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Bruce Clifford Gilbert (born on 18 May 1946 in Watford, Hertfordshire) is an English musician, one of the founding members of the influential and experimental art-punk band Wire and a pioneer in the experimental noise scene.Read More...
He studied art in a British art school and found a niche in the budding avant-garde music scene in late-1960's England. Gilbert's experimental inclinations in his musical tastes later influenced his guitar playing in the art-punk band Wire. While in Wire he was known as the most experimental member of the group.
Gilbert was the guitarist of punk band Wire, which began in 1976. Though not properly trained as a guitarist, he provided much of the experimental base heard in most Wire songs with distortion pedals and other effects.
Gilbert explains how he became a member of Wire; "It all came about by accident. I was working as an AV technician in charge of a small studio at Watford college. I was fiddling about as usual, making strange tapes with one of the students. We were planning to do a Tangerine Dream-ish sort of thing, but more harrowing, not as soporific. At that time, I was unaware of the other things that were happening in Germany, the experimental, harder stuff, but I suppose that was what I was working towards, without knowing it. Then a chap who played guitar started dropping by to make use of the facilities. Somehow, the studio just became a focus for people, so some of us just started playing things together. I was very wary of where it might lead. I'm not impressed by 'technique' and to begin with, my role in the proceedings was to make sure that it didn't get in the way of what we were trying to do."
Gilbert and his band members had no idea that Wire was to become one of the most influential and innovative bands of the punk era, with their brief, three album tenure between 1976-79 with Pink Flag, Chairs Missing and 154 before disbanding after a show at London's Electric Ballroom at the start of 1980. When the band temporarily split in 1980, Gilbert formed Dome with Wire bassist Graham Lewis. Dome's performances were done at art galleries with visual displays that allowed audience interactivity. Gilbert and Lewis performed with tubes made of paper over their heads, thus restricting their vision. Artist Russell Mills frequently collaborated with Dome.
Bruce Gilbert's most famous solo works, Music for Fruit, The Shivering Man, and most recently Ordier express his self proclaimed “fascination with the possibilities of sound.” Gilbert's works use everything from minimalist electronic glitch to instrument manipulation
Several of his compositions have aroused international attention.
Gilbert's respect for musical experimentation lead him to a career as a DJ, first under his own name, and later as DJ Beekeeper. Gilbert has often been quoted saying that being a DJ was just an excuse to "manipulate other people's music"
In March 1996, he released the results of new experiments, the 'Ab Ovo' album and 'Ovo Mix' 12-inch single. His first solo album not to result from an external dance or film commissions, was described by The Wire as, "a forceful piece of work which sounds like nothing else around."
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