Simon Fisher Turner

About Simon Fisher Turner

British composer, sound designer, and actor Simon Fisher Turner has explored many avenues throughout his lengthy, multi-faceted career. Much like Scott Walker, he found early success as a pop star during his teenage years before moving in an increasingly avant-garde direction. Following a 1973 debut released during the height of his fame as a TV star, he briefly joined The The during the early 1980s, then released avant-pop as part of the projects Deux Filles and Jeremy's Secret. He worked with director Derek Jarman on several lauded film scores, beginning with Caravaggio (1986). Additionally, Fisher Turner released two albums of indie pop during the late 1980s under the alias the King of Luxembourg. While he's occasionally returned to pop music, as with the 1999 one-off project Loveletter, the majority of his output has consisted of soundtrack work and experimental soundscapes, including the jarring collages of 1990's The Garden (another Jarman score) and the more beat-driven explorations of Travelcard, a 2000 co-production with Scanner. Other collaborators have included Klara Lewis (2018's Care) and ceramicist/author Edmund de Waal (A Quiet Corner in Time, 2020).
In his youth, Simon Turner (as he was known then) was a child television actor who recorded a self-titled 1973 pop LP and some chart-making 45s (self-described as "appalling") for UK Records and Ariola throughout the decade. Later, he and Colin Lloyd Tucker were involved in the early days of The The, but they soon went off as a duo (1982), recording two albums as Deux Filles (two French girls), then one as Jeremy's Secret. Fisher Turner went solo with a more experimental 1985 LP titled The Bone of Desire. His film score work for Derek Jarman began with the 1986 film Caravaggio, and continued with the following year's The Last of England. He also recorded two indie pop albums (for Él) and toured under the name the King of Luxembourg in the late '80s, then signed to Creation for the release of 1990's Simon Turner, an experimental album bearing zero resemblance to his identically titled debut.
At the beginning of the 1990s, Fisher Turner began a longstanding, fruitful relationship with Daniel Miller's Mute label, from additional Jarman scores such as The Garden (1990) and Blue (1993) to the experimental pop of 1996's Shwarma. During the late '90s, he recorded with Paul Kendall as Kendall Turner Overdrive (Displaced Links, 1997); played in the Hangovers, a band led by Gina Birch of the Raincoats; and made the easy listening pop album Beethoven Chopin Kitchen Fraud (1999) as Loveletter. He also worked with choreographer Rosemary Butcher for several years (1999's Still Moving Light stems from their collaborations), and performed with Robin Rimbaud (Scanner) on live improvisations and the 2000 album Travelcard.
Continuing to focus on film and experimental music, Fisher Turner released albums like the CD/DVD sets Swift (2002) and Lana Lara Lata (2005), a collection of soundscapes made in collaborations with French sound artist Rainier Lericolais and Italian electronica duo T uM'. After creating the sound design for Cynthia Beatt's Tilda Swinton-starring 2009 film essay The Invisible Frame, he returned to more conventional music, producing British singer/songwriter Polly Scattergood's debut album.
2011 saw the release of the triple-album Soundtracks for Derek, which featured music composed for Jarman's Super 8 exhibition at the Julia Stoschek Foundation in Düsseldorf, Germany. The following year, he collaborated with Japanese artist Shiro Takatani and also performed concerts in Europe with the Elysian Quartet. Fisher Turner's score for the 1924 film The Epic of Everest was released in 2013 by Mute Records, subsequently winning an Ivor Novello Award. Giraffe, a suite of processed field recordings and sound designs also featuring the Elysian Quartet, was released by Editions Mego in 2017. The same label also issued the Klara Lewis collaboration Care, an LP of drones and field recordings, in 2018. In 2020, Mute released A Quiet Corner in Time, an album of audio for an installation at the Schindler House in Los Angeles, created by Fisher Turner and artist Edmund de Waal. ~ Joslyn Layne & Paul Simpson

  • HOMETOWN
    Dover, England
  • BORN
    November 21, 1954

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