Having known Paul since the mid-seventies I am perhaps one of the few people with connections from then and since in Hull.
At Maidstone College of Art, where I was a student, experimental music (or”sound” as it was called there) was integral to the Fine Art AV department and where I first came into contact with Paul (David Toop taught for a while there) and later as fellow students at the Royal College of Art – Paul in Environmental media and me in the Film School.Connections continued with the London Musicians Collective (Paul was a founder member – see http://www.l-m-c.org.uk/ and the London Film makers Coop where Annabel Nicholson was the cinema programmer at the time. Paul programmed my film Musical there. Living in Brighton, along with Tony Sinden, Jeff Keen and others we programmed a number of events in the arches on the seafront including The Promenaders which included Paulo “sticks” Burelli. Paul’s approach was both influential and important regarding “interdisciplinarity” and the visuality of (music)performance.
In Hull, The Bow Gamelan performed at the Ferens Gallery in 1984 where the smoke detectors were set off and the fire brigade arrived, adding their sirens to the fire alarms of the gallery and the ensemble. The same year a loose collective of artists, filmmakers and musicians formed Hull Time Based Arts and in 1987obtained Arts Council Performance in Education money. With this Paul presented Drums Along the Humber following workshops at the Art School where he taught how to detonate bags of flour and chickpeas in trees. The event was so successful that HTBA gained revenue funding and was able to employ Mike Stubbs as director. In 1999 I found myself exhibiting with Paul and others at the Standpoint Gallery in an exhibition that featured documentation of the work of his former collaborator, Stephen Cripps. The same year Paul opened HTBA’s TOOT festival. While in Hull he and Harry Palmer made a successful application for Year of the Artist for the river Hull project. With this grant, the Boathouse of the Kingston Rowing Club was purchased andserved as Paul’s home, library and archive and venue for many memorableevents.
I was at the New Adelphi Club ready to play drums withJez Riley and Okkyung Lee when we heard the news. I made an announcement and played extracts from the Promenaders, Whirled Music,and Swimming Pool Turbine Hall (Richard Wilson) and commented on how he always manages to interrupt in some way or other.
Paul was the most creatively generous person.