Polish Experimental/Noise Composer Zbigniew Karkowski, 1958-2013
by Dave Segal
on Fri, Dec 13, 2013 at 9:33 AM
Uncompromising Polish experimental/noise composer Zbigniew Karkowski passed away yesterday due to pancreatic cancer. He was 55.
A student of Iannis Xenakis, Pierre Boulez, and Olivier Messiaen, among others, Karkowski constructed forbidding edifices of jagged, abrasive sounds that seem to both rivet and repel simultaneously. Far from monolithic, his pieces fluxed with often unpredictable violence, but could also contain passages of unsettling calm and grotesque beauty. In addition to his noise output, Karkowski composed acoustic and electroacoustic works and created pieces for chamber ensembles and large orchestras. He was also a member of Sensorband with Edwin van der Heide and Atau Tanaka.
Karkowski's passing, along with that of his contemporary, Aube (with whom Karkowski collaborated), in September, has made the last quarter of 2013 a sad time for fans of adventurous noise artists. RIP, Zbigniew Karkowski.