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Tribute and Video
From Sally Potter
I first met Lindsay Cooper in 1979, when she was already a musical phenomenon, playing the bassoon in the avant-rock group Henry Cow. Lindsay often spoke of the bassoon as the instrument closest to the human voice. She made it speak to us in new ways, exploring its growling depths and soaring, mournful heights with dexterity and technical inventiveness. She used a foot pedal to generate multiple loops, becoming a one-woman bassoon orchestra in her legendary solo improvisations.
Lindsay’s off-stage charm and humour transmuted into a charismatic stage presence, at times light and playful, at others dark and intense. She was a composer and band leader who also nurtured the gift of collaboration.
She was an idealist with strong political convictions, but her work was never didactic. She believed in the transcendental power of pure sound.
We worked together in several groups – FIG, The Marx Bros, The Film Music Orchestra and Oh Moscow. She wrote the score forThe Gold Diggers and we went on to co-write many songs. Long hours in recording studios at her side taught me many invaluable lessons.
Lindsay died of pneumonia following a heroic 27 year struggle with MS.
Thank God her music lives on.