Zbigniew Karkowski, a Polish experimental musician whose work amplified the boundaries of noise music — and also its volume — died today, according to his friend and collaborator Anton Lukoszevieze. He had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer just 10 weeks ago. He was 55.
Karkowki was regarded in experimental-music circles as one of noise music’s most fearlessly extreme practitioners. Stories circulate that his music once cracked a toilet at San Francisco’s Bloody Angle Compound studios; a 2001 performance at Montreal’s FCMM, playing needle-nosed sine waves tuned to the resonant frequency of the room, sparked a fire in a speaker and sent chunks of the ceiling tumbling to the floor. But he was also known as one of noise music’s most contemplative thinkers. (When a reporter asked him if he was afraid of damaging his hearing, following the FCMM performance, he replied, “Sound is like a wild animal; it will only hurt you if you are afraid of it.”)
• Zbigniew Karkowski: http://www.desk.nl/~northam/oro/zk2.htm