NO BULLSHIT A Sonic Tribute to Zbigniew Karkowski (1958-2013)


A Sonic Tribute to Zbigniew Karkowski (1958-2013)

Dear friends,

An update on the sound compilation tribute to Zbigniew Karkowski.

As of today, I have already received the contributions from 13 people.
Almost one hundred artists, however, said they’d contribute and many of you
have asked for an extension of the January 31st deadline.

Therefore, the deadline for sending your tracks/pieces has been extended to:


Another additional reason for this extension is that I’ve just received
confirmation that we have found the resources (available only from March)
to make a physical edition of this tribute compilation (most likely a data
DVD with uncompressed audio files, due to the amount of total recorded

This would be through the non-profit “SONM” initiative (Sound Archive of
Experimental Music and Sound Art) I created as few years ago in the
“Puertas de Castilla” Cultural Center in Murcia, Southern Spain:

Some of Zbigniew’s work, which he personally pased on to me, is already in
the archive:

and also –thanks to the contributions of Thomas BW Bailey and Carl Michael
von Hausswolff- also an incipient section/tribute to Zbigniew:

Those resources include being able to send 5 copies of the physical release
to all participating artists. Any distribution of any remaining copies
(SONM is not a label/distributor and is a non-profit organization) will go
into covering some manufacturing+postage expenses. If any profits are made
(unfortunately very unlikely) they will all go to Atsuko Nojiri, partner of

In addtion to this, an online / streaming-only release of the compilation
will also be done in parallel through the SONM Archive website.

With best regards,

Francisco López.

Tribute to Zbigniew Karkowski (1958 – 2013)





Tuesday, December 17 grudnia 2013
Centrum Sztuki Wspolczesnej SOLVAY Modern Art Center
Zakopianska 62, Krakow
Edwin van der Heide, Atau Tanaka, Vj Milosz … Skype
Marek Choloniewski, Mariusz Pedzialek, Michal Gorczyca, Konrad Gęca,Dickson Dee …in Solvay


– please send us 3 seconds long audio or video piece to be part of collaborative composition dedicated to Zbigniew, all performed during the concert

audio or video send to:  (before 7pm European time)



Zbigniew Karkowski & Atsuko Nojiri – Continuity DVD+CD


Zbigniew Karkowski & Atsuko Nojiri – Continuity – Asphodel

If any recording constitutes the sum total of an artist’s career to date, it is Continuity. Both a career overview and a glimpse into renown polish sound artist Zbigniew Karkowski’s promising future, the compositions on this hybrid release sample and re-interpret the entirety of the Tokyo resident’s rich catalogue of work. A master sound manipulator, Karkowski employs a variety of tools to process and rework original acoustic instrument recordings. The pieces presented on Continuity demonstrate Karkowski’s relentless attention to detail, and provide more than ample explanation for repeated invitations to perform at prestigious galleries, museums, and venues around the globe. The Continuity DVD contains visual interpretations of Karkowski’s compositions by Japanese video artist Atsuko Nojiri. Rather than simply functioning as graphic replications of the original musical works, all three of Nojiri’s pieces seamlessly wrap themselves around Karkowski’s sounds as though they were integral parts of their own larger multimedia compositions. In the process, Nojiri’s videos become independent of the original musical works that they purport to document. An argument for the indivisibility of sound and vision, or the emergence of a new aesthetic medium? Quite evidently, the answer is both. *The included CD contains over an hour of unreleased material by Karkowski:

CD:1. Mass-Flow-Rate – 26:10 2. Perceptor – 41:37

DVD:1. Float – 16:22 2. Tritonal Rapture – 10:53 3. Membrane – 14:18

Antimatter / Zbigniew Karkowski – "Divide by Zero"


"Divide by Zero" (CD) |afro2040|

TOUCHING EXTREMES (IT) I shouldn’t say that, but in 2008 Zbigniew Karkowski will be 50. It makes me feel older by the minute, thinking that I’ve been listening to his experiments for more than 20 years now. Thank goodness the man from Krakow doesn’t hint to stopping its quest, just like the other characters who have been collaborating with him and respond to the names of John Duncan, Francisco Lopez, Hafler Trio, Merzbow. As you can see, we’re talking seriousness here, not some adolescent who received a laptop as a gift for graduating and decided that he wanted to be a part-time noise monger. Xopher Davidson (Antimatter) is another trustworthy guy, having mastered records by the likes of Iannis Xenakis and explored the role of sound in various contemporary artistic ambits. The couple is not new to this kind of release (check the Sirr catalogue for example), but the energy deriving by their masterful juxtapositions of buzzing hums and throbbing frequencies is truly impressive. "Divide by zero" channels its intensity over the course of 52 minutes, in which changes of scenario – or of a single shade of whirr – are rarefied enough to get us lost in the kingdom of granulated brains for long blissful moments. As it happens in Phill Niblock’s music, one’s content of sitting there and sense the world sliding to complete nonsense, conscious that everything springs from that mother vibration from which the elected ones will be reabsorbed. It won’t take long, you see. The others keep wondering what’s going to happen and why they feel oh-so-bad, uselessly joining a group of brainless zombies, seeking help from wasted doctors who behave exactly the same, everybody helplessly trying to get noticed by those who have no time for them. Divide by zero, return to zero. Yet there’s still talk about "self-development", despite most people not even being able to articulate their own language. Massimo Ricci



Audio Tong present a re-edition of Zbigniew Karkowski’s early piece, Uexkull. Not available on CD anymore, here you can download it for free as an 320kbps mp3 or high quality .aiff file.

Uexkull is one of the first works published by Zbigniew Karkowski. It was composed between 1988-89 in Gothenburg, Sweden and Paris, France.

Originally released on Anckarstrom label in Gothenburg in 1990, Uexkull was realized at Ateliers Upic in Paris, EAM studio at State College of Music in Gothenburg and Computer Music Studio at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg.

instruments used are:
double bass
UPIC (Unite Polyagogique Informatique du CEMAMu)
Serge analogue modular synthesizer

alto voice – Karin Westman


download here:


在声音的尽头 / by Yan Jun


往wave Lab里扔了一个汽车发动机的文件然后打开Guitar Rig找了个octasynth效果,loop然后在均衡里提高了低频…… 这样做的直接结果是,打算就让它这样loop下去,可以当它是天籁,听着,同时写写卡科夫斯基。我不是说随便扔个什么文件到软件里,就可以冒充声音艺术家,但是眼下这没完没了的,几乎是可以永恒循环下去的的雄壮噪音,的确带来了某种冲动。如果不能马上做一个声音艺术家,那么至少,我打算现在就写一个声音艺术家。 至少这个人让我觉得做一个声音艺术家是一件简单的事情。如果你碰巧也有一台电脑和一些软件,或者更加碰巧,你住在一个昼夜轰鸣的厨房通风管道里,或者再碰巧一点,你住在一个关不掉的超大吸尘器里……实在不碰巧,还可以读读这篇文章,看别人是怎么碰巧的。 Zbigniew Karkowski,香港译法是“司·卡高斯基”,我觉得还是“兹比格涅夫·卡科夫斯基”比较合适。土点,但是老实。这个人也是双鱼座的,1958年碰巧生于波兰。从小学习钢琴和长笛,12岁上了肖邦音乐中学,在腐朽的古典音乐教育体系下,眼看着就被逼成了一个朋克——70年代末,同样是共产主义阵营的波兰,Sex Pistols已经渗入年轻人的血液。很快卡科夫斯基开始在欧洲游荡,1980年开始在瑞典歌腾堡(Gothenburg)定居,这期间他组过一些乐队(他自己说是后朋克),也自己办演出、出唱片,像那个时代所有的地下摇滚人一样忙碌。但他毕竟是双鱼座,怎么可能在一棵树上吊死——他花了不少时间求学,歌德堡国立音乐学院(作曲)、歌德堡大学音乐学系(现代音乐美学)、Chalmers理工大学(电脑音乐)、荷兰海牙皇家音乐学院(声学),假期也不闲着,参加了梅西安、布列兹、泽纳基斯、Georges Aperghis等等20世纪现代乐派的大师举办的短期班。 这段经历让人肃然起敬。但我见到的真人却完全没有学院的丝毫烙印。他夹着笔记本,阴沉着脸,在藏酷二楼走来走去,像寻找猎物的猛兽,但实际上是在查看场地和音响的情况,同时,抽着最冲的烟,痛饮二锅头。那是2003年底的事情,北京声纳。他的电脑死机了,演出只进行了十来分钟。但是没什么,K好象根本不在乎。再见到,是一年以后,巴黎,他抱着25片装的标准CD盒,向朋友赠送新出的唱片。那天晚上演出的时候,他的表情和在北京一样,瞪着眼睛,左右逡巡,转眼间收拾电脑,撤了。原因据说是音响不爽。再见已经是2006年了,来信说要在中国巡演,问我能不能在北京安排几场。他最终是和香港的李劲松一起巡演的,在北京演了两场,第一场,水陆观音,简陋的小酒吧,嘈杂的观众;第二场,南门空间,干净的小剧场,肃静的观众。当然,他喜欢第一场,更确切地说他喜欢那种乱糟糟然而生机勃勃的气氛。 至少,这个著名的脾气不好的人在北京度过了快乐的一个晚上,而且没有烧音箱。 很多人都觉得他不好相处,我看也是,但他就像一个小孩,喜欢挑战,甚至挑衅。而且说话不留情面,不管是对普通人还是和他一样的明星。当然反过来也是一样,他眼里没有等级、身份,对人好的时候也一视同仁。他不喜欢控制。这大概跟波兰没有关系。来北京之前,卡科夫斯基告诉记者说,我的现场经常是不好的。事实上他并不觉得这有什么问题,因为他就是不喜欢控制,甚至在演出的时候把随机性调大,然后去观众席去场地外面呆着。今年巡演到深圳的时候,他和林志英合作录了些东西,也是这样,让声音在软件里随机跑,然后喝啤酒。然后满不在乎地说那又怎么样。他是一个真的不怕出错的艺术家。 当然也得看什么叫出错。卡科夫斯基认为所有传统意义上的音乐都是必须加以颠覆的文化产物,他比朋克虚无得多。他说Autechre是流行乐,他说前进摇滚很郁闷而且当着前进摇滚乐手的面说我讨厌你的演出,他还说wire杂志是垃圾,他不是一般的反文化,而是对任何被别人崇拜、夸大、体制化的东西都公然挑衅,尤其是人类文明自我积累和自我诠释的机制——知识不可以成为权力,语法不可以成为秘密,艺术不可以被神秘化,技术不可以喧宾夺主,意识最好也不要脱离体验而进入思考……这样反下来,剥除听觉上一切附加的价值,当然只剩下声音。 除了声音还是声音。他说过一句话,大意是世间除了振动之外别无他物。这话据说佛陀也说过。所以说虚无的境界也不是谁都能够达到。他有一张和古馆彻夫合作的唱片,《意志的世界》。他还有一张和Antimater合作的唱片,《千赫兹》。在数以百计的作品中,很难为卡科夫斯基找出两张代表作来,但这两张大概还是可以让人入门——而且,标题也有代表性,要么哲学,要么数字,没有人性、风月、时尚。这个人的世界里,只是荒凉的存在本身。而存在对他来说,又只是一次次的感知,过期作废。 16年前,卡科夫斯基和别人开发了手势动作控制器(Gestural Controller),这是一套由32个红外线传感器构成的系统,专供他的3人乐队Sensorband使用。2004年,巴黎,我在人群中排着队,挤进大学城剧场大门,一对音箱正在发出虚无的、绵长的、宏大的声音,楼上一个面无表情的亚洲人正在挥舞手臂,眼前是打开了MAX/msp界面的笔记本——这就是Sensorband的现场,那人是乐队成员田中能,手臂上绑着传感器,控制着声音的高低快慢软硬薄厚大小左右明暗粗细多少苦甜疏密等等。今天,传感器已经不是什么稀罕玩意儿,但显然,也不是家用电器,但看起来好象就是几个小孩设计了自己的玩具那么简单。在北大软件学院的讲座上,卡科夫斯基给学生看了他的软件,自动生成的几类噪音,可选择的一些参数,最后是一个随机程度的选择,开到100%,就可以边喝啤酒边演出了。说得如此轻松。好象人人都可以做声音艺术家。 但他表达得很准确,声音艺术就是简单的艺术。但在到达简单之前,又有多少人能顺利地放弃掉感情、暗示、戏剧性以及一切文化的渗透。所以简单大概又是最不简单的。西方音乐的尽头大概是复调音乐的高峰,然后是各种对控制和系统的颠覆,摇滚乐、朋克曾经冲到了战场的最前沿。但这岂不是也太复杂了,如果有一种方式,只可意会,不可言传,像过电,或者性,是不是可以想象声音的尽头?卡科夫斯基说,有过一个女观众,告诉我她在我的声音中得到了性高潮。他又说,还有一个女观众,说我的声音让她的牙齿失去了知觉。说到这,他开心地笑起来。好象对别人成功实施了意义切除手术的坏小孩。在声音的尽头,真的,什么意义都找不到。 卡科夫斯基说,我的生活非常简单,我在中国巡演,然后去美国巡演,然后去欧洲巡演,然后回东京呆着(他住在日本已经10年),什么都不做。这时候他平静得像是失去了生命,笑容像声音一样去得干干净净。

Bilting/Karkowski: Bad Bye Engine



Bilting/Karkowski: Bad Bye Engine

Bad Bye Engine was released on vinyl LP by Radium in Gothenburg 1988. It was created, mixed and produced at the computer music studio at the department of computer science at Chalmers University of Technology, by Ulf Bilting and Zbigniew Karkowski. They had met as a result of cooperation project between the College of Music and Chalmers.

The studio consisted of two Yamaha TX816 banks (equivalent to 16 DX7s), an AKAI S900 sampler, analog mixer and two TEAC tape recorders, 8- and 2-track. Very little midi sequencer software was available at the time, so a system of programs for generation, manipulation and playing midi data was created on the VAX-11 BSD Unix system at the department. Time-stamped midi data (an invented format preceding standard Midi Files) was transferred to a specially built processor with 8 midi interfaces that controlled the real-time playing, recording and synchronization of midi.

Many of the tracks use a technique of playing many, very short sounds on the TX816s to create musical shapes, e g the first sound heard in He Van He consists of about 800 attacks with a duration between 0.1 and 0.2 secs.

The idea of making short tracks was quite unique at a time when almost any electroacoustic music piece were streched out over an entire LP, or several.

album download link 

insightproject#3 Daniel Menche – Karkowski

le mardi 16 Mai 2006 de 19:00 à 23:00
le Nouveau Casino, 109 rue Oberkampf 75011 Paris
M° St Maur
13 euros préventes Wave/ Bimbo Tower/ Virgin/
et 15 euros sur place le soir du concert

RAM (Menche + Karkowski) Live +
STROM VARX vs K.oz (Live Mix) +
guest: R.H.Y.YAU (Live)


Zbigniew Karkowski in Sonic Arts Network
programme from BBC

Sonic Arts Network, BBC Radio 3 and the ICA present:
Cut and Splice: Acousmonium

about SAN:
Sonic Arts Network is a national organisation working exclusively with sound and technology in creative, innovative and experimental ways.
Every year we support British artists through a series of new commissions and by providing platforms for their work through performance and exhibition; we realise creative projects with people of all ages through educational workshops; and we build the profile of electronic music and sound art by bringing the best artists in the world to show their work to British audiences.

ICA, London, May 5-7 2006

In 1958 Pierre Schaeffer, François Bayle, Pierre Henry, Luc Ferrari, Iannis Xenakis and others formed the Groupe de Recherches Musicales (GRM) in Paris.

In the aftermath of the 1968 Parisian riots, Bayle commented, “Poetry threw us onto the streets. No doubt spurred on by the circumstances, my project received a great breath of fresh air before plunging airless into the abyss of the studio.”

Six years later he emerged to premiere his project, the epic masterpiece L’Expérience Acoustique on a sound system that changed the direction of experimental music – the Acousmonium. Created in the labs of GRM by Bayle himself, the Acousmonium is an orchestra of over 80 loudspeakers of differing size and shape; triffid-like tweeter trees grow amongst spherical sound projectors with stacks placed across a stage at varying heights and distances. “It puts you inside the sound.” Bayle comments, “It’s like the interior of a sound universe.”

Cut and Splice, the UK’s premier annual festival of radical electronic music and sound art, brings the Acousmonium to London for the first time in its 30 year history. Sonic Arts Network and BBC Radio 3 provide a rare chance for audiences and artists alike to experience this performance machine first hand. The festival presents some of the leading international names in current experimental electronic music performing alongside the great figures of the GRM.

The intimate surroundings of the ICA will play host to the immersive sound journey of Bayle’s L’Expérience Acoustique, a visionary work “unique in Western Art and of a beauty that suspends time” (Le Monde), through to the dense sculptural noisescapes of Zbigniew Karkowski whose music “holds the auditory nerves fully in its thrall”, by way of the stunning and elusive elegance of the work of Eliane Radigue, “infinitely discrete…next to which all other music seems to be tugging at one’s sleeve for attention.”

The festival audience will also be treated to an ultra-rare performance from leading British electroacoustic composer John Wall. “Sheer, brutal, but weirdly welcome, acoustic sound…amidst a sparse electronic outerzone.”

Further exploring the limits of machine and man, Cut and Splice presents specially developed new work from both Mego records’ laptop noisenik and hardcore computer musician Hecker, and Krautrock pioneer Hans-Joachim Roedelius. “One of the true originals of modern music” (Brian Eno)