Mar 2 2012 Ayrshire Post (main ed)
HELLO everyone, I hope you're getting on well!
I had a great time busking last week with Oban based troubador Mike Nisbet, among others, as part of the fundraising efforts on behalf of the fundraising appeal for Vanessa Riddle.
A huge thanks to everyone who dontated to us buskers and a huge congratulations to everyone involved in the fundraising efforts so far – it's great to see the community of Ayrshire really come together for the common good.
Interview withChris Dooks.
Chris Dooks is an ex-TV director and composer who settled in Ayr to make unashamedly obscure and reflective music, much of which contributes towards his PhD research on essential value of the arts, at the new UWS campus.
Chris has also curated two seasons of small 'but perfectly formed' seasons of the 'Ayrtime' cultural live events in the town, bringing artists to Ayr who are internationally recognised - such as Alasdair Roberts, yet in Scotland they are barely known and celebrated.
Ayrtime will relaunch during the next two years as a regular arts season.
Musically, Chris has been signed to several electronic music labels and has been played on many radio stations including BBC Radio 3.
Chris moved here for the access to dark skies and quiet life, in order to quell the symptoms of his illness (he has M.E.).
He is a member of Ayrshire Astronomical Society and is currently collecting voices of astronomers in the region for a spoken word recording which will surface at the end of the year, hopefully in connection with the new observatory near Dalmellington.
Dooks makes 'field recordings' of the local environment and frequently works as an artist in residence.
One of Chris's favourite assignments was in 2010 where he worked with Ayr Academy pupils on the "Lodestone" project and recommends the download of the E.P. "Conversation with a Boy" on his website (below) as an example.
Much of Chris' work can be seen and heard at www.dooks.orgwhich is a huge archive of projects spanning fifteen years and several countries.
Chris is married to the author Eleanor Thom, whose scots-dialect book "The Tin-Kin" was featured on BBC2s The Culture Show.
Chris told me: “I began life as a filmmaker, but then got sick.
“I realised as I fell apart, my films fell apart too. What I mean is that all the things that make up a film - image, montage and soundtrack, music, story - all these things I still work with, but very slowly these days when health allows.
“Ambient music and photography are my main interests. I am also a spokesperson for Buddhist practice and philosophy.
“I like brave and clever music which still remains accessible.
“I think it's a terrible mistake however to aim to please as many folk as possible. I love it when someone values their own work as a kind of 'currency' - we may be all a bit poor right now, but culture is a form of food to me.
“I think both creatives and listeners have a responsibility to challenge themselves by getting out of their comfort zone and altering the places where they experience not just music, but sounds, sights and and so on. “This feeds into research I am doing with the chronically ill, where they cannot move physically, and therefore have to experience their surroundings in fresh ways. This is what I live for.
“I would advise that would be composers fill their plates with a diet of massively eclectic sonic joys.
“One of the great things about immigration is the amazing resources we have now with the population if we would only reach out a bit.
“The 'new Europe' in Scotland is massively exciting - recently a made a track with a polish woman who lives in Ayr - what are the chances of me doing that otherwise?
Please go to http://chrisdooks.bandcamp.com/ for my entire archive, much of which is now free. Or poke around www.dooks.org