Thursday, September 19, 2013

Lindsay Cooper RIP (1951—2013)

Some very sad news just came up on Aymeric's Canterbury music forum:

Just got this from Chris Cutler...

"So sorry to pass on this unhappy news. Lindsay died this afternoon. She had contracted pneumonia and spent the last six days at home surrounded by a few old friends. She died very peacefully. The funeral will be next Wednesday 25 September at 4:30 PM at Golders Green crematorium."

Many here know that Lindsay was suffering from a particularly acute and debilitating form of multiple sclerosis, which took a turn for the worse in the late 1990s rendering her unable to perform, and ultimately unable to do very much at all. A great tragedy for such a talented performer and composer.

May she now rest in peace.


I don't know what to add. Regular listeners to my podcasts will know how much her music, and the particular musical path she forged through her life, means to me.

Next month's episode of Canterbury Sans Frontières will of course be a Lindsay tribute.

The Guardian has published quite a thoughtful and reasonably accurate obituary here, referring to her "imaginative, spirited, humorous and courageous approach to life. She simply chose not to notice that a bassoonist, trained classically in the 1960s, was not supposed to play art-rock, free-improv, 1930s cabaret music or Cool School jazz — or for that matter, that the spirit of a multiple sclerosis sufferer might be assumed to wilt under the condition's advance." Filmmaker and singer Sally Potter (who I believe acted as Lindsay's primary carer in her later years) is quoted as saying "Her life was threaded through with political commitment and idealism — but her work was never didactic. She believed in the transcendental power of pure sound."


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