Frank Vincent Zappa (December 21, 1940 – December 4, 1993) was an American composer, electric guitarist, record producer, and film director. In a career spanning more than 30 years, Zappa wrote rock, jazz, electronic, orchestral, and musique concrète works. He also directed feature-length films and music videos, and designed album covers. Zappa produced almost all of the more than 60 albums he released with the band Mothers of Invention and as a solo artist.
Pierre Henri Marie Schaeffer (in English; August 14, 1910 – August 19, 1995) was a French composer, writer, broadcaster, engineer, musicologist and acoustician of the 20th century. His innovative work and in both the sciences —particularly communications and acoustics— and the various arts of music, literature and radio presentation after the end of World War II, as well as his anti-nuclear activism and cultural criticism garnered him a wide array of appraisal in his lifetime.
Don Van Vliet (born Don Glen Vliet, January 15, 1941) is an American musician and artist best known by the stage name Captain Beefheart. His musical work was conducted with a rotating ensemble of musicians called The Magic Band, which was active between 1965 and 1982, with who he recorded 12 studio albums. Noted for his powerful, idiosyncratic singing voice with its wide range, Van Vliet also occasionally played the harmonica, saxophone, bass clarinet and keyboards.
Thurston Joseph Moore (born July 25, 1958 in Coral Gables, Florida) is an American musician best known as a singer, songwriter and guitarist of Sonic Youth. He has participated in many solo and group collaborations outside of Sonic Youth, as well as running Ecstatic Peace! records.
Kim Althea Gordon is an American musician, vocalist, artist, record producer, video director and actress. She sings and plays bass and guitar in the alternative rock band Sonic Youth, and in Free Kitten with Julia Cafritz. Gordon has collaborated with a number of musicians, including Ikue Mori, Kurt Cobain, DJ Olive, William Winant, Lydia Lunch, Courtney Love, Alan Licht and Chris Corsano.
John Zorn (born September 2, 1953 in New York City) is an American avant-garde composer, arranger, record producer, saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist. Zorn's recorded output is prolific with hundreds of album credits as a performer, composer, or producer. His work has touched on a wide range of musical genres, often within a single composition, but he is best-known for his avant-garde, jazz, improvised and contemporary classical music.
Jim O'Rourke (born January 18, 1969) is an American musician and producer. He was long associated with the Chicago experimental and improv scene. Around 2000 he relocated to New York City and currently resides in Tokyo. He has released albums of jazz, noise and guitar rock music.
Christian Fennesz (born 25 December 1962) is an Austrian guitarist active in electronic music, often credited on albums simply as Fennesz. A key figure in the ascent of IDM and electronica in the 1990s, Fennesz uses guitar and notebook computers to make multilayered compositions that blend melody and conventional musical instruments with harsh, irregular glitch-influenced sounds and washes of white noise. He lives and works in Vienna, Austria and Paris, France.
Laura Phillips "Laurie" Anderson (born June 5, 1947) is an American experimental performance artist and musician who plays violin and keyboards and sings in a variety of experimental music and art rock styles. Initially trained as a sculptor, Anderson did her first performance-art piece in the late 1960s. Throughout the 1970s, Anderson did a variety of different performance-art activities.
Serj Tankian (born August 21, 1967) is an Armenian-American singer–songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, poet, and political activist. He is best known as the lead vocalist, songwriter, keyboardist, and occasionally live rhythm guitarist of the Grammy Award-winning rock band, System of a Down. In 2002, Tankian and Rage Against the Machine/Audioslave guitarist Tom Morello co-founded a non-profit political activist organization, Axis of Justice.
Shavarsh "Shavo" Odadjian (born April 22, 1974) is an Armenian-American songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, music video director/editor, music producer, and artist/painter. He is best known as the bassist and occasional songwriter of the Grammy Award-winning rock band, System of a Down. The band has been on hiatus since 2006, and Odadjian has since been working on a plethora of projects, namely Achozen with The RZA, and his virtual online art district/networking site, Ursession.
John Ohannes Dolmayan is a Lebanese-American songwriter and drummer of Armenian descent. He is best known as the drummer of Grammy Award-winning rock band, System of a Down. The band has been on hiatus since 2006. He was also the drummer for the band Scars on Broadway.
Ralf Hütter is the lead singer, keyboardist, and reportedly leader of the seminal electronic-music band Kraftwerk and is usually the one interviewed (although rarely given). His deep, noticeably accented tenor voice helped to set Kraftwerk apart from other musical groups. An avid cyclist, Hütter had a serious cycling accident in 1983 during the initial period of recording of the since-abandoned album Techno Pop.
Michael Allan "Mike" Patton (born January 27, 1968) is an American musician, singer-songwriter, composer, producer, lyricist, multi-instrumentalist, film actor, and voice actor, best known as the lead singer of the rock band Faith No More. He has also handled lead vocals for Mr. Bungle, Tomahawk, Lovage, Fantômas, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Zu and Peeping Tom.
Yoshihide Otomo is a Japanese composer and multi-instrumentalist. He first came to international prominence in the 1990s as the leader of the noise rock group Ground Zero, and has since worked in a variety of contexts, ranging from free improvisation to noise, jazz and contemporary classical. He is also a pioneering figure in the EAI-scene, and is featured on important records on labels like Erstwhile Records. He plays guitar, turntables, and electronics.
Composer Alvin Curran (born December 13, 1938 in Providence, Rhode Island) is the co-founder, with Frederic Rzewski and Richard Teitelbaum, of Musica Elettronica Viva, and a former student of Elliott Carter. Curran's music often makes use of electronics and environmental found sounds. He was a professor of music at Mills College in California until 2006 and now teaches privately in Rome, Italy, and sporadically at various institutions.
Anthony Braxton (born June 4, 1945) is an American composer, saxophonist, clarinettist, flautist, pianist, and philosopher. Braxton has released well over 100 albums since the 1960s. Among the array of instruments he plays are the flute; the sopranino, soprano, C-Melody, F alto, E-flat alto, baritone, bass, and contrabass saxophones; and the E-flat, B-flat, and contrabass clarinets.
Arnold Dreyblatt is an American composer and visual artist. He studied music with Pauline Oliveros, La Monte Young, Alvin Lucier and media art with Steina and Woody Vasulka. He has been based in Berlin, Germany since 1984. In 2007, he was elected to the German Academy of Art. In his installations, performances and media works, Dreyblatt creates complex textual and spatial metaphors for memory which function as a media discourse on recollection and the archive.
David Behrman is a US composer and the producer of Columbia Records' Music of Our Time series. He was also a founding member of the Sonic Arts Union. He toured with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company and has worked with Ben Neill. He was a part of Robert Ashley's Music with Roots in the Aether interview series. He is known as a minimalist composer.
Downtown music is a subdivision of American music, closely related experimental music. The scene the term describes began in 1960, when Yoko Ono—one of the Fluxus artists, at that time still seven years away from meeting John Lennon—opened her loft at 112 Chambers Street to be used as a noise music performance space for a series curated by La Monte Young and Richard Maxfield.
Keith Rowe is an English free improvisation tabletop guitarist and painter. Rowe is a founding member of both the hugely influential AMM in the mid-1960s (though in 2004 he quit that group for the second time) and M.I.M.E.O. Having trained as a visual artist, Rowe's paintings have been featured on most of his own albums. After years of obscurity, Rowe has achieved a level of relative notoriety, and since the late 1990s has kept up a busy recording and touring schedule.
Richard Maxfield (February 2, 1927 – June 27, 1969) was a composer of instrumental, electro-acoustic, and electronic music. Born in Seattle, he most likely taught the first University-level course in electronic music in America at the New School for Social Research.