|Welcome to this online
archive of music, image and video
Moon At The Window were an eclectic group of musicians who came together in Bristol, UK in the late 1980s to produce a series of unique and memorable recordings and performances. Initially formed around the distinctive songs of artist, musician and songwriter Howard Vause, the band mixed classical, rock, soul and world music styles played on a variety of acoustic, electric and electronic instruments. Although over time the group went through several major changes of personnel, at its core was always the duo of Howard Vause on guitar and vocals with bassist, guitarist and co-songwriter Steve Harris. Other key long-term collaborators were guitarist Jon Ouzman, drummer and percussionist Mick Avery, and producer, recording engineer, programmer and keyboard player Phil Andrews.
Named for the Joni Mitchell song, which in turn was derived from a Sufi teaching story, Moon At The Window were always about a vivid mixing of the sensual and the spiritual, the emotional and the intellectual. Often infused with intense passion and longing, the songs of Harris and Vause struggled with questions of identity and meaning in a world - Britain in late 1980s - in which materialistic values were beginning to eclipse all others. 25 years on, although the band is long gone, there is still something special to be found in their music.
Moon At The Window in concert, Bristol Old Vic, 1988. L-R: Andrew Keep, Howard Vause, Mick Avery, Steve Harris.
|Moon At The Window, 1987. L-R: Jon Ouzman, Mick
Steve Harris, Howard Vause.
|This website traces the
development of Moon At The Window through their
studio and live
recordings. Over a relatively brief period of less than four years the
group recorded more than 25 original songs,
some in several versions.
Although not yet fully complete, this archive groups all the major recordings -most of which, in this pre-internet age were self-released by the band on audio cassette - under four headings. Masks covers the early (1986-7), predominantly acoustic phase during which the band recorded and released their first batch of songs and performed extensively in the Bristol area. Children Are documents a series of professional studio recordings, made in 1987-8 as the band began to garner some private sponsorship and public acclaim, a period which culminated in the recording of the collection At The Night River's Edge at Bristol's Rizound Studios. Throughout this time Moon At The Window performances featured increasingly elaborate stage sets, and the band collaborated with local filmmakers to produce two short videos. The fluctuating lineup of MATW at various points included tablas, synthesisers and three guitarists, and strongly featured the innovative percussion and drumming of the inimitable Mick Avery. In 1988, increasingly frustrated by the difficulties of operating without the resources provided by a recording company contract, Vause and Harris returned to working mainly as trio (with Phil Andrews), performing only rarely and recording a number of songs which were never publicly released. They are gathered here under the heading Natural Beauty, the title of the last song the three recorded. Vause,Harris and Andrews finally stopped working together towards the end of 1989.