1984, 16minutes
Sound realisation by Simon Desorgher


Brewing was a significant departure from my earlier work. Conceived as a kind of documentary poem, it is a “poetic” response to the activity and processes within a wonderful old brewery in Oxfordshire where the entire brewing process and building are powered by a nineteenth century steam engine.

The basic visual and aural elements were recorded on location at the Hook Norton Brewery, and then “performed”, composed and post-produced at Diverse Production’s premises in West London using the Videokalos synthesiser as a subtle colouring and effects instrument.

It was also a very early example of a then new sound composing technique – all the sounds from the brewery were digitally recorded and samples were then used to create new sounds held digitally on computer. These were then mixed and performed in real time during simultaneous real-time vision mixing of images recorded at the brewery. Technical limitations required that only limited sections could be recorded in one “take”, rather than the whole video as in earlier works, and the pieces therefore needed later editing to put the whole work together. This process related to the earlier techniques Simon and I had used in the Seventies, but extended them to incorporate the real world more directly.

Brewing is a “documentary” to the degree that it documents the process of the brew, yet it is “poetic” in its sensibility of inspiration and enactment.