AD HOC #7: John Bischoff

Bay Area electronic music luminaries John Bischoff and Antimatter (aka Xopher Davidson) in a rare evening of live sound constructions.

 

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John Bischoff is an early pioneer of live computer music. He is known for his solo constructions in real-time synthesis as well as his development of computer network music. Bischoff studied composition with Robert Moran, James Tenney, Robert Ashley, and David Behrman. He has been active in the experimental music scene in the Bay Area for over 40 years as a composer, performer, and teacher. His performances around the US include NEW MUSIC AMERICA festivals in 1981 and 1989, Roulette and Experimental Intermedia in New York, and Lampo in Chicago to name a few. He has performed in Europe at the Festival d’Automne in Paris, STEIM in Amsterdam, and Fylkingen in Stockholm among other places. He is a founding member of the League of Automatic Music Composers, the world’s first computer network band, and co-authored an article on the League’s music that appears in Foundations of Computer Music (MIT Press 1985). From 1985 to the present he has performed and recorded with the network band The Hub. In 1999 he received a $25,000 award from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts in New York in recognition of his music. He was also named a recipient of an Alpert Award/Ucross Residency Fellowship in 2002. In 2004, noted media theorist Douglas Kahn published A Musical Technography of John Bischoff in the Leonardo Music Journal (Vol. 14, MIT Press). Two important retrospective CD packages documenting computer network music were released in 2007 and 2008: The League of Automatic Music Composers: 1978-1983 (New World Records 2007) and 3-CD set of recordings by The Hub titled Boundary Layer (Tzadik 2008). Recordings of his work are also available on Lovely Music, 23Five, Centaur, and Artifact Recordings. A new solo CD titled Audio Combine was recently released on New World Records and was picked as one of the Best of the Year 2012 by The Wire magazine. He is currently Associate Professor of Music at Mills College in Oakland, California.

Antimatter (aka Xopher Davidson) began his experiments in electronic sound from a basis in painting, film, and installation art, mixed with a long-time interest in electronics. Davidson received a BFA degree in painting and sculpture from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1991. In 1992, Davidson rode the train to Oakland, California, where he founded the seminal Exhibit < > space. In this storefront location (situated adjacent to a freeway on-ramp), he presented an ongoing installation of signs and diagrams into which his paintings had evolved. Listening here to the rumblings of the overhead freeway, it became obvious that the issue of sound needed to be (re)addressed. A year later, Davidson began work at the Center for Contemporary Music at Mills College in Oakland, California. Here he performed and recorded sound in many forms, presenting three concerts of electronic music while working on his MFA. As a member of the live electronic groups Citizen Band and Circular Firing Squad, he performed extensively in and around the San Francisco Bay Area and the Pacific Northwest. Davidson continues to collaborate with David Kwan performing their audio visual presentations, a mixture of order and decay, and are currently working on a series of DVD translations. As an audio engineer, Davidson has worked on projects by/ for: The-Allies, John Cage, Marcel Duchamp, Diamanda Galas, Jhno, Zbigniew Karkowski, Lloop, Once 11, Hannah Marcus, Paul D. Miller, Mix Master Mike, Pepito, Phoenecia, The Soft Pink Truth, Jonah Sharp, Otto Von Schirach, Subtropic, Themselves, Tipsy, We, and Iannis Xenakis, to name a few. As Antimatter, Davidson has released work through Artifact, Asphodel, Sirr.records, and Auscultare.