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Carl Stone

Carl Stone (born Carl Joseph Stone, February 10, 1953) is an American composer, who is one of the pioneers of live computer music. He has been hailed by the Village Voice as “the king of sampling.” and “one of the best composers living in (the USA) today.” He has used computers in live performance since 1986. His works have been performed all around the world.
Stone studied composition at the California Institute of the Arts with Morton Subotnick and James Tenney and has composed electro-acoustic music almost exclusively since 1972.
He had a work-study job in the Music Library, which had many thousands of LP records in the circulating collection (this was 1973). The collection included a lot of western classical music of course but also a really comprehensive world music collection, avant-garde, electronic music, jazz and more. Because the librarians were concerned that the LPs, many of which were rare, would soon become unlistenable at the hands of the students and faculty, his job was to take every disc and record it onto cassette, a kind of back-up operation. He soon discovered that he could monitor the output of any of the recordings he was making and even mix them together without disturbing the recordings. So, he began to experiment, making musical collages, and started to develop habits of combining disparate musical materials.
Stone utilizes a laptop computer as his primary instrument and his works often feature very slowly developing manipulations of samples of acoustic music, speech, or other sounds. Because of this, as well as his preference for tonal melodic and harmonic materials similar to those used in popular musics, Stone’s work has been associated with the movement known as minimalism.
Prior to his settling on the laptop, in the 1980s, he created a number of electronic and collage works utilizing various electronic equipment as well as turntables. Prominent works from this period include Dong Il Jang (1982) and Shibucho (1984), both of which subjected a wide variety of appropriated musical materials (e.g. Okinawan folk song, European Renaissance music, 1960s Motown, etc.) to fragmentation and looping. In this way his work paralleled innovations being made in the early days of rap and hip hop (e.g. Grandmaster Flash, of whose work he was unaware at the time). It was during this period that he began naming many of his works after his favorite restaurants (often Asian ones).
His first residency in Japan, sponsored by the Asian Cultural Council, was from November 1988 to April 1989. While living in Tokyo he collected more than 50 hours of recordings of the city’s urban soundscape, which he later used as the basis for his radio composition Kamiya Bar, sponsored by Tokyo FM radio, and released on a CD of the same name by the Italian label NewTone / Robi Droli.
Stone has collaborated frequently with Asian performers, including traditional instrumentalists such as Min Xiao-Fen (pipa), Yumiko Tanaka (shamisen), Kazue Sawai (koto), Michiko Akao (ryuteki), and those working with modern instruments, such as Otomo Yoshihide (turntables, guitar), Kazuhisa Uchihashi (guitar, daxophone), Yuji Takahashi (computer, piano), and vocalists such as Reisu Saki and Haco. He has also collaborated on an album with Hirohito Ihara’s Radicalfashion and recently with Alfred Harth who partly lives in Korea.
We can listen on two CR-R, wich released by Kendra Steiner Editions. Oneof them is Alfred 23 Harth & Carl Stone  – “Gift Fig” (KSE #207), and other is Alfred 23 Harth / Carl Stone / Samm Bennett / Kazuhisa Uchihashi – “The Expats” (live at Superdeluxe, Tokyo 2010, KSE #233). Carl Stone’s music has been used by numerous theater directors, filmmakers, media artists, and choreographers.
Beginning in the early years of the 21st century, Stone began to compose more frequently for acoustic instruments and ensembles, completing a new work for the San Francisco Bay Area-based American Baroque.
Stone served as president of the American Music Center from 1992 to 1995, and was director of Meet the Composer/California from 1981 to 1997. He also served as music director of KPFK-FM in Los Angeles from 1978 to 1981.
For many years, Stone has divided his time between San Francisco and Japan. He is a faculty member in the Department of Information Media, School of Information Science and Technology at Chukyo University in Japan.