Tim Hodgkinson
Sax, Clarinet & Keyboards

Born : 1st May 1949 - Salisbury, Wiltshire (England)
Past Bands : Henry Cow (1968-78), Maldoror Palm Court Orchestra (1978-79), The Work (1980-82, 1989-90), Fluvial (1983), Officer (1984-89), TimKen [Hodgkinson/Hyder duo] (1987-88), Kalahari Surfers (1989), The Momes (1989)
Current Activites : solo projects

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 group God.

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 Hyder.

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 Tim Hodgkinson's
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 saxophone.
  • 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 others.
  • Managed Cold Storage Recording Studios from April 83 to Sep 85.
  • Studied sight-singing with Andras Ranki at Morley College.


  • 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 New York.
  • 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 Barnett (south).
  • Gigs with Elliott Sharp, John Zorn, Jim Staley in NYC.
  • Recorded and released Splutter - album of solo improvisations.
  • 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 86)


  • London gigs with Chris Cutler & Fred Frith, and with Roger Turner & Chris Cochrane.
  • Long-standing duo with Ken Hyder tours Europe as The Shams and played Musique Action festival at Nancy.
  • 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 Barnett.
  • 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 Jazz Festival.
  • Play Anti-Apartheid festival in Moscow with Kalahari Surfers.
  • Studio work with Peter Blegvad.
  • Reform The Work for new LP and European dates in autumn.


  • Studio work with Fred Frith, Ferdinand Richard & Raymond van Santen on Frith-Richard opera project.
  • Remix Henry Cow's Legend for CD release.
  • 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 Novosibirsk.
  • 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 Coxhill.


  • 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 Cunningham.
  • 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 Gallery.
  • God play Tactloss Festival, Switzerland and other European dates.
  • Concert with Didier Roth and Fred Frith at Bourg-en-Bresse.
  • The Work record new CD See. Solo tour of France/Switzerland.
  • "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 Kevin Martin.
  • 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 throat-singing.
  • 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 performance.
  • London concert with Ikue Mori and Tenko Ueno.
  • Begin recording new CD of compositions Each In Our Own Thoughts.
  • New God studio recordings.
  • Solo improvisation at "Music Unlimited" festival, Wels, Austria.


  • 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 Jazz Festival.
  • 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, Barcelona.
  • 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 tuned percussion.
  • 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 Montepulciano.
  • 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 Cusack.
  • Concert at Podewil, Berlin, with Blast and Jim Meneses.
  • 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 Improvisation".
  • 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 and tape.
  • Studio live improvisations with Ken Hyder, to be released as the Electro-Shams CD.
  • Solo performance at the Oubliette Club, Oxford Street.
  • Duo concerts with Chris Cutler in Slovakia, including ISCM Evenings of New Music in Bratislava.
  • Duo with Vladislav Makarov at Royal Festival Hall foyer.
  • 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 Biryshev.
  • 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 others.
  • 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 London.
  • 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 Improvisation/Composition.
  • 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 Bucharest, Romania.