Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
American minimalist composer Phill Niblock has been active in his multimedia endeavors since the mid-'60s. His shows usually incorporate film footage (generally are long takes of non-Western people working), or other visual elements such as slides, video, and photography, often presenting more than one of these simultaneously with his music. His music itself is characterized by multiple tones sounding simultaneously for long stretches, creating a very dense, seemingly static sound. Niblock has relatively few recordings, but some argue that his music is so inseparable from whatever physical space it's performed in, that recordings don't do justice anyway. Nevertheless, he began curating the CD series of the Experimental Intermedia Foundation, along with David Behrman and Lois V. Vierk, to remedy this situation for himself and other modern composers. He has been involved in EIF since the late '60s, became producer of their presentations in the early '70s, and director of the organization in 1985. Since becoming the organization's director, his shows have visited a number of art museums and spaces in North America and Europe, including MoMA, London's Institute of Contemporary Art, and Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels. He has received numerous grants from organizations including the NEA and the Guggenheim Foundation, and has taught at the City University of New York since 1971.