carried portable Uher reel-to-reel tape recorders with a single reel of tape extending from the feed-reel on Stuart's recorder to the take-up reel on mine, creating a pedestrian tape delay. Stuart walked ahead, recording onto his machine through a microphone; I followed, and Stuart's words played back through my Uher's built-in speaker. I wish I could remember more details. A classic 1970s "mapping the space" piece, elegantly suited to the weird layout of the Basement. Contact sheet here.
Essay for Studio International. Volume 11 # 981.
Essay on Lucier for Studio International. Volume 192 # 984. December 1976.
Essay on video performance piece Studio International and LVA catalog. 1978.
From Not Necessarily 'English Music' -- Britain's Second Golden Age. Leonardo Music Journal Volume 11 (2001).
Blog entry by David Toop, 2013.
Composition I wrote in 1993 in memory of Stuart Marshall. For hacked CD player processing the music of Giuseppi Guami, live trumpet (Ben Neill), with text by Vladimir Nabokov.