Wood-shedding – developing Meditation Music
Reaching a climactic creative crisis in 1974 he stopped playing with everyone in order to concentrate fully upon his unfolding meditation music begun in 1968. The main intention was to unfold a new vocabulary of sounds and approaches to playing more in keeping with his spiritual disciplines and objectives and for this reason it was necessary to spend time away from playing in situations incompatible with these specific aims. At this time he collaborated with certain gifted persons (clairvoyants – mostly Chippewa ne Sue Rossiter) in studying the inner-world creations of his meditative improvisations. He would improvise and they would meditate and then afterwards compare experiences. This was largely brought about through the increasingly more sacred instruments coming into his safe keeping. He needed to unfold a completely new manner of approach towards listening to his sounds/instruments. At this time he also largely moved away from using those instruments of his that were of short sustain. During late ’75 to ’78 he worked in a duo which he had co-founded with David Toop (on flutes) called TEE-PEE. He is now largely known for his solo work. After moving to Ringwood in 1983, in 1990 he began working with the local poet Owen Davis (then living in Swanage) alongside Pool Of Sound (the now defunct duo of Chas Dickie – cello/keyboards & Cathy Stevens – viola/violin) – see their CD with Owen Davis OUT THERE. In 1993 he formed a duo with the yidaki (didgeridoo) player Martin Brunsden, he also co-founded a group called Tura with cellist Chas Dickie, clarinettist Roy Mitchel and Martin Brunsden on double bass, yidaki, musical saw, etc, he also co-formed a vocal group Enchanter – initiated by Mike Steer – a quintet exploring group overtone singing, which went on to become a trio under his own direction called Stargate, which latter group features on the CD RAINBOW HEALING PEACE. Frank has always concerned himself with the qualitative value and the deepest meaning of his creative activities whilst his uniquely sensitive understanding of the spiritual significance of the nature of his sacred instruments precludes him from playing with others of a dissimilar persuasion as this would be tantamount to the abuse of both his instruments and his manner of working with them. A distraction to his chosen pathway. Having unfolded a highly personal manner of achieving his spiritual aims within his musical improvisations, the approaches developed in order to achieve these aims now means that it is difficult, though not impossible (although most probably excluding the more sacred of his instruments), for him to improvise outside of this context. To join others in group improvisations is easier when utilising his regular kit (or something like it) from the period pre-1974.