Pot-Boilers: Ron Geesin Soundtracks to Stephen Dwoskin Films 1966-1970


2021 restock. Sublime, unique, sexy, and peculiar unreleased scores by electronic and jazz pioneer Ron Geesin, made for the films by maverick director Stephen Dwoskin. Geesin made great music and worked with Pink Floyd. Dwoskin made odd films, most of them are in the BFI permanent collection. These superb unreleased soundtracks come from a fascinating, progressive, and important period in British film history. They represent an intriguing collaboration between the lively Ron Geesin from Scotland and the American Stephen Dwoskin, who both met in London. Musically they are minimal, charismatic, and quite groundbreaking. Ron's soundtracks for Dwoskin' films, recorded in the Geesins's flat, encompassed Ron's very eclectic range of styles -- madcap piano and fretted banjo as well as tape manipulation. Aside from Ron's soundtracks, some of which belong to films that no longer exist (including Pot-Boiler). There was no London equivalent to the underground film scene that Dwoskin had known in New York, and his films remained unseen until such a scene began to come into being, in the autumn of 1966. Some of them made their debut at the Mercury Theatre, near Notting Hill Gate, that September. Dwoskin wrote Alone, starring Zelda Nelson (from Ron Rice's Chumlum), and Chinese Checkers, with Beverly Grant and Dwoskin's friend Joan Adler. Soon both Dwoskin and Geesin became involved in the nascent London Film-Makers' Co-op, which put on screenings in Better Books on Charing Cross Road. In the same autumn, Dwoskin moved into a flat almost opposite the Geesins on Elgin Crescent. More collaborations followed, including Naissant, on which Gavin Bryars, whom Geesin had met during a stint on the northern club circuit with novelty act Dr Crock and His Crackpots, played double bass. Around the end of 1967, Geesin released his first solo LP, A Raise of Eyebrows, and Dwoskin won recognition at the Fourth Experimental Film Competition, aka EXPRMNTL 4, an occasional film festival staged at Knokke-le-Zoute in Belgium. By now the films had optical soundtracks. For Moment, a single-shot film, Geesin provided his most experimental score yet. At the time of its debut in 1970, Dwoskin and the Geesins were sharing a house in Ladbroke Grove. By then, Ron was working with Pink Floyd, and soon afterwards he and Frankie moved out to the country, to be replaced by Bryars both in the house and as Dwoskin's principal collaborator. Until now these scores have remained part of the Geesin Archive and have never been issued. Sleeve notes by Ron Geesin.