Ken Campbell was "the door through which many hundreds of kindred souls entered a madder, braver, brighter, funnier and more complex universe" according to the director of the Liverpool Playhouse theatre. Being just a nipper, I remember him mainly as Alf Garnett's neighbour and the irritating Roger, a guest in Fawlty Towers. But Ken Campbell real work was in the staging many one man shows of mind bending vision from the mid 70s until his death in 2008.
Those shows were haphazardly recorded by audience members and occasionally documented in film and on TV, and Oddditorium podcast and Catalyst Club host David Bramwell has been working with Campbell's daughter Daisy to bring together this disparate audio archive.
Once the audio was collected they began the challenging task of piecing together some of the one man shows which were either incomplete or suffered from poor sound due to old cassette or simply that they were audience recordings. Once coherence was achieved the files were passed to the studio where I worked through the issues.
Izotope RX7 handled the worst of the tape hiss, but the levels from different performances were pretty wild so had to be picked through slowly to tweak moment to moment fluctuations. I'm continually amazed by RX's abilities, the bulk removal of an every-3-second serial click throughout an hour of one section was particularly gratifying. Another was the ability to cut away a 15kHz whistle using the spectral editing functions.
We still have a bit more to do but it's been great to become more familiar with Ken's insane monologues. The finished edits are going to be a podcast series I believe and will be a really great addition to the archive of this loved British performer.