The Beynon School was founded in 1941 by Victor Beynon as an institution extolling the virtues of alternative education. The children aged between 11 and 19 attended the school in the heart of the Devon countryside up until it's closure on the 29th April 1980.
The Beynon School of Audio Architecture was the department founded in 1959 to explore the relationship between new ever emerging audio possibilities (performative electronics, composition, structure, early sampling techniques) and the moving image. This experimentation peaked in the mid 1960s to the late 1970s. This is the time span that forms the bulk of the surviving archive. The word 'Architecture' was employed because of Victor's ideology that the children should 'build worlds in relation to visual stimulus that are both organic and solid but at once metaphorical and dream-like'. A scope that gave some focus while remaining wide enough to encourage experimentation. The school was also a focus for the surrounding community and the local inhabitants made use of the facilities of the school and the audio school proper. Some even adding to the archive.
After Victor's death in 1992, I, his grandson Gregory inherited the archive and set about exploring its contents. The great majority of the audio-visual archive was destroyed by flooding in 1986 when the archive was being held at the Royal William Yard, Plymouth. However most of the audio material was saved as it was stored above the line of the highest part of the flooding.
In September 1976 Victor wrote the Penguin published book 'The Beynon School of Audio Architecture' celebrating the school, it's ideology and it's endeavours. The book enjoyed a short but none-the-less popular publishing run.
During the 1980s after the schools closure the department and it's associated contents relocated to a location on Dartmoor National Park near to the village of Widecombe. Recording and experimentation continued for a short while until 1989 when the department sold it's assets and closed it's doors.
I sincerely hope you enjoy what you hear. These recordings reflect both the times and culture in which they were made while retaining the quality of externalising these young peoples internal worlds; for better or for worse.
It is with a degree of regret that some of the archive cannot be accurately dated due to the deterioration of some of the labelling attached to the recorded medium. Time will ravish us all eventually.
Some of what is presented will be the work of Beynon Archival (Mr. G. Beynon) and its associates.
Mr. G. Beynon. Lead Archivist.
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All recordings property of Beynon Archival Services and The Beynon School of Audio Architecture, UK.