John Oswald

John Oswald

Profile:
John (Anthony) Oswald. Composer, saxophonist, record producer, dancer, writer, b Kitchener, Ont, 30 May 1953. His teachers included R. Murray Schafer and Barry Truax at Simon Fraser University and David Rosenboom, Casey Sokol, Richard Teitelbaum, and James Tenney at York University.

Oswald first came to notice as an habitué in the mid-1970s of the Music Gallery, where his affiliations included Pitch (established in 1976 with Marvin Green and responsible for a variety of events held in total darkness), the Glass Orchestra, the New Music Co-op and, as founder and sometime editor, Musicworks.

Oswald has performed throughout Canada and in the USA as an alto saxophonist, playing in both solo and group improvisational settings. Oswald, whose style is generally free of jazz references and often fiercely expressive, also has appeared on other albums by Kaiser, as well as recordings by Alfred Harth and M+M.

In dance, he has prepared scores (mostly tape) for Dancemakers, Tangente, Toronto Independent Dance Enterprise, and Bill Coleman's North American Experience (the full-length ballets Shane, 1987; Baryshnikov, 1987; Zorro, 1989), and for several choreographers - eg, Jennifer Mascall (Parade, 1986; Elle, 1989), Paula Ravitz and Denise Fujiwara (Skindling Shades,1987; renamed Spontaneous Combustion) and Fujiwara alone (Loud Colors, 1990), Holly Small (Wounded, 1988, Small Attack, 1990), Bill Douglas (Anima, 1990), and James Kudelka (Case of Death, 1991). He has participated as an accompanist and/or dancer in performances.by Fujiwara, Small, Danceworks, the North American Experience, and others.

In 1980 Oswald established the Mystery Tape Laboratory, preparing and distributing music/sound collages on cassettes packaged with neither sources noted nor explanations given. In 1987 he reversed the principle with the EP Plunderphonics* - Plunderphonics, which comprised four 'revised performances' created by the 'plundering' (ie, studio manipulation, including 'sampling' and subsequent reconstruction) of recordings by Count Basie, Dolly Parton, and Elvis Presley, and of The Rite of Spring. A CD of Plunderphonic - Plunderphonic followed in 1989, with an additional 20 plundered performances by the Beatles, Glenn Gould (from the Goldberg Variations), Michael Jackson, et al, and of Liszt, Webern, Verdi, and Beethoven. Although Oswald's sources were scrupulously acknowedged and the recordings given free of charge to musicians, critics, libraries, etc, the CD nevertheless was deemed to be in violation of Canadian copyright laws. Under the threat of legal action Oswald relinquished the master tapes and all undistributed copies to CRIA which in 1990 had them destroyed. Ironically, Oswald was subsequently commissioned by the US label Elektra to plunder its catalogue and prepared the CD Rubáiyát Plunderphonics (Elektra PRCD-8247, issued in 1991) to mark the company's 40th anniversary.

Oswald has received other commissions from ARRAYMUSIC (Slide Whistles, 1976; Acupuncture, 1991) and the Kronos Quartet, and has prepared scores for the RectoVerso theatre company of Matane, Que. His first piece for the Kronos, Spectre (1990), is in the composer's words 'for gesturing string quartet and the recorded allusion of a 1001 string orchestra'. A second work for Kronos, premiered in part in 1991, involved the plundering of the Beethoven quartets.
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[a26997]

Artist

John Oswald Discography Tracks

Albums

Kondo* / Kaiser* / Oswald* Kondo* / Kaiser* / Oswald* - Moose And Salmon (Album) Music Gallery Editions Canada 1978 Sell This Version
John Oswald & Henry Kaiser John Oswald & Henry Kaiser - Improvised Music Gallery Editions Canada 1978 Sell This Version
none Toshinori Kondo / Henry Kaiser / John Oswald Toshinori Kondo / Henry Kaiser / John Oswald - Moose +(Cass, Album) Music Gallery Editions none Canada 1982 Sell This Version
none John Oswald Spoors(Cass, Album) Not On Label (John Oswald Self-released) none Canada 1982 Sell This Version
ReR JOCD John Oswald Discosphere(CD, Album) ReR Megacorp ReR JOCD UK, Europe & US 1991 Sell This Version
AVAN 016, AVAN016 John Oswald Plexure(CD, Album) Avant, Avant AVAN 016, AVAN016 Japan 1993 Sell This Version
John Oswald Grayfolded: Transitive Axis (Album) Artifact Music, Swell (2) Canada 1994 Sell This Version
VICTO CD 025 Henry Kaiser, Mari Kimura, Jim O'Rourke, John Oswald Henry Kaiser, Mari Kimura, Jim O'Rourke, John Oswald - Acoustics(CD, Album) Les Disques Victo VICTO CD 025 Canada 1994 Sell This Version
MASO CD 90094, 12957.0094.2 La 1919 Featuring Franco Fabbri, Henry Kaiser, John Oswald, Fausto Rossi La 1919 Featuring Franco Fabbri, Henry Kaiser, John Oswald, Fausto Rossi - Giorni Felici(CD, Album) Materiali Sonori, Auditorium Edizioni, Materiali Sonori MASO CD 90094, 12957.0094.2 Italy 1997 Sell This Version
CIMP 234 John Oswald / David Prentice (2) / Dominic Duval John Oswald / David Prentice (2) / Dominic Duval - Bloor(CD) CIMP CIMP 234 US 2000 Sell This Version
SPL 116 Fred Frith & Anne Bourne & John Oswald Fred Frith & Anne Bourne & John Oswald - Dearness(CD, Album) Spool SPL 116 Canada 2001 Sell This Version
VICTO CD 074-075-076 Paul Plimley / John OswaldMarilyn CrispellCecil Taylor Paul Plimley / John OswaldMarilyn CrispellCecil Taylor - Complicité(3xCD, Album) Les Disques Victo VICTO CD 074-075-076 Canada 2001 Sell This Version
IMED 0368 John Oswald aparanthesi(CD) Empreintes DIGITALes IMED 0368 Canada 2003 Sell This Version
ohmavtr34, ohmavtr34cd, ohmavtr34dvd John Oswald Chronophotic: Cinéma De L'immobile - Moving Stills: CensusQ(DVD-V, NTSC + CD, Album) Avatar / OHM éditions, Avatar / OHM éditions, Avatar / OHM éditions ohmavtr34, ohmavtr34cd, ohmavtr34dvd Canada 2004 Sell This Version
4129 Michael Keith (2) / John Oswald / Roger Turner Michael Keith (2) / John Oswald / Roger Turner - Number Nine(CD, Album) Emanem 4129 UK 2006 Sell This Version
none John Oswald Sampler(Cass, C60) Mystery Tape Laboratory none Canada Unknown Sell This Version
none John Oswald X(Cass, Album) Not On Label (John Oswald Self Release) none Canada Unknown Sell This Version
none John Oswald X3(Cass, Album) Mystery Tapes Etc. none Canada Unknown Sell This Version

Singles & EPs

NR 19959 John Oswald vs. Change Of Heart John Oswald vs. Change Of Heart - Tummysuckle Ruse(7") Lunamoth NR 19959 Canada 1996 Sell This Version
S / A 1969 r John Oswald Gray Folded Radio Edits(CD, Single) Swell (2), Artifact Music S / A 1969 r Canada 1996 Sell This Version

Miscellaneous

none John Oswald Alto Sax(Cass) Mystery Tape Laboratory none Canada 1981 Sell This Version
none John Oswald Kissing Jesus In The Dark(Cass, C60) Mystery Tape Laboratory none Canada 1983 Sell This Version
none John Oswald b9 1st Movement(File, MP3, 128) fony none Canada 2013
none John Oswald Recycled(Cass) RRRecords none US Unknown Sell This Version