Real Name:
Zbigniew Karkowski
Zbigniew Karkowski was born March 14, 1958 in Krakow, Poland; he passed away December 12, 2013 in Peru. He studied composition at the State College of Music in Gothenburg, Sweden, aesthetics of modern music at the University of Gothenburg's Department of Musicology, and computer music at the Chalmers University of Technology. After completing his studies in Sweden, he studied sonology for a year at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Den Haag, Netherlands. During his education, he also attended many summer composition master courses arranged by Centre Acanthes in Avignon and Aix-en-Provence, France, studying with Iannis Xenakis, Olivier Messiaen, Pierre Boulez, and Georges Aperghis, among others. He worked actively as a composer of both acoustic and electroacoustic music. He has written pieces for large orchestra (commissioned and performed by the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra), plus an opera and several chamber music pieces that were performed by professional ensembles in Sweden, Poland, and Germany. He was a founding member of the electroacoustic music performance trio "Sensorband." Zbigniew had lived and worked in Tokyo, Japan for the past eight years, and was active in the underground noise scene there.
In Groups:


Zbigniew Karkowski Discography Tracks

Various Theta (as Z. Karkowski) Various - Gothenburg 84 (Comp) Radium 226.05 Sweden 1984 Sell This Version
RA 039 Bilting* · Karkowski* Bilting* · Karkowski* - Bad·Bye Engine(LP, Album) Radium 226.05 RA 039 Sweden 1988 Sell This Version
RACD 050 Freddie W.* Hoodoo Man (as Karkowski) Freddie W.* - Something Wicked This Way Comes(CD, Album) Radium 226.05, Radium Germany RACD 050 Germany 1989 Sell This Version
RA 051 P.I.T.T. & The Dreamers (2) P.I.T.T. & The Dreamers (2) - Drakron(LP) Radium 226.05 RA 051 Sweden 1989 Sell This Version
RA 052 Mental Hackers Ghosts Of The Offensive Dead People (Acid Voodoo Mix) Mental Hackers - Leaving The 20th Century(LP) Radium 226.05 RA 052 Sweden 1989 Sell This Version
TOPYSCAN 006 Various I Fell In Love (as Karkowski) Various - This Infernal Love Of Life(LP, Comp, Ltd, Num) Thee Temple Ov Psychick Youth Scandinavia TOPYSCAN 006 Sweden 1990 Sell This Version
R9 John Duncan 5 In Gold John Duncan - River In Flames(CD, Album) Anckarström R9 Sweden 1991 Sell This Version
STCD 033 John Duncan River In Flames: 5 In Gold John Duncan - River In Flames - Klaar(2xCD, Comp) Staalplaat STCD 033 Netherlands 1991 Sell This Version
ANO KATO 020 Various Gladness Becomes Weeping Various - Από Μηχανής Μουσική(LP, Comp) Ano Kato Records ANO KATO 020 Greece 1991 Sell This Version
TO:18 The Hafler Trio Sec Check (as Zbiegniew Karkowski) The Hafler Trio - Mastery Of Money(CD, Album) Touch TO:18 UK 1992 Sell This Version
SR9217 Phauss / Karkowski* / Bilting* Up From Below and 2 more… Phauss / Karkowski* / Bilting* - Phauss • Karkowski • Bilting(CD) Silent SR9217 US 1992 Sell This Version
MVG113 Fleshquartet Fleshquartet - Flow(CD, Album) MVG Records MVG113 Sweden 1993 Sell This Version
TO:20 John Duncan Shatter John Duncan - Send(CD, Album) Touch TO:20 UK 1993 Sell This Version
none Various Clear Stream Temple Various - Sonderangebot(CD, Comp) Staalplaat none Netherlands 1996 Sell This Version
IF 2 MAZK Exposed (as ZK) and 1 more… MAZK - SPL(CD, Album, Ltd) OR IF 2 UK 1998 Sell This Version
ERROR 6 Zbigniew Karkowski & Helmut Schäfer Zbigniew Karkowski & Helmut Schäfer - Disruptor(CD, Album) OR ERROR 6 UK 1999 Sell This Version
ISSUE 1 Various Le Dépeupleur Various - Or Some Computer Music Issue 1(CD, Album, Comp) OR ISSUE 1 UK 1999 Sell This Version
FYCD 1017 Various Sofar Various - Nature Is Perverse(2xCD, Album, Comp) Fylkingen Records FYCD 1017 Sweden 2000 Sell This Version
.a.[l] 003-01 Zbigniew Karkowski / Francisco López Whint - ZK:E00 Zbigniew Karkowski / Francisco López - Whint(2xCD, Ltd) .Absolute. [London] .a.[l] 003-01 UK 2000 Sell This Version
none Senssurround Orchestra Senssurround Orchestra - Meltdown Of Control(CD, Ltd, Num) Mort Aux Vaches, Staalplaat none Netherlands 2000 Sell This Version
NAIM09CD MAZK, 秋田原美* + 寺·卡高斯基* MAZK, 秋田原美* + 寺·卡高斯基* - 不味苦(CD, Album) Noise Asia NAIM09CD Hong Kong 2001 Sell This Version
23five 003 Tetsuo Furudate + Zbigniew Karkowski Tetsuo Furudate + Zbigniew Karkowski - World As Will II(CD) 23five 23five 003 US 2002 Sell This Version
TICK 4 Zeitkratzer Zeitkratzer - Noise \ ... [Lärm](CD, Album) Tourette TICK 4 Germany 2002 Sell This Version
POST 006 Zbigniew Karkowski Zbigniew Karkowski - ElectroStatics(CD, Album) Post Concrete POST 006 US 2003 Sell This Version
#31 POP* POP* - Work Hard Play Harder(CDr, Ltd) absurd #31 Greece 2003 Sell This Version

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May 5, 2016
Does anyone know where to find his scores or a list of the pieces he composed for accoustic musicians?


December 19, 2013
Zbigniew Karkowski (1958-2013)
"Many say they are sorry to hear of Zbigniew Karkowsky's death. I, for one, am not.

I still hear Zbigniew's infectious laugh, hear his voice, see the sparkle of mischief in his eyes. Ripping a poster of an exhibition that my piece BLIND DATE was in off the window of a packed Yamanote-sen in Tokyo, then showing it to a suited salaryman and encouraging him to take his children to look for it in the show. Both of us laughing hysterically when the train was gone.

Zbigniew always seemed utterly without fear. His final gesture, traveling for hours in a canoe into the Amazon jungle directly after flights from Europe lasting nearly 24 hours, to be treated by a Shipbo shaman is perfectly in keeping with everything else he did. All the way, no compromise. His final wish, if the treatment failed, was to be left in the jungle to be eaten. No ceremony, no grave. If it succeeded as he hoped, he said he would bring back stories of the adventure. Somehow, I still expect to hear them.

A Karkowsky concert often meant that we would see smoke rising from the burning speakers of the overdriven PA, fumes clearing the room. As much as he seemed to enjoy it when that happened, frankly I doubt that this was ever done for effect: he simply demanded that his music be heard with the power that he intended, that he himself heard. During a residency, one of several, at The Compound in San Francisco, director Naut Humon proudly remembered that Zbigniew played lower frequencies at volumes so high that they shattered the toilet bowl. Musicians who worked with him often spoke of him with unabashed admiration, said they looked forward to a chance to do it again.

Yes, Zbigniew was often cruel when drunk, plenty of those stories to go around. So far, I have yet to meet anyone who isn't. Alcohol is a seductive, motherless bitch to anyone who lets her have her way. She slams doors of friendship shut and, under her influence, Zbigniew slammed a few more than his share.

When Zbigniew moved to Tokyo, he was fortunate enough to meet Atsuko (I never did hear her last name), who stayed together with him for fifteen years, travelled to Greece to spend a last several days together, saw him off in Paris for the flight to Peru. If she and I never meet, here I send her a huge, heartfelt Thank You.

So today, and many more days like it, will be spent thinking of that laugh, that love of entertaining friends, that cavalier and uncompromising sense of daring. One of the first phrases in Japanese that Zbigniew said he learned was 'Omanko wa oishii' -- 'Cunt is delicious'. Here, too, he was absolutely right."

(John Duncan, 13.12.2013.)

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