Hodgkinson Tim

Born in 1949, graduate in social anthropology at Cambridge, co-founder of the politically and musically radical group Henry Cow in 1968, Tim Hodgkinson has followed a restless and critical creative path. To composition he brings a long and unique experience in musical improvisation and ethnomusicology. Whilst his scores do not incorporate improvisation as such, he has found a way of writing that draws not only on models of instability and timbre transformation, but also a sense of resistance against the hardening of technical and stylistic habits. In resonance with the dialogues between Francis Bacon and David Sylvester, he feels that composition is, above all, an artistic practice, a searching, cutting away, sculpting process of ongoing work, dealing and re-dealing with impulsion and doubt, vertigo, dirt, error and nerve.
In 1995 he presented his 50 minute long 'expressionist' work Stop Mortal at the QEH, inspired by the work of Tadeusz Kantor, with Nicholas Hodges, Dagmar Krause, Zoe Martlew and Charles Mutter. Following this, his composing underwent a marked change from a combinatorial and procedural emphasis to an acoustic and phenomenological one. This change catalysed the bursting into his pieces of a long experience in sound work which until then had been a hidden dimension in his scores. He started to collaborate with the Romanian spectral composers Iancu Dumitrescu and Anna-Maria Avram and with the Hyperion Ensemble, founded by Dumitrescu. This has led to numerous performances and recordings both of his own compositions and of Dumitrescu’s and Avram’s pieces in which he appears often as soloist on bass clarinet.
In the same period he made a series of study trips to Siberia which brought him into close and ongoing contact with musicians and ritual specialists from non-western cultures. This, as he wrote in New Notes magazine, 're-focussed my approach to sound and my efforts to ground music in being.' He has published an article on Tuvan musical and sculptural aesthetics in Cambridge Anthropology Journal and contributed a paper to a symposium on music and shamanism at the School of Oriental and African Studies. He works with Tuvan singer and multi-instrumentalist Gendos Chamzyryn and percussionist Ken Hyder in the long-standing K-Space project.
His compositions have been interpreted in such international festivals as: Spectrum XXI (Brussels, Paris, Geneva, London), Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (U.K.) where he was a featured composer in 2007, Craiova and Ploiesti Festivals (Romania), Guarda Festival (Portugal), Cantiere Internazionale d’Arte di Montepulciano (Italy), Konfrontationen Festival (Austria), Nordlyd Festival (Norway), Musique Action (France) and the European Symposium of Experimental Music at Barcelona. His composition Piece for Harp and Cello was selected for the SPNM shortlist in 2005. His composition SHHH was accepted for the IMEB electroacoustic music archive at Bourges in 2006.
As an improvising musician on reeds and lap steel guitar Tim Hodgkinson has worked all over the world with many of the most acclaimed artists in the field and continues to be fully engaged in the celebrated Konk Pack trio with Roger Turner and Thomas Lehn.
He has published articles and reviews on improvised music, musique concrète, spectralism, the ethnomusicology of shamanism, and on the aesthetic problems arising from the impact of new technology on contemporary music making - in Contemporary Music Review, Musicworks, The Wire, Rer Quarterly, Resonance etc.
He has given lectures and workshops at Cagliari and Lyon Conservatoires, at the Institute of Contemporary Art in London, at art schools in several European countries, at COMA summer school, and most recently at the Verband für Aktuelle Musik in Hamburg.
Sketch of Now : Hodgkinson : New works 2001-04. Mode 164, USA
Ensemble Phoenix Basle, cond Jürg Henneberger: Buess/Hodgkinson/Feiler 2004. Phoenix - 1 ,CH
Apophasis ; with David Connearn 2003. BIPH 03 CD, UK
Dumitrescu, Avram, Cutler, Hodgkinson 1999. ReR DACH 1, UK
Sang : Hodgkinson: New works 1999. ReR TH 2, UK
Pragma : Hodgkinson: New works 1997- 8. ReR TH, 1 UK

Tim Hodgkinson's website