Bischoff John (bio_ENG)
(b. 1949, San Francisco)An early pioneer of live computer music, Bischoff is known for his solo constructions in real-time synthesis as well as his groundbreaking work in computer network bands. Bischoff's music is built from intrinsic features of the electronic medium: high definition noise components, tonal edges, imperfections, transitions, digital shading, and non-linear motion. Through empirical play and investigation he builds pieces that can be described as sonic sculptures, shaped in real-time and present for the duration of a performance. Recently, he has fashioned pieces that combine electronically-triggered bells with synthetic computer sounds. In such works bells are distributed around the performance space in a pattern distinct from the speaker locations. His idea is to disperse the sense of "source" in electronic music – to release the music from being trapped in the speaker enclosure – while highlighting the beauty of speaker-transmitted sound at the same time.
Bischoff studied composition with Robert Moran, James Tenney, and Robert Ashley. He has been active in the experimental music scene in the San Francisco Bay Area for over 25 years as a composer, performer, teacher, and grassroots activist. His performances around the US include the New Music America festivals in 1981 (SF) and 1989 (NYC), Experimental Intermedia (NYC), Roulette Intermedium (NYC), and the Beyond Music Festival (LA). He has performed in Europe at the Festival d'Automne in Paris, Akademie der Kunst in Berlin, Fylkingen in Stockholm, and t-u-b-e in Munich. He was a founding member of the League of Automatic Music Composers (1978), considered to be the world's first Computer Network Band, and he co-authored an article on the League's music that appears in "Foundations of Computer Music" (MIT Press 1985). He is also a founding member of the network band The Hub with whom he has performed and recorded from 1985 to the present. In 1999 he received a $25,000 award from the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts (NYC) in recognition of his music. Recordings of his work are available on Lovely Music, 23Five, Tzadik, New World, and Artifact Recordings. A solo album, Aperture, was released on 23FIVE INC in 2003. More recent releases include a CD of the League's music on New World in 2007, and a 3-CD set of The Hub on Tzadik in 2008. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Music at Mills College, in Oakland, California.