Home Biography Discography Current Podcast Radio Bands Interviews Writing Kit cc:email

 

chris cutler


short biography

written for Probes podcast series

At the start of the seventies, Chris Cutler co-founded The Ottawa Music Company – a 22-piece Rock composer’s orchestra – before joining British experimental group Henry Cow, with whom he toured, recorded and worked in dance and theatre projects for the next eight years. Subsequently he co-founded a series of mixed national groups: Art Bears, News from Babel, Cassiber, The (ec) Nudes, p53 and The Science Group, and was a permanent member of American bands Pere Ubu, Hail and The Wooden Birds. Outside a succession of special projects for stage, theatre, film and radio, he still works consistently in successive projects with Fred Frith, Zeena Parkins, Jon Rose, Tim Hodgkinson, David Thomas, Peter Blegvad, Daan Vandewalle, Ikue Mori, Lotte Anker, Stevan Tickmayer, Annie Gosfield and spectralists Iancu Dumitrescu and Ana Maria Avram. He is a permanent member of The Bad Boys (Cage, Stockhausen, Fluxus &c.), The Artaud Beats and The Artbears Songbook, and turns up with the usual suspects in all the usual improvising contexts. As a soloist, he has toured the world with his extended, electrified kit. Adjacent projects include commissioned works for radio, various live movie soundtracks, Signe de Trois for surround-sound projection, the daily year-long soundscape series Out of the Blue Radio for Resonance FM, and p53 for Orchestra and Soloists.

       He also founded and runs the independent label ReR Megacorp and the art distribution service Gallery and Academic and is author of the theoretical collection File Under Popular as well as of numerous articles and papers published in 16 languages.

www.ccutler.co.uk

 

short biography

written for JASMIM (Japanese Association for Study of Musical IMprovisation) annual meeting 2013

Chris Cutler is a British ‪‪performer, author and broadcaster, and the founder/CEO of the independent label and distribution network, ReR Megacorp, which specialises in experimental music, sound art, soundscape and the outer fringes of the sonic arts. As a drummer in the British 1970s experimental group Henry Cow, he was known for his unique drumming style, which he called 'top-down' - meaning thinking, hearing or imagining a whole sound first and then disciplining his various body parts to produce it. He works with sound and rhythmic tension by way of controlled dynamics, unconventional damping and striking materials, and exploring extremes of syncopation and rhythmic variation. He has also developed, for concert use, an ‘electrified kit’ - a unique combination of amplification and real-time electronic processing. 

       As a researcher and author, he was involved with The International Association for the Study of Popular Music from its inception in the early '80s, and in his theoretical/critical book File Under Popular (1984) proposed that ‘musicians themselves develop a theory of music and culture derived from their own practice’, an idea now resurgent in the idea of ‘Practice as Research’. His ongoing podcast series Probes combines research, theory, presentation and curation - a practical model of the value and possible mode of presentation for research output by practitioners.

 

'musical background'

from www.ccutler.com

He started messing about with banjo, guitar and trumpet at school, settling for drums and playing shadows and other instrumental covers in his first band in 1963. Subsequently he played in R'n'B and Soul Bands, winding up in 1967 playing in London's psychedelic clubs. At the start of the seventies, with Dave Stewart, he co-founded The Ottawa Music Company, a 22 piece Rock composer's orchestra, eventually joining British experimental group Henry Cow with whom he toured, recorded and worked in dance and theatre projects until it's demise in 1978. In 1977 Henry Cow, The Mike Westbrook Orchestra and Frankie Armstrong formed a big-band and toured around Europe. After Henry Cow, Cutler went on to co-found a series of mixed national groups Art Bears, News from Babel, Cassiber, The (ec) Nudes, p53 and The Science Group. He was a permanent member of American bands Pere Ubu, Hail and The Wooden Birds and now works sporadically with Jon Rose, Fred Frith, Zeena Parkins, Iancu Dumitrescu, Peter Blegvad and Stevan Tickmayer.

Other lasting collaborations have included Aqsak Maboul (Belgium), Lussier/Derome and Les Quatre Guitaristes (Canada), The Kalahari Surfers (Africa), Perfect Trouble (Germany), Between (Sweden), N.O.R.M.A., (Italy), Telectu (Portugal), Mieku Shimuzu (Japan),The Hyperion Ensemble (Romania), The Film Music Orchestra, 'Oh Moscow', Gong, The Work and Towering Inferno (UK), The Residents (USA), and stateless Tense Serenity and Mirror Man. There have also been countless improvisational groupings and solo performances. Recent projects include Radio pieces with Lutz Glandien and Shelly Hirsch, Live Soundtrack for Carl Dreher's Vampyr (with Italians Musci and Venosta), his Timescales project and work with David Thomas and Linda Thompson.

He also founded and runs the independent label and distribution service ReR/Recommended and, until 1991, the East European specialist label Points East. He is editor of the New Music magazine Unfiled and author of the theoretical book File Under Popular as well as of numerous articles and papers published in 14 languages. He lectures intermittently on theoretical and music related topics. He has appeared on more than 100 recordings.

 

Long Taxonomic Biography with abbriviated form of list of performances

Detailed List of Performances since 2009 (under construction)

Talks and Articles

 

back to Bands (groups and affiliations) main page

 

 


 

Home Biography Discography Current Podcast Radio Bands Interviews Writing Kit cc:email