It's with great sadness that we have to announce the death of John
Watermann. He died at 5:50pm, Tuesday, April 2nd, Ward 4B Royal
Brisbane Hospital in Australia. He died from infection associated with
myeloma. John Watermann was one of the truely underground sound and
visual artists. In the late eighties his name surfaced out of knowhere,
when a double CD was released by Walter Ulbricht in Germany. Starting
out in Berlin, Germany, where he was born, as a filmmaker and
photographer, he found out that he needed soundtracks for his films. He
started composing music in the mid sixties and moved to Australia in
the early seventies. Although he was collecting sound equipment, his
first releases do not surface until the late 80s. In the nineties his
music was released on CD's by ND, Dark Vinyl, Walter Ulbricht and Raum
312. He also recorded a collaborative work with Merzbow. One of his
last big projects was a CDRom "A Rose Is A Rose", which he released
himself and has his visual work and music.
Much of his work incorporated field recordings, which were heavily
treated by electronics, resulting in highly rhythmic music, through the
extensive use of cut ups. Although in the later part of the nineties he
was less actively involved in producing music (mainly due to his
illness), his output will not be forgotten.
Mid-2000 he wrote me that he was terminally ill, but that he would
love to do a sound project with me in the remaining time. We exchanged
environmental recordings and exchanged e-mails over the practical
nature of composing our works. Only a few weeks ago, he wrote me that
he was still working on it, despite all the treatments he was getting.
In exchanging these e-mails he came forward as a very practical person,
with clear ideas as to what he wanted. I will continue to work my part
of this work in order to keep his memory alive.