Jamie Muir è stato un musicista senza barriere.
Iniziò la sua carriera al trombone in band jazz, poi passò
alla batteria e alle percussioni con un approccio del tutto libero. Suonò
per due anni con l’Edinburgh free-jazz ensemble The Assassination
Weapon poi seguì Derek Bailey nel suo progetto The Music Improvisation
Company. Nel 1971 Muir si unì al gruppo di rock africano Assaggi.
Qualche tempo dopo Robert Fripp gli fece la proposta che l’ha consegnato
all’obliquità, seguirlo nell’ennesima incarnazione
del re cremisi. La sezione ritmica dei crimson era formata da John Wetton
al basso, da Bill Bruford alla batteria e da Jamie Muir che percuoteva
e utilizzava tutto ciò che era possibile: fogli di metallo, catene,
richiami per uccelli, bottiglie di plastica, letti di foglie secche, seghe.
Le performance di Muir sono immortalate in uno degli album più
belli della band, Larks’ Tongues in Aspic.
Dopo l’esperienza con i King Crimson, Muir decise di ritirarsi a
una dimensione di vita più introspettiva e in particolare alle
Nel 1980 Muir tornò a fare musica e lo fece in un progetto tutto
suo chiamato Ghost Dance, con l’aiuto di David Cunningham e Michael
Nel 1990 Muir decide di abbandonare completamente la musica per dedicarsi
King Crimson were the only really famous band I’d been in. Fripp
was open and believed very much in getting disparate musical elements
together, a mixture to produce interesting music, although this was difficult
to hold together as the history of King Crimson would suggest. When we
rehearsed, we thrashed about and tried to make things work in an improvisational
way in the studio. Fripp was definitely the boss, there’s no question
about it. And that was fine, he seemed to me to be a very good band leader.
I think I was a wee bit too much for him, simply because I was so involved
in improvisation. He was very much concerned with logic and function,
he always worked his solos out before playing them. He had very fastidious
and tight sort of habits.
We did a tour and recorded the Larks’ Tongues in Aspic album. It
was very difficult to get that sort of improvisation on record. We were
interested in group potential and creating monstrous power in music. Where
I started playing drums on the album should have been a lot wilder –
sheets of tin rattling and ripping, piles of crockery breaking, those
sorts of sounds. One or two things that Robert would have found just too
much. For a person like him it was a very admirable creative decision
to actually work with somebody like me.
Touring with King Crimson wasn’t a lot of fun for me. I had a lot
of equipment, and when I was in improvised music I’d set it up myself,
play the gig, and put it all away again. With King Crimson the drum roadie
would start to complain bitterly and get shirty because of the problems
of setting it up and putting it back down again. We had difficulty getting
together a road team that was any good. Another major thing I remember
was trying to get the percussion audible at rock concerts, because percussion
was not miked up by direct injection. I’ve seen this at so many gigs and
it can be really soul destroying.
Bill Bruford and I got on very well together musically it seemed to me.
He was a solid, tight, thinking studio type and I was very much into doing
imaginative odd things.