A Short Bio:
Born in 1949, Tim Hodgkinson is
self-taught as a composer and has always worked outside the
established institutions of music. He graduated in social
anthropology at Cambridge in 1971, having co-founded the
Henry Cow group in 1968. He regards his membership of this
group, with the opportunity to work closely and collectively
with other instrumentalists in developing new sound worlds,
as the foundation of his musical education. The group's
major appearances included Bath International Music Festival
1973, Bordeaux Sigma 1975, Lugano Festival 1977, Arts
Council Contemporary Music Network, 1977, many commissions
for theatre and dance and a lasting collaboration with Mike
Westbrook and Frankie Armstrong in the Orckestra.
Exceptionally for a composer, he performs
as an improviser and considers the practice of improvisation
as an important aesthetic form in contemporary music. From
1979 onwards he has been involved in numerous solo and
collective improvisation projects taking place in countries
all over the world and documented on many recordings. He
also initiated several projects in experimental rock music -
amongst them The Work - and played alto saxophone in the
From 1990, his anthropological interests
have been rekindled by a series of study trips to Siberia
with percussionist Ken Hyder, which led him to work closely
with musicians and ritual specialists from other cultures.
In 1997 he set up Radical Transcultural Initiatives, with
the aim of taking experimental art into remote rural
communities. This resulted in a first tour of Altai villages
in summer 1998 with Gendos Chamzyryn, from Tuva, and Ken
In concert, he plays clarinet, alto
saxophone, bass clarinet, lap steel guitar, keyboards,
vocals & electronics. In the studio he also works with
percussion, viola and sampler.
A Chronology of
post-Henry Cow career
- With Ken Hyder, formed local community street
orchestra with "non-musicians" to play in hospitals and
parks with discordant joy. And an offshoot, the Sicilian Funeral Band.
- Also started solo improvising gigs, & mutating
- Coedited book on Henry Cow with Chris Cutler.
- Recording with guitarist-composer Bill
Gilonis, experimenting with tape-collage - leads to
the Woof record label and The Work group. For the
International Festival of New Music at Reims, this group
prepared a set of highly structured instrumental music.
But in summer began a process of collective song-writing
and the emphasis moved towards rhythm, noise, and the
unmuted clash of electric guitars...
- Participate in The City project with Mikolas
Chadima from Czechoslovakia.
- Continuous touring with The Work in Holland,
Belgium, Switzerland, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Germany,
France, Italy and Yugoslavia.
- The Work play Rock in Opposition Festival in
Bonn with Catherine Jauniaux, and tour Japan with Chris
Cutler and Amos.
- Run saxophone workshops in London.
- Play baritone sax in Hermine's Orchestra at the
Alternative Miss World Festival.
- Collaboration with Catherine Jauniaux on the
Fluvial album, with Tom Cora, Mario Boyer, Charles
Bullen, Lindsay Cooper, Stephen Kent, Georgie Born and
- Managed Cold Storage Recording Studios from
April 83 to Sep 85.
- Studied sight-singing with Andras Ranki at Morley
- Commissioned and produced the Het album -
emerging from Furious Pig, and described as Partch-,
Nancarrow-, and Varese-influenced.
- London dates playing saxophone with Ut from
- Wrote song with Robert Wyatt and Chris Cutler for the
Last Nightingale EP for the miners' strike.
- Published article on free improvisation in
Musica/Realta magazine (Milan).
- Started running Youth Music Workshops.
- With Ken Hyder formed and coordinated The
Orchestra of Lights - with Sylvia Hallett, Marcio
Mattos, Sue Ferrar, Jim Dvorak, Nick Evans, Alex
Kolkowski and many others.
- First tours of USA, with Fred Frith
(mid-west), and Chris Cochrane and Pippin
- Gigs with Elliott Sharp, John Zorn, Jim Staley in
- Recorded and released Splutter - album of solo
- Studying composition and writing orchestral music.
- Attend IASPM (International Association for the Study
of Popular Musics) conference in Montreal to discuss
semiology of pop-music.
- Produced Skeleton Crew LP The Country Of
Blinds at Sunrise studio in Switzerland (Dec 85/Jan
- London gigs with Chris Cutler & Fred
Frith, and with Roger Turner & Chris
- Long-standing duo with Ken Hyder tours Europe
as The Shams and played Musique Action festival at
- Produce Encore Plus Grande LP in Amsterdam.
- Orchestra of Lights plays New MacNaghten
Series of Contemporary Classical concerts in London.
- Play Festival des Politischen Liedes in German
Democratic Republic with Kalahari Surfers.
- Write book on the anthropology of music for Polygon.
(They will close down).
- Interview Pierre Schaeffer in Paris and coedit
special issue of RE Quarterly on Music and Technology.
- Start experimenting with Yamaha synthesiser.
- Shams duo do Jazz Today BBC broadcast.
- Produce Peter Blegvad (London) and No
Safety (N.Y.) LP's; also studio work with Ut
and Bing Selfish.
- Gigs in USA with Chris Cochrane and Pippin
- UK gigs with Fred Frith, Charles
Hayward, Sarah Homer, Ken Hyder.
- Form the Momes group with Mick Hobbs (The
Work, etc.) and Andy Wake (Unrest, Work & Play, State
of War, etc.).
- In December, participate in music film Step Across
the Border by Nicolas Humbert and Werner Penzel.
- Momes tour Europe twice, including Musiche a
Sarzana Festival in Italy, and record first LP.
- Duo with Fred Frith at Glasgow International
- Play Anti-Apartheid festival in Moscow with
- Studio work with Peter Blegvad.
- Reform The Work for new LP and European dates
- Studio work with Fred Frith, Ferdinand
Richard & Raymond van Santen on
Frith-Richard opera project.
- Remix Henry Cow's Legend for CD
- Record and mix for Momes CD. The Work does
major tour in January with concerts in France, Germany,
Austria, Czechoslovakia, Switzerland and Italy.
- Tour Siberia in April as duo with Ken Hyder under the rubric "Friendly British Invasion in Search of
the Soviet Shamans". Concerts in Novosibirsk, Abakan,
Angarsk, Khabarovsk, Vladivostock, Moscow and Leningrad.
TV broadcast in Abakan with Altaian throat-singer Anatoly
Kokov. Play with Yuri Yukechov and Vladimir Tolkachov in
- Tour UK with Fred Frith in May, including
concert at London's Purcell Room.
- Tour Europe with Momes in June-July, including
performance at MIMI Festival in France.
- London concert with Charles Hayward and Lol
- Tour Europe with Momes.
- London gigs with Ken Hyder, Charles
Hayward, Lol Coxhill and solo.
- Play Marquee, Powerhaus, etc, with God.
- Composing for solo CD project.
- Musiques Inclassificables Festival in Barcelona with
The Work. Barcelona concert with Mark
- Play Imola Festival, Italy, with Valentina
Ponomareva and Ken Hyder.
- Also with Hyder play Vilnius Jazz 91 Festival,
Lithuania, where we meet and perform with Sainkho
Namchilak, Valery Dudkin, and Rivo Laasi.
- Participate in Fred Frith's graphic scores
project at Wels Festival, Austria.
- Record with God for release on Virgin Venture.
- European tour with The Work, including All
Frontiers Festival, Gorizia, Italy.
- Duo with Chris Cutler at Rotherhithe Art
- God play Tactloss Festival, Switzerland and
other European dates.
- Concert with Didier Roth and Fred Frith
- The Work record new CD See. Solo tour
- "Mixing It" BBC Radio broadcast with Sainkho
Namchilak, Sylvia Hallett, and Ken Hyder.
- Same quartet appears at first L.M.C. International
Festival in London.
- Also play with The Ex + Tom Cora.
- Duo concerts with Catherine Jauniaux, and
- Second tour of Siberia with Ken Hyder;
concerts in Barnaul, Yakutsk, Angarsk, Kyzyl,
Arkhangelsk, and St. Petersburg.
- Play with Marfa and Sergei Rastarguev in Yakutsk, and
with the Biosyntes group in Kyzyl.
- Research into Siberian shamanism and Tuvan
- The Work perform the See material live
on tour in Europe.
- God and The Goose (myself, Ken Hyder,
and Valentina Ponomareva) at Wels Festival.
- Play with Tom Cora, Samm Bennett, and
others in Vienna.
- God tour Europe.
- Compose four pieces for strings in Grenoble, France.
- The Work play St. Petersburg Open Music
Festival and other concerts in Russia; also St. Etienne
Festival des Musiques Innovatrices.
- The Goose play Nancy Musique Action and
Bologna Angelica Festivals; also combine with Ikue Mori
and Catherine Jauniaux's duo Vibraslaps.
- Duo with Laurent Bigot at Grenoble.
- God release live CD of Tactloss Festival
- London concert with Ikue Mori and Tenko
- Begin recording new CD of compositions Each In
Our Own Thoughts.
- New God studio recordings.
- Solo improvisation at "Music Unlimited" festival,
- London duo concert with Chris Cutler.
- Tour Russia with Valentina Ponomareva, Ken Hyder,
Albert Kouvezin, and Alexei Saaya, as The Valentina
Ponomareva Jazz-Show. Concerts in Izhevsk, Naberejny
Chelny, Arkhangelsk, St.Petersburg, Moscow. Perform
composition by Vladimir Rezitsky in Arkhangelsk. Also
participate in collective improvisations at Ekaterinburg
- Record Second String Quartet in Moscow with players
from the Russian Symphony Orchestra, under the direction
of Evgeni Dudin.
- Tour Italy as solo improviser. Also trio concert in
Rome with Fabrizzio Spera and Lucca Venitucci.
- Participate in Fred Frith's Graphic Scores
project at Banlieues Bleues Festival.
- The Work play concerts in Italy, Switzerland,
Germany, Slovenia, and the Czech Republic, with a new set
drawing on Hopi Indian mythology.
- New work for percussion "Mise en Abime" commissioned
by the Basler Schlagzeug Trio.
- Duo with Chris Cutler at Miro Foundation,
- Combined performances of God and Moiré
Drum Orchestra, London & Vienna.
- Duo with Lol Coxhill.
- Record with Skullflower.
- "Out of the Night" project with Palinckx and
Blast groups, Tilburg, September - with new
composition The Nail.
- Produce Bardo State Orchestra sessions with
Marcio Mattos, Jim Dvorak, and Ken Hyder.
- Play with Mark Saunders and Charles
Hayward at Ministry of Sound.
- The Work perform in France with Andy Diagram
on electric trumpet and Dominic Weeks on keyboards and
- Play on Fred Frith's score for new
Penzel/Humbert film In the Middle of the Moment.
- Jan-May, compose Stop Mortal piece for piano
trio, sampler and voice. Performances at Nancy Musique
Action, Queen Elizabeth Hall London, Nickelsdorf
Konfrontazionen, and Cantiere Internazionale d'Arte di
- Produce recordings of Hyder/Dvorak/Mattos trio
with Tibetan monks.
- Participate with Ken Hyder at symposium on
Music and Mind at City University.
- Attend performance of one-minute long piece at Basler
Schlagzeug Trio birthday celebrations.
- Participate in the Hemit Foundation symposium at
Plasy, Bohemia, in collaboration with performance artist
Boris Bakal from Zagreb, and in duo with Jim Meneses.
- Concerts in Brno and Prague, playing with Iva
Bittova, Raymond Strid, Martin Klapper, and others.
- With Ken Hyder, meet and rehearse with Korean
mudang Hi-ah Park.
- Trio gig with Roger Turner and Peter
- Concert at Podewil, Berlin, with Blast and
- Tour Norway and Holland with Chris Cutler.
- Performance of Mise En Abime by Nidaros
Ensemble at Trondheim Nordlyd festival.
- Participate in Klaus Wilmanns' "Suite for 5
Improvisatoren plus Symphonieorchester".
- Run workshop at the L.M.C. on "The Instrument in
- Duo gig with Roger Turner.
- Produce Rick Wilson solo album. Perform at "Accidents and Emergencies" with Charles Hayward,
Mario Boyer, Ashleigh Marsh and others,
including extract from All Others I Can Kill
(homage to J.M.W.Turner, work in progress) for clarinet
- Studio live improvisations with Ken Hyder, to
be released as the Electro-Shams CD.
- Solo performance at the Oubliette Club, Oxford
- Duo concerts with Chris Cutler in Slovakia,
including ISCM Evenings of New Music in Bratislava.
- Duo with Vladislav Makarov at Royal Festival
- Tour Siberia with Ken Hyder, playing at
Ust-Ordinsky, Hairakhan (Tuva), Krasnoyarsk, Barnaul,
Gorno Altay, Novosibirsk, Akademgorodok, and working with
Gendos Chamzyryn (Biosyntes) and Bolot
- In Copenhagen, participate in First Symposium of
European Experimental Composers and European Improvising
Orchestra with Carlos Zingaro, Krystof Knittel, Victor
Nubla, Raymond Strid, Martin Klapper, Albert Markos, and
- Project with Ossatura and Dagmar Krause
in Rome; concert at the Goethe Institute and recording at
R.A.I. studios for broadcast.
- Compose "Seven Vomits Rising in the Real Body of
Music" - radiophonic piece commissioned by R.A.I.
- Run improvising workshops in Rome.
- Record and tour with Ossatura group.
- Interview Iancu Dumitrescu and Ana-Marie Avram in
- Currently composing pieces for new album of
compositions and working on electro-beat soundtracks with
Ken Hyder and Gendos Chamzyryn.
- Co-editing autumn issue of Resonance magazine on
- Autumn projects include; concert at the Goethe
Institute London with Thomas Lehn (synthesiser) and Robin
Hayward (tuba); performance with Olga Mageres (piano) and
Raymond Strid (drums) in Copenhagen; second appearance at
Accidents and Emergencies with Charles Hayward and
others; participation in Second European Symposium on
Experimental Music, Barcelona, plus solo concert and
performance of EIXAM composition for Banda Municipal;
further performances of STOP MORTAL at Trondheim Nordlyd
Festival and at Bergen; participation in Szunetjel
International Improvisation Festival, Budapest; concerts
of string quartets and other pieces in Cluj Napoca and