Jamie Muir was a UK percussionist best known for his work in King Crimson. He is now a painter.
Early in his career, Muir was active in free improvisation, recording and performing with Derek Bailey and Evan Parker in the Music Improvisation Company from 1968-71. During this period he also played in the band Boris with Don Weller and Jimmy Roche (both later of jazz-rock band Major Surgery) and Assagai with Alan Gowen and others.
Muir was a member of King Crimson from mid-1972 to early 1973. Muir initially appeared on a single King Crimson album, 1973's Larks' Tongues In Aspic; several live recordings featuring Muir have since been released by Fripp's DGM records. King Crimson violinist/keyboardist David Cross reports that "We all learned an incredible amount from Jamie. He really was a catalyst of this band in the beginning and he opened up new areas for Bill (Bruford, at that point the group's "conventional" drummer) to look into as well as affecting the rest of us."
With King Crimson, Muir occasionally played a standard drum kit, but more often, he contributed to Crimson's music with an assortment of unusual sounds from a wide variety of percussion instruments, including chimes, bells, thumb piano, mbiras, a musical saw, shakers, rattles, and miscellaneous drums. Muir also used various found objects as part of his percussion repertoire.
In 1972 Muir decided to pursue a monastic lifestyle, in accordance with the strict principles of Buddhism. He left King Crimson abruptly in 1973 to live in a monastery in Scotland. He had just completed his contribution to Lark's Tongues, released subsequent to his departure. The British Press at the time attributed his decision as the result of "personal injury sustained onstage during performance", a phrase attributed to the band's management company, E'G.
In 1980, Muir returned to the London music scene, recording with Evan Parker and Derek Bailey. He was also on the album Ghost Dance, a collaboration with another Crimson alumnus, drummer Michael Giles and David Cunningham recorded in 1983, and eventually released in 1996.
Muir has since withdrawn completely from the music business and now devotes his energies to painting.