Colloque Soft Machine - 07 - The Canterbury Scene Sound: How Keyboards and their Players defined a Genre (Stephen Bennett) Nov. 20, 2020
Organisation : Jacopo COSTA (docteur de l'université de Strasbourg, percussionniste), Elsa GRASSY (maître de conférences en études amériainces à l’université de Strasbourg) et Pierre MICHEL (professeur en musicologie à l'université de Strasbourg, saxophoniste)
Comité scientifique : Jacopo Costa, Philippe Lalitte, Pierre Michel, Nicolò Palazzetti
Support technique et montage des vidéos : Vincent Kuster, Ruben Marzà, Arnaud Zeller
While it is true that the ‘Canterbury Scene’ is diverse in its stylistic approach, ranging from jazz to folk, psychedelic to blues and progressive to pop, there is a commonality of ‘sound’ and tonal approach that pervades the genre. This sound, I contend, is mainly derived from the use of electronic keyboards and effects, specifically the distinctive use of the fuzz box and wah-wah pedal along with the organ and the Fender Rhodes electric piano.
My paper will attempt to provide an ontological study of the use of these instruments in the ‘scene’ by undertaking a technical and musicological analysis of the instruments and effects used by the musicians. I will also provide a contextual and critical study of useful insights direct from the musicians who were instrumental in defining the ‘sound’ of the Canterbury Scene.
Sephen Bennett is a Lecturer in Humanities, specialising in Media Practice, located in the Interdisciplinary Institute for the Humanities at UEA. In the Institute, he teaches the Media in Practice, Creative and Cultural Industries modules on the Foundation year course. He also teaches a level 5 module VIDEOGAMES: THEORY, PRACTICE AND RECEPTION and supervises level 6 creative practice students. He is also the academic lead for the faculty's Media Suite. Stephen has had a varied career in the music, music technology, television, and film and multimedia fields prior to his work at UEA, as well as a background in research science. A long-term contributor to the UK’s most popular monthly music technology magazine, Sound on Sound, he’s also written several books and other articles on the same subject. His name has appeared on the credit list of albums alongside Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree), Hugh Hopper (Soft Machine), David Torn (David Bowie), Tim Bowness (No-Man), Robert Fripp (King Crimson) and Roger Eno. His current interests include Digital humanities, the history of recorded sound, the ephemera of digital and the interface of physical controllers, open source hardware and computers to manipulate and play ‘old school’ analog synthesisers. His work also covers the use of emerging VR/AR technologies in the humanities and the use of machine learning and expert systems (AI) in video game sound.