Chris Heaton’s career has embraced contemporary classical music, pop, jazz and free improvisation.
He studied piano and guitar and at boarding school became the school’s main boy soprano soloist and formed a band with his songwriter friend Rod Temperton, playing jazz and pop music. On leaving school he played in a variety of bands, from New Orleans jazz to heavy rock, and formed his own jazz-rock group.
He attended Barry Jazz Summer School in 1972 (along with John Walters) and then moved to Germany to join Rod in a band performing pop and soul covers at clubs and US bases. He returned to London and met up again with John, who had formed a band in which future Landscape members became regulars.
Chris took a course in electronic music and studied composition with Anthony Gilbert. He formed the free-improvisation/electronics group Accord and developed a method of live spatial manipulation of his acoustic piano through amplification and ring modulators. Accord played workshops, BBC broadcasts and concerts, including the Park Lane Group Young Musicians series at the Purcell Room.
Chris worked for classical music publisher Universal Edition preparing scores and performance material. He arranged early music for wind band for an Arts Council tour and gave lectures in jazz analysis at the Guildhall School of Music. He was an early user of the ring modulator and various foot pedals and delays to modify the sound of his Fender Rhodes piano. Landscape became busier. He purchased a Yamaha CS-80 polyphonic synthesizer that expanded his sound palette, later adding Moog synthesizer.
After Landscape, Chris produced studio albums and 12-inch mixes for artists including Second Image, Level 42’s Boon Gould, Betty Wright, Gwen Dickey and Respect. He contributed keyboards and Fairlight CMI for Diamond Head and toured with Womack & Womack.
He produced and engineered a version of Steve Reich’s New York Counterpoint with his clarinettist brother Roger Heaton for the Ballet Rambert. Using digital multitrack techniques, Chris produced an album for Roger that included the Reich as well as works by Morton Feldman, Ennio Morricone and Gavin Bryars.
He then studied for and gained an MSc in Music Information Technology at London’s City University.
Chris produced a CD for Roger of works by Peter Maxwell Davies and Harrison Birtwistle (who worked with them in the studio) later acclaimed as number two in The Sunday Times Top Ten Classical Albums of the year. He wrote the jazz clarinet chapter for Harwood Academic Publishers Music Performance journal which was subsequently expanded into The Versatile Clarinet published by Routledge and wrote and curated the book and CD set Changing Platforms: 30 Years of the Contemporary Music Network, published by Unknown Public. Recently, Chris worked as a specialist jazz and classical researcher at PRS/MCPS.
RICHARD JAMES BURGESS BIOGRAPHY
ANDY PASK BIOGRAPHY
PETER THOMS BIOGRAPHY
JOHN L. WALTERS BIOGRAPHY