Charlemagne Palestine (b. 1945)

Voice Studies (1960-71))
Bells Studies (1963-1970)
Relationship Studies (1967)
Holy 1 / Holy 2 / Holy 1+2 (1967-68)
Alloy (Golden 1) (1967-69)
Sharing A Sonority (1967-74)
Charlemange Palestine & Simone Forti, Illumination (1971)
Four Manifestations on Six Elements (1974)
Charlemagne at Sonnabend (2001)
Tintinnabulations for Tomorrow and Tomorrow (2010)
Interviews (1972-1980)

Charlemagne Palestine first started using electronic instruments in his music in the late 1960s. Palestine on the release: "Electronic instruments were very rare and exotic in the 1960s. There were Moogs around New York but they were only in universities who preciously guarded them from us young composers. So after all this time visiting The Moog Sound Lab is like a dream come true for me... to have so many oscillators all singing together is a truly beautiful experience. I am so glad I am still around and able to be making music I first dreamt of 50 years ago." These two releases come from Moog Recordings Library second UK lab session and is the first Charlemagne Palestine Moog Sound Lab. All electronic longform drone works from an archive of six recordings. -- Forced Exposure


Charlemagne Palestine is an influential composer, performer and visual artist. Throughout the 1970s, Palestine produced a seminal body of performance-driven, psychodramatic video works in which he activates a ritualistic use of physicality, motion and sound to achieve an outward articulation of internal states. Intensely personal and often violently charged, these phenomenological exercises are characterized by a visceral enactment of physical and psychological catharses. Performing in isolation with a hand-held, moving camera, Palestine taps the body as a conduit for the self. The very titles of his pieces — Internal Tantrum (1975), Running Outburst (1975) — suggest literal and metaphorical catalysts for release or escape from confinement.

Movement and sound, as they relate to the body and the voice, are the vehicles through which Palestine expels internal energy. Ritualistic vocal expressions — hypnotic chants, trance-inducing tones — become physical translations of anguish and pain, as does the use of the video as an extension of the body. Running frenetically with the camera or strapping it to a moving motorcycle, Palestine uses motion as metaphor. Challenging identity and perception, he positions the viewer behind the camera, in a subjective point of view. Seeing through his eyes, moving with his body, the viewer is both participant and voyeur.

A contemporary of artists such as Steve Reich, Philip Glass and Terry Riley, Palestine’s music and sound compositions have garnered a devoted following since the 1960s. In recent years, he has collaborated with a diverse group of experimental musicians including Pan Sonic, David Coulter, Tony Conrad and Michael Gira. He has released more than twenty solo albums and has performed in festivals around the world such as The Meltdown Festival, London in 1999; Transmediale, Berlin in 2010; All Tomorrow’s Parties, UK in 2010 and Numina Lente, NY in 2011.

In his work in performance, music, video and related media since the late 1960s, Palestine uses certain emblematic objects, including teddy bears, cognac and scarves, as signatures — what he terms "symbols of identification."

Charlemagne Palestine was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1945. He studied at New York University, Columbia University, Mannes College of Music and California Institute of the Arts. He has received grants from the New York State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, among other organizations. His work has been exhibited internationally, at festivals and institutions. -- EAI

Charlemagne Palestine in UbuWeb Film

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