Monthly Archives: April 2013

Daphne Oram

Daphne Oram (31 December 1925 – 5 January 2003) was a British composer and electronic musician. She was the creator of the “Oramics” technique for creating electronic sounds.
Oram was, from an early age, taught piano and organ as well as musical composition.
In 1942 she was offered a place at the Royal College of Music but instead took up a position as a Junior Studio Engineer and “music balancer” at the BBC. During this period she became aware of developments in “synthetic” sound and began experimenting with tape recorders. She also spent some time in the 1940s composing music, which remained unperformed, including an orchestal work entitled “Still Point”.
In the 1950s she was promoted to become a music studio manager and, following a trip to the RTF studios in Paris, began to campaign for the BBC to provide electronic music facilities for composing sounds and music, using electronic music and musique concrète techniques, for use in its programming.[2] In 1957 she was commissioned to compose music for the play Amphitryon 38. Using a sine wave oscillator, an early tape recorder and some self-designed filters, she produced the score from only electronic sources; the first of its kind at the BBC.
Along with fellow electronic musician and BBC colleague Desmond Briscoe, she began to receive commissions for many other works – including a significant production of Samuel Beckett’s “All That Fall”. As demand grew for these electronic sounds, the BBC gave Oram and Briscoe a budget to establish the BBC Radiophonic Workshop in early 1958, where she was the first Studio Manager.[2] In October of that year, she was sent by the BBC to the “Journées Internationales de Musique Expérimentale” at the Brussels World’s Fair (where Edgard Varèse demonstrated his “Poème électronique”). After hearing some of the work produced by her contemporaries and being unhappy at the BBC’s music department’s lack of interest, she decided to resign from the BBC less than one year after the workshop was opened, hoping to develop her techniques further on her own.


In 1959 she installed her “Oramics Studios for Electronic Composition” in Tower Folly, a converted oast house at Fairseat, near Wrotham, Kent. Her output from the studio, mostly commercial, covered a far wider range than the Radiophonic Workshop, providing background music for not only radio and television but also theatre and short commercial films. She was also commissioned to provide sounds for installations and exhibitions. Other work from this studio included electronic sounds for Jack Clayton’s 1961 horror film The Innocents, concert works including Four Aspectsand collaborations with opera composer Thea Musgrave and Ivor Walsworth.
In February 1962, she was awarded a grant of £3550 from the Gulbenkian Foundation to support the developments and research of her “Oramics” drawn sound technique. This method of music composition and performance was intended by Oram to allow a composer to be able to draw an “alphabet of symbols” on paper and feed it through a machine that would, in turn, produce the relevant sounds on magnetic tape. A second Gulbenkian grant of £1000, awarded in 1965, enabled the Oramics composition machine to be completed. The first drawn sound composition using the machine, entitled “Contrasts Essonic”, was recorded in 1968.

The technique, similar to Yevgeny Sholpo’s “Variophone”, involves drawing on 35mm film strips to control the sound produced. Oram’s composition machine consisted of a large rectangular metal frame, providing a table-like surface traversed by ten synchronised strips of clear, sprocketed 35mm film. The musician drew shapes on the film to create a mask, which modulated the light received by photocells. Although the output from the machine was monophonic, the sounds could be added to multitrack tapes to provide more texture.

File:Oramics Machine left front.jpg

The concept of drawn sound was not new. The technique of drawing patterns by hand onto the thin strip at the edge of 35mm film had been around since the 1920s. Russian film makers Arseny Arraamov and Yevgeny Sholpo created soundtracks from intricate ink drawings on thin strips that were 1.93 – in width. Norman McClaren used drawn sound in many films. South African electronics engineer , Johannes van der Bijl, working in the 1940s, developed a method of recording sound using photographed waveforms on 35mm film, which were passed across and interrupted a steady beam of light, and thus generated an electronic impulse to represent sound but the Oramics system reveals a more lucid, free and at the same time more precise analogue of sound waveforms.

In the 1990s she suffered two strokes and was forced to stop working, later moving to a nursing home. She died in 2003 Január 5, aged 77, Maidstone, Kent, UK.

IPEM – 50 years of electronic and electroacoustic music at the Ghent University

Various Artists – IPEM – Institute for Psychoacoustics and Electronic Music


In commemoration of IPEM’s 50th anniversary, Metaphon presents a lavishly illustrated 88 page book (all text in Dutch and English) with two CDs featuring Lucien Goethals, Didier Gazelle, Louis De Meester, David Van de Woestijne, Stefan Beyst, Helmut Lachenmann, Boudewijn Buckinx, Karel Goeyvaerts, Emmanuel Van Weerst, Peter Beyls, Raoul De Smet, Frank Nuyts, Ricardo Mandolini, Peter Schuback, Stephen Montague and Yves Knockaert. All tracks were recorded at the IPEM studio between 1963 and 1999, mastered from the original tapes. Most tracks are previously unreleased. Vinyl version comes out late may in an edition of 300 copies and contains 3LP’s
IPEM is not a teaching organisation. IPEM was founded in 1963, as a joint venture between the Belgian Radio and Television broadcasting company (BRT) and Ghent University. The idea was to combine audio engineering with music production, thus building a bridge between scientific research and artistic research.
The institute was first located in the electronics laboratory of Prof. H. dr. ir. Vuylsteke, but soon after it was associated with the department of musicology, which was lead by Prof. dr. J.L. Broeckx and later on by Prof. dr. H. Sabbe. Together with ir. W. Landrieu, they developed the institute into a music studio and a center for the study of contemporary music.
Music production at IPEM was lead by the composers L. De Meester, K. Goeyvaerts and L. Goethals, all employed by the BRT. They realized many compositions and radio transmissions related to contemporary music.
Since 1968, research results at IPEM were published in yearbooks. In collaboration with Sonology (then at Utrecht), this resulted in 1972 in an international journal, called Interface – Journal of New Music Research.
Since 1987, IPEM has grown to a center with more than 30 researchers working on music.
It is currently the research centre of the Department of Musicology at the University of Ghent, and exists for the study of contemporary music with a particular interest in new musicological methods and scientific research in the area of psycho-acoustics, interactive multimedia technologies and their applications, the archiving and preserving of sound and research into emotions and expressions related to music. The Institute organises concerts, summer courses, symposia. 

Various Artists – IPEM – Institute for Psychoacoustics and Electronic Music:

1. Louis de Meester : Incantations  (6:36)
2. Lucien Goethals : Studie 1 (5:26)
3. DIdier Gazelle : Studie 1 (3:12)
4. Louis de Meester : Cadenza (from Dialogos) (4:59)
5. David Van De Woestijne : Les Céphalopode (5:41)
6. Stefan Beyst : Ekreksis (4:44)
7. Helmut Lachenmann : Scenario (12:33)
8. Boudewijn Buckinx : Simparolo (3:41)
9. Karel Goeyvaerts : Nachklänge aus dem Theater (part 1) (5:09)
10. Emmanuel Van Weerst : Monochroom (6:25)
11. Peter Beyls : Prints (9:27)
12. Raoul de Smet : Torso (tape part) (7:09)

13. Ricardo Mandolini : El Cuaderno del Alquimista (9:29)
14. Frank Nuyts : Chile (Part1) (7:52)
15. Peter Schuback : L’ombre négatif de Monsieur Sandomir (9:13)
16. Stephen Montague : Slow dance on a burial ground  (24:34)
17. Yves Knockaert : Foto II (from Portraits) (12:01)
18. Lucien Goethals : Dendrofonies  (11:20)



Metaphon is an independent non-profit organisation. It is a platform dedicated to promoting sound experimentation, soundart and electronic music. It was founded by Timo Van Luyk, Greg Jacobs és Marc Wroblewski in 2007 with the purpose of presenting concerts, performances and installations and for producing audio publications and related media. All three were members of the belgian  experimental and improvising music collective, the Noise Maker’s Fifes which worked between 1990 and 2000.
As a record label Metaphon mainly focuses on releasing archival and previously unreleased sound work by Belgian electronic music composers and sound artists from the 20th century. There is yet a lot of important and interesting material that has remained in obscurity although it is undoubtedly of significant value to our cultural and musical heritage. Metaphon endeavours to uncover these hidden treasures. (see ‘releases’)
As a concert promoter Metaphon concentrates on contemporary soundart and related disciplines. We intend to organise several events per year at various locations according to the musical content and the specific requirements of each project. This also enhances the possibility for artists from different countries and with various backgrounds to connect, interact and create new pieces within the framework offered.
Just few, but more interesting items have released in deluxe edition. Almost each ones released in CD and LP version.

Issues have been released thus far:


Baudouin Oosterlynck: 1975-1978       (4 LP box / 4 CD box – (Metaphon 001 – 2008)
Arsène Souffriau: Expériences BIMES   (3 LP box / 3 CD box – Metaphon 002 – 2010)
Michael Ranta – Mike Lewis – Conny Plank: Mu    (2LP box/ 2 CD box – Metaphon 003 – 2010)
Catalogue: Brussel Live    (LP / LP + bonus 7″ – Mettre à Fond BXL(X) – 2010)
IPEM: Institute for Psychoacoustics and Electronic Music    (2CD + 88 page book – Metaphon 004 – 2013)

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.

no wave 2013-03-24: Anthony Braxton

New- / Contemporary music series

The result of the last changeling radio show is this four hour long possibility. In this way I can present “Trillium R” (4xCD box) and “Trillium M” from Anthony Braxton’s Trillium Cycle.

Anthony Braxton – Trillium

Anthony Braxton’s Trillium Cycle is the ongoing project closest to his heart, where he brings his “restructuralist” vision to the grandest of Western musical traditions: opera.
In 1984 Braxton decided to write “Trillium” opera. In this time he stated that “Trillium is a point of definition in his music system. He planned Trillium will consist of a complex of 36 autonomous acts that can be refitted into any combination to total 12 three-act operas. Five of Braxton’s operas have been performed thus far:

  • Trillium A (one act, fully staged in San Diego in 1985-ben),
  • Trillium M (two acts, in a concert performance in London in 1994),
  • Trillium R (four acts, fully staged in NYC in 1996),
  • Trillium E (four acts, recorded on March 18-21, 2010 at an studio in NY),
  • Trillium J (four acts, 1. & 3. acts performed in Brooklyn on 8 October 2011 ).

„Trillium M” recorded live at London’s Sadlers Wells Theatre in May 1994, this realization is the second CD of an double CD, wich was released by Leo Records in 2006, „Trillium R” released on 4xCD Box in 1999. “Trillium E” was recorded on March 18-21, 2010 at Systems Two Recording Studio in Brooklyn, NY by a cast of 12 vocalists, 12 solo instrumentalists and a 40-piece orchestra, released on 4xCD Box too in 2011.
1. & 3. acts of Trillium J, with a cast of twelve singers and 35-piece, performed at Roulett, Brooklyn (NYC) on 8 October 2011. It was the closing of Tri-Centric Festival. The total Trillium J, will be premiered in April 2014 at Brooklyn’s Roulette, headlining a two-week festival of Tri-Centric music.  Braxton is currently at work composing Trillium X.

excerpt from “Trillium E” (June 19th, 2010, NYC)

The name “Trillium” is derived from Braxton’s “Tri-Axium” philosophical writings. He sees The Trillium Project as representing the three partials of his life’s work: music (sound logic) systems, thought (philosophical) systems, and ritual and ceremonial (belief) systems. Braxton describes The Trillium Project as an opera complex” of autonomous one-act settings interconnected through twelve recurring character archetypes that illustrate the basic components of his logic system, represented both by the twelve singers and by the same number of improvising instrumental soloists.
Each act occurs within a specific dramatic context, but there is no overarching narrative structure; rather, the interest is in how the characters interact within the parameters of a given situation. (These situations range from a corporate board meeting to interplanetary space travel.) Braxton does not shy away from the melodramatic potential of traditional opera: there are swordfights and chases, giants and plagues. However, the “apparent story” is just one of three levels; underlying each act are the “philosophical” and “mystical” dynamics that so deeply inform Braxton’s libretto and music.

Braxton writes, “Events in this sound world attempt to act out a given central concept from many different points of view. There is no single story line in Trillium because there is no point of focus being generated. Instead the audience is given a multi-level event state that fulfills vertical and horizontal strategies (objectives). The wonder of this approach brings a fresh vitality to the music and will allow for a broad range of interpretations. I believe that the medium of opera is directly relevant to cultural alignment and evolution.”

Anthony Braxton – Trillium R

How can a guy like Braxton, who writes constantly, get a high mark on his first outing? Simple — with the exception of Anthony Davis, who wrote Malcolm X, no one from the jazz side of the fence has attempted such a complete attempt to embrace the world of Western classical music so thoroughly. (Perhaps it is  Wynton Marsalis’ “Blood on the Fields” jazz oratorio).
And it deems that Braxton is the only one who has his work  be worthy of comparison to the works of Webern, Berg, and Schoenberg, not to mention Morton Feldman and John Cage.
Compared to his jazz work, Composition No. 162 — An Opera in Four Acts/Shala Fears for the Poor (dedicated to Nelson Mandela) is far from dense compared to his jazz quartet, quintet, and orchestra work.
The opera is performed by nine singers and a full symphony orchestra who has among its membership instrumental soloists like clarinetist Chris Speed, flutists Ned Rothenberg and Rob Brown, and violinist Sara Parkins.
All of the operas in the Trillium series will have three primary levels spread throughout their acts and scenes: an “apparent story,” which is a narrative that can be appreciated more or less for what it seems to say; a set of “philosophical associations” that make the work refer outside itself into the world of ideas; and finally, “the mystical or spiritual fundamental that underlines each setting,” in other words, an allegory — noh or kabuki theater anyone?
The narrative in Shala is a long, drawn-out, rhetorical narrative involving the marketing of products and productions to the masses, specifically to the lower classes. These products are everything from food to loans, all of them created to extract a maximum of profit regardless of damage. Certainly there is a preaching to the converted here, with a plot as concerned with the obvious as the face of our culture. But Braxton — through his use of color, shape, texture, and above all intersecting musical and dramatic dynamics — cuts through and makes his dialogue enter into the imagination, where the listener extrapolates her or his own experience and places it firmly in the operatic sequence of events.
And after all, like all of Braxton’s music, this opera, Shala Fears for the Poor, is about language and how it mediates and transcends images. Braxton is trying to transcend the language of the opera while using it for his own purposes. If this is where the future of opera is headed, if this is where it’s language will ultimately be decided, enclose a grammar book.

      1. Anthony Braxton – Trillium R: Shara For The Poor – Composition No. 162 (Opera  In Four Acts) (199,4 x CD Box, Braxton House, BH-008) CD1
        1. Act 1
      2. Anthony Braxton – Trillium R: Shara Fears For The Poor – Composition No. 162 (Opera In Four Acts) (1999, 4xCD, Braxton House, BH-008) CD2
        1. Act 2
      3. Anthony Braxton – Trillium R: Shara Fears For The Poor – Composition No. 162 (Opera In Four Acts) (1999, 4xCD, Braxton House, BH-008) CD3
        1. Act 3
      4. Anthony Braxton – Trillium R: Shara Fears For The Poor – Composition No. 162 (Opera In Four Acts) (1999, 4xCD, Braxton House, BH-008) CD4
        1. Act 4

Composition No. 126 Trillium – Dialogues M

Recorded live at London’s Sadlers Wells Theatre in May 1994, this realization of Anthony Braxton’s Compositions 175 and 126 was released by Leo Records in 2006 on a double CD. Both works are outgrowths of the composer’s Trillium opera project, which was first defined a full decade before this recording was made.
Composition 126 was originally designated “Trillium – Dialogues M (1986) Joreo’s Vision of Forward Motion,” a four-scene, one-act opera with two interludes for six soloists, dancers, choir, piano, large orchestra, and percussion. This was conceived with instructions for costuming and stage design. As presented in 1994, the work involved four vocalists, an 18-piece creative orchestra (including a string quartet) under Braxton’s direction, and a partially electronic “constructed environment.” Structurally and texturally, the music at times seems closely aligned with what Braxton refers to as the Post-Webern Continuum, in the selection and configuration of tones and the use of silence as a structural element. The keyboard improvisations of Roy Powell are especially intriguing, as is the interplay among the instrumentalists behind the declamatory vocals

    1. Anthony Braxton with the Creative Jazz Orchestra – Composition No. 175 & Composition No. 126 (2005, 2xCD, Leo Records, CD LR 453/454) CD2
      Composition No. 126 Trillium – Dialogues M (Jorneo’s vision of forward motion for four vocalists, creative orchestraand consructed environment

      1. Act 1
      2. Act 2 (the last 2:45 is missing)

You can listen the show (beginning from 01:34):

no wave 2013-03-24: part1
no wave 2013-03-24: part2
no wave 2013-03-24: part3
no wave 2013-03-24: part4
no wave 2013-03-24: part5
no wave 2013-03-24: part6
no wave 2013-03-24: part7
no wave 2013-03-24: part8

no wave 2013-04-28: Philip Corner

New- / Contemperary music series

The subject of this radio show is the 80 years old American avant-garde composer Philip Corner, who was born on 10 April 80 the age of and his music.

Philip Corner – 40 Years and One

Philip Corner (born 1933) is an experimental composer who has been totally going for it since the 1950s. He’s perhaps best known for his work in the realms of Fluxus, minimalism and chance operations–although he notates some pieces, too–as well as his associations with fellow composers John Cage and James Tenney.
The 40 Years and OneCD features 73 minutes of solo piano played by the composer himself. The pieces, which span from the late 1950s through the ’70s, were recorded in January 1998 and released by New York experimental music label XI Records in 2001.
Out of a total of nine tracks, the first seven are short and wear on the listener like a really prickly bodysuit, filled with disjointed bits of melodies, sudden outbursts, inside scraping and atonal note clusters that effortlessly veer from quiet contemplation to eruptions of ugly dissonance on a dime. The last two tracks fill up the rest of the album in a slightly more pleasing manner.

Pulse - a Keyboard Dance -1 Pulse - a Keyboard Dance - 2

“Pulse” splays out a full 25 minutes of pounding dissonant rhythms that eventually turn all gentle, repetitive and pretty; while the 23-minute “perfect” returns to full-on improv mode with some lively inside playing–featuring scads of scraping, knocking, jingling, rubbing and ringing bells–on a naturally reverberant prepared piano. Typically, most people regard this kind of music as very difficult to listen to, but I’ve found that it’s really quite easy if you stop expecting and just listen closely.

    1. Philip Corner – 40 Years and One: Philip Corner Plays The Piano (2000, CD, XI Records, XI 125)

      1. 7 Joyous Flashes
      2. Concero for Housekeeper
      3. Short Piano Piece IV
      4. Short Piano Piece IX
      5. Short Piano Piece XIII
      6. Flux & Form No.2 (solo)
      7. Flux & Form No.2 (three versions mixed)
      8. Pulse: a “Keyboard Dance’ / C Major Chord
      9. “perfect” (on the string)

Philip Corner – from The Judson Years

The American avant-garde composer created and exceptional work in the late ’60s, entitled Metal Meditations, which used amplified steel objects to create deep resonating tones resulting in a minimal avant-garde music that was profoundly affecting.
By comparison, On Tape From the Judson Days is a little disappointing, mainly because the prospect of a collection of tape music and electronic compositions by this highly inventive composer promises to be certainly interesting if not astounding.
Not to say that this isn’t a curious and considerably vital contribution to late-’60s American avant-garde music — many of the sketches and studies herein were never intended as more than home experiments. Hence, the recording is faltered by flawed fidelity as one could expect 30 years of depletion on already low fidelity master tapes.
With an open ear, however, the primitive tape works are excellent examples of an experimental music scene dedicated to new approaches to sonic arts, and, like La Monte Young, Tony Conrad and David Behrman, Philip Corner is an experimental composer whose ’60s work is certainly worthy of rediscovery.

    1. Philip Corner – On Tape from The Judson Years(1998, CD, Alga Marghen, C 4NMN.019)

      1. Memories: Performances
      2. Oracle, an electronic cantata on images of war:
        1. War Is Hell
        2. Sound-Off and March
        3. Black Hole
        4. Cried Silence
      3. Bev’s Circus Tape

You can listen the show (beginning from 01:30):

no wave 2013-04-28: part1
no wave 2013-04-28: part2
no wave 2013-04-28: part3
no wave 2013-04-28: part4

Philip Corner

philip corner_1a

Philip Corner b 1933 in New York City (USA). American composer of interdisciplinary works that have been performed throughout the world; he is also active as a performer and writer. Studied composition with Henry Cowell and Otto Luening at Columbia University, where he earned his M.A. in 1959. He also studied analysis with Olivier Messiaen at the Paris Conservatoire from 1955-57, where he earned a deuxième prix, and studied piano privately with Dorothy Taubman in New York from 1961-75. He served in the US Army in South Korea from 1959-61, and studied calligraphy with Ki-sung Kim. With Malcolm Goldstein and James Tenney, he co-founded the new music group Tone Roads Chamber Ensemble in 1963, and with Julie Winter the music-ritual ensemble Sounds out of Silent Spaces in 1972 and with Barbara Benary and Daniel Goode Gamelan Son of Lion in 1976. He participated in various concerts with the name Fluxus in New York in 1962-63 and 1966-67 and served as a resident composer and musician to the Judson Dance Theatre in New York from 1962-65. He taught analysis of new music and experimental composition at the New School for Social Research from 1967-70 and new music and world music at Rutgers University from 1972-92. As a performer of new music, he has been active as a pianist, trombonist and vocalist and has also played Alphorn and various natural objects, including resonant metals.

Philip Corner - Piano Work 1

Philip Corner – Piano Work 1

Calligraphy is often incorporated into his scores. Many of his scores are open-ended in that some elements are specified, but others are left partially or entirely to the discretion of the performers. Some employ standard notation, whereas others are graphic scores, text scores, etc. His music also frequently explores unintentional sound, chance activities, minimalism, and non-Western instruments and tuning systems. Improvisation is important, though not exclusive; some “performance proposals” lead to a kind of ecstatic semi-trance. Contact with artists in other media, especially dance and the visual arts, as well as a long-standing interest in Eastern religions such as Zen Buddhism and study of the music of composers from the Baroque and Pre-Baroque eras has likewise impacted his music.

Philip Corner és Phoebe Neville

Philip Corner és Phoebe Neville

In addition to his work as a composer and musician, he has created numerous assemblages, calligraphy, collages, drawings, and paintings, many of which have been exhibited internationally. He has also written much poetry, which like some of his music, has occasionally appeared under his Korean pseudonym Gwan Pok, meaning “Contemplating Waterfall”. As a writer, he has written numerous articles and essays. He is married to the dancer Phoebe Neville, with whom he has often collaborated, and has lived in Italy since 1992.

no wave 2013-04-28: Philip Corner

Sergey Kuryokhin


Sergey Kuryokhin (born Sergey Anatolevich Kurekhin on 16 June 1954  in the city of Murmansk, Northern USSR).
Sergey Kuryokhin was a visionary Russian entertainer, actor, composer, pianist, conductor, producer and director of several ground-braking cross-genre and cross-cultural projects in the Soviet Union and Russia. He stated that only insecure people may restrict their development by limiting their minds to one set of ideas, be it a political party, a religion, an art form or a lifestyle.
His father, Anatoli Kuryokhin, was a military officer. Young Kuryokhin began his piano studies from the early age of 4. In 1971 Kuryokhin moved to Leningrad (St. Petersburg). He studied piano and composition at the College of Music of the Leningrad (St. Petersburg) Conservatory. Then he studied show-business and choir conducting at the Music Department of the Leningrad (St. Petersburg) Academy of Culture. Kuryokhin played rock, pop, and jazz music with various school bands in Leningrad, such as “Post”, “Kolokol” and “Golfstream” on piano and keyboards.
During the late 1970s and early 1980s he played piano with the jazz quartet of Anatoliy Vapirov at several jazz festivals.
In 1981, after Vapirov’s arrest and imprisonment, Vapirov and Kuryokhin secretly made a sound recording of the music Vapirov composed in prison, and then it was smuggled from the Soviet Union, and was released in England under the title “Sentenced to Silence” (1983).
That album also became a showcase of remarkable interplay between the imprisoned Anatoliy Vapirov, on the saxophone and a free man, Sergey Kuryokhin on the piano.
At that time Kuryokhin demonstrated highly unusual fluency on the piano and was noted by such musicians as Chick Corea and Gary Burton. In 1981 Kuryokhin joined the popular Leningrad underground band “Akvarium” and collaborated as keyboardist, composer and the bands co-leader along with Boris Grebenshchikov, releasing several albums together during the 1980s.
In 1984 Kuryokhin launched his best known project: ” Orkestr Pop-Mekhanika” (Popular Mechanics Orchestra). The show was staged at major arenas and concert halls in St. Petersburg, Moscow, and Novosibirsk among other cities in Russia and abroad. The ever-changing project included musicians, bands and actors from Leningrad and Moscow, as well as from Europe, such as Vanessa Redgrave, “Akvarium” and Boris Grebenshchikov, “Kino” and Viktor Tsoy, “Igry”, “Auktsion”, Dzhungli”, “Tri-O”, Sergey Bugayev, even a Red Army Ensemble and many others. During “perestroika” under Mikhail Gorbachev, Kuryokhin was harshly attacked by the Communist Party ideologist Ligachev who called the Popular Mechanics show an “ideological and artistic jumble!”
Kuryokhin’s productions and group performances amalgamated music, theater, circus, ballet, cinema, erotic dances, live animals and birds, movable decorations, paintings and other visual arts in what could be described as Noah’s Ark with Zappa and Warhol, all together in a Soviet-type underground happening show loaded with pranks and witty allusions.


Kuryokhin called himself a “sound-manipulator” instead of a traditional music director, because he was improvising with moves of up to 460 people and animals on stage as if people were part of a giant live music notation. Some critics called his show a “total art” others called it a nonconformist parody of “proper” and “official” ceremonial shows.
Kuryokhin wrote music scores for several Russian and international films. He also enjoyed a film acting career. His music career was highlighted by his solo keyboard performances at the Bach International Music Festival in England and his concert tours in the USA, France, West Germany, Scandinavia, and Japan. He took part in the international project “Wrap around the World”, which was produced by Nam June Paik at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, Korea. From 1991 to his untimely death in 1996 Kuryokhin was a member of the Committee for Culture and Tourism of St. Petersburg City. During that time Kuryokhin became one of the driving forces behind the successful effort in making St. Petersburg the cultural capital of Russia. His live performances attracted diverse public with a broader range of tastes and interests. Kuryokhin invented an impressive show-stopping move for the culmination of his live performances; after a virtuoso passage across the piano keyboard his hands would fly beyond the limits of the piano, then his whole body followed the flight and he would fall on the stage in front of the audience as if he was dead.
Sergey Kuryokhin was the author of many creative initiatives in Russian music, film, television, and show-business. Kuryokhin also made news after a popular TV-show where he presented a media-virus that the founder of the Soviet Communist Party V.I. Lenin was actually not a human, but a mushroom. He launched a series of cross-genre and cross-cultural concerts during the 1980’s- 1990’s in St. Petersburg. His innovative approach influenced many actors, directors, and musicians. His influence can be found in contemporary music and film. His ideas live at the annual Sergey Kurekhin International Festival (Skif), which is organized by the Sergey Kurekhin Charity Fund in St. Petersburg, Russia, since 1996. The Skif attracts over 100 international actors, musicians, and cross-genre performers and has been attended by tens of thousands annually.
In the mid-1990s Sergey Kuryokhin suffered from an emotion breakdown and depression, after he was diagnosed with a rare heart condition, cardiac sarcoma, which was incurable at that time and eventually caused a sudden heart arrest. At that time he was showing signs of a personality disorder, he became obsessed with ideas of chaos, totalitarianism and various mystical schools. Then he split-up with many old friends. His talent was drifting in a darker direction. Kuryokhin’s imitation of his own death during his live performances was a premonition of his own death. He died at age 42, on July 9, 1996, in St. Petersburg, Russia.

“Madness is the important quality of Russian culture” said Sergey Kuryokhin.