AMBiENT PiNG community
remembers our friend and inspiration
David Pritchard with this celebration
of his life by Scott
M2 which was
originally sent as an email to the
PiNG LiST on March 2nd, 2005.
also have some soundfiles you can play:
Of The Spheres - PMW live @ the PiNG
David Pritchard, Scott M2, Byron Wong, words/Lord Byron
Guarantee - PMW live @ the PiNG
David Pritchard, Scott M2, Byron Wong - instrumental
says Good-bye to Pete in the Morning
David and Pete Griffin live on CHUM-FM (edit)
Hi Everyone - I have some sad news to pass on. David Pritchard
passed away last weekend after a long fight with cancer. I know
that many of you on the PiNG list may only know David
performer at the previous two RADiO iN AMBiENCE presentations
at THE AMBiENT PiNG but I also know that some of you
your musical worlds opened wide by David when he was the
ultimate all-night radio DJ on CHUM-FM (Toronto) in
60s and and early 70s - in the day when there was no format
except what the DJ created. Frank Zappa described his
"an utter freak out". David left CHUM,
after the evolving rules
began to constrict him, to become program director for CFNY-FM
(in the early years) guiding it as a cutting edge station.
He was a man of principles who never compromised and
also left CFNY when enforced changes appeared,
refusing to, as he put it, turn the station into a
conduit for "shallow hit-oriented Pabulum".
thought I'd celebrate some aspects of David's art and life in
general and hope you'll take a few moments to read on.
known as a radio DJ, David had a well respected "voice".
Those who knew him off the air could enjoy the change from
his deep, modulated tone into a faster higher-pitched glee
as he talked about favourite stories from his many encounters
with artists and musicians and about art, music, food and drink -
his passions. Here's some other snapshots from a rich life...
related his background as a painter and collage artist
to his ability to artfully create an eclectic music mix. He
continued to paint and show his work throughout his life.
Last March his Enigma Series of mixed media paintings
was presented at the Juten Gallery in Toronto's Beaches area.
over 30 years David's studio, Sonic Workshop produced
cutting edge audio projects and has won numerous awards and
citations including the prestigious Gabriel prize
in radio documentaries. David also won additional acclaim for
his innovative radio commercials. Many still fondly remember his
Under the Neon Palms bits for the El Mocombo back
in its day.
and Alan Lysaght created two truly massive radio
documentaries covering the complete histories of The Beatles
(30 hours long and the most widely syndicated radio series in
history) and Rolling Stones which included every recorded
song from the artists with related commentaries from the groups
and key players in their stories. A book, The Beatles: An Oral
History, was later published. David became known world-wide
as an authority on The Beatles.
Deadly Hedley Jones stated "In 1977 David
from CHUM went to Jamaica and discovered reggae...
He came back and asked me if I wanted to do a show with him,
so we did the first and only reggae show ever on CHUM".
the description of David's first album release, titled
Nocturnal Earthworm Stew, from the STAALPLAAT -
"An incredible pioneering electronic album recorded in the early
1970's, from the first Canadian artist signed to Island Records.
Serious headphone music made under the influence of
Stockhausen, John Cage, Ornette Coleman, Stravinsky,
Frank Zappa, Weather Report, Charles
Ives and others --
and with a sound that's often compared to that of early Eno
and the first two Kraftwerk albums."
first met David when I travelled from Ottawa and bought my
second synthesizer from him - a lovely EMS Synthi AKS.
We kept in touch and after I moved to Toronto in the 80's
I began to work closely with him on his second album
Unexplored Ether. This was a very mind-expanding
of my artistic growth as I learned beside him the delicate
craft of complex tape editing and the application of radio
production techniques to new music creation. The essence
of these techniques have been the foundation of my productions
as they grew into the digital age and computer editing.
can be sure that when I introduce field recordings into
our mix at the dreamSTATE show tonight at the PiNG,
David will be on my mind and in my heart. David and his wife
Libby attended our first CD release event some years back
and I like to think his spirit may take a moment to drop by
tonight for our second release. His influence is within it.
was my great pleasure and honour to play with David (and
Byron Wong, another artist who states he learned everything
about the art of radio production working with David) in 2003
and 2004 at THE AMBiENT PiNG in what I believe were his first
live music performances. We attempted to schedule the dates
around his chemo treatments but last year David told me
"You know, people always assumed I was on drugs, but tonight
is the first time I've ever really performed on drugs!" We improvised
with synthesizers and radio airwaves to create soundscapes for
the Deep Wireless series. Clicking on the following
links will play
(128k) or LoFi
(64k) mp3 excerpt from our first performance.
13th 2003 • RADiO
iN AMBiENCE Part 2
A special presentation for
Deep Wireless in
New Adventures in Sound Art featuring David Pritchard
M2 + Byron
11th 2004 • RADiO
iN AMBiENCE Part 2 - A special presentation for Deep Wireless in
collaboration with New Adventures in Sound Art
featuring David Pritchard with Scott M2 + Byron
son Christian states that he went peacefully with his
family in attendance and emphasized that this should be a
time of celebration of his life rather than a time of mourning.
that spirit, Jamie (who spent formative years with a
radio under the covers listening to David's show) and I will
be dedicating our dreamSTATE
show tonight to David's spirit
and inspiration. We'll be playing Noctural Earthworm Stew
before the first set and I've burned a special version of the
never-released album Unexplored Ether to play between
Hope you can join us and raise a glass in his honour!