Phill Niblock sat down with us to discuss his career in art, his performance at MOCAD, and why it’s so important to listen to his music loud.
A maverick presence on the fringes of the avant garde, Phill Niblock combines ideas from minimalist music, conceptual art, structural cinema, systems art, and even political art. Niblock makes thick, loud drones of music, filled with microtones of instrumental timbres which generate many other tones in the performance space. Simultaneously, he presents filmwork that looks at the movement of people working, or sometimes computer-driven black and white abstract images floating through time.
Phill Niblock is an intermedia artist using music, film, photography, video and computers. He was born in Indiana in 1933. Since the mid-60’s he has been making music and intermedia performances which have been shown at numerous venues around the world including the Museum of Modern Art; The Wadsworth Atheneum; the Kitchen; the Paris Autumn Festival; Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels; Institute of Contemporary Art, London; Akademie der Kunste, Berlin; ZKM; Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard; World Music Institute at Merkin Hall NYC.
Music by Phill Niblock:
Hurdy Hurry (1999) Jim Oâ€™Rourke, hurdy gurdy (recorded samples)
FeedCorn Ear (2013) Arne Deforce, cello (recorded samples)
Sethwork (2003) Seth Josel, acoustic guitars played with E-bow (recorded samples)
Vlada BC (2013) Elisabeth Smalt, viola d’amore (recorded samples)
Images by Phill Niblock:
The ‘Movement of People Working’ series, Film/Video â€” China 88, Portugal, Lesotho