John Oswald is best known as the the creator of the music genre plunderphonics, an appropriative form of recording studio creation which he began to develop in the late sixties, and has been recently revisiting in video. This got him in trouble with, and also generated invitations from major record labels and musical icons including the Grateful Dead. In the ’90’s he began, with several commissions from the Kronos Quartet, to compose scores, in what he calls the rascali klepitoire, for classical musicians and particularly orchestras; the latter including b9, a half hour condensation of all Beethoven’s Symphonies, and his latest I'd Love to Turn, commissioned by the BBC.
He also improvises on the saxophone in various settings, dances, and has been successful in the visual, performance, and installation realms (including a bar), best known for his chronophotic series stillnessence.
He’s a Canadian Governor General’s Media Artist Laureate and a Marshall McLuhan Centre for Culture & Technology Fellow.
recent bio (pdf)
“For the moment, John Oswald is a solo movement, the most exciting school of one in music.” — Milo Miles, Village Voice
“Oswald is the future of music.” — Udo Kasemets, Musicworks Magazine
“John Oswald is the most famous person who is not very well known.” —Tom Third
"Oswald is incredibly good at what he does; of all the sound-collage artists operating at the moment, from hip-hop samplers to academic timbre wonks, he’s the cleverest and his work is the most labor-intensive. And he’s got outlaw cachet —" Douglas Wolk, Boston Phoenix
“Watch him dance, watch him dance.” —Laurie Anderson
pfony his record company
6Questions his experimental umbrella website
observia visual projects