John Mills-Cockell studied music at the University of Toronto - he was a pioneer of the Moog synthesizer who in 1967 formed Intersystems with light sculptor Michael Hayden and poet Blake Parker. They released three LP recordings: Number One (1967), Peachy (1968) and the brilliantly named Free Psychedelic Poster Inside (1968). All 3 were remastered in 2015 as a lovingly produced CD box-set.
In 1970 Syrinx was formed with John Mills-Cockell (keyboards), Alan Wells (percussion) and Doug Pringle (saxophone). They put out their first album (Syrinx) in 1970, and were commission by CTV to write and perform the theme music for the tv show Here Come's The Seventies - they got a hit with Tillicum and the single was later included on their second album.
Syrinx returned to the studio in late 1970 to record a second album but a fire in the studio destroyed the group’s instruments including Mills-Cockell’s Moog Mark II as well as the master tapes of the recordings containing weeks of work. A Benefit Concert was held in St. Lawrence Market on April 14, 1971:
Syrinx released Long Lost Relatives in 1971. Here's footage of Syrinx with the Toronto Repertory Orchestra playing Ibistix - one of the four movements of the 26 minute Stringspace. a composition including Syren, December Angel, Ibisitx, and Field Hymn (Conclusion).
In 2016 a 2-CD box set (Tumblers From The Vault) was released and it includes all the studio material, plus the CBC recording of StringSpace live with orchestra.
Here is December Angel from Long Lost Relatives:
After Syrinx disbanded, John Mills-Cockell put out the albums Heartbeat and A Third Testament on True North records; there is a remastered set coming. Soon. Hopefully.
The pictures are from 1972 - British musician Malcolm Tomlinson joined the band making it a 4 piece.