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Chris Mann : Represented Artist

Random Audio Sample: Snodger (the mirror) : electroacoustic by Chris Mann, from the CD Anthology of Australian music

An Australian composer working in Compositional Linguistics, Chris Mann worked with Machine for Making Sense until moving to New York in the mid nineties. Born in 1949, his German Jewish parents were pioneers in the fields of ethnomusicology and oral literature and these childhood influences, combined with undergraduate studies in Chinese and linguistics at the University of Melbourne have strongly influenced his compositional style. Later interests in the philosophy of language and systems theory also reveal themselves in his music. He graduated from the University of Melbourne in 1969 with the degree of Bachelor of Music, later completing a Bachelor of Education at La Trobe University.

After working with Roy Hart in London, Mann established the New Music Centre in 1972, and in the mid-1970s worked extensively with Syd Clayton, Peter Mummé, Warren Burt and NIAGGRA. From 1975 to 1978 he was lecturer in music at the State College of Victoria. He resigned this post in order to establish a research project on cultural definitions of information with the International Association for Mass Communications Research, the International Institute of Communications and UNESCO.

Mann has been the recipient of commissions from American composers Kenneth Gaburro (a piece on the history of grammar for Lingua Press, 1979) and John Cage (Eight Whiskus, 1983), from radio stations, dance companies, and festivals. He has worked as composer-in-residence with primary schools, towns and has also been the ABC Staff Union's artist-in-residence. Mann has been a consultant for Arts Victoria since 1980.

Solo performances include Paris Autumn, Ars Electronica, Berliner Festspiele, and he has been deconstructed, interpreted and set by Tom Buckner, John Cage, David Dunn, Gary Hill, Johnny Klimek, Annea Lockwood, Larry Polansky, Robert Rauschenberg. Recent works include The Plato Songs using realtime spectral analysis and parsing of the voice into sixteen channels, and Quadraphonic cocktail for the three radio networks of the ABC. Mann is published by Lovely Music, Tall Poppies, EMF, OO Discs, Frogpeak, Station Hill and collective effort press.

Chris Mann on language: 'Language is the mechanism whereby you understand what I'm thinking better than I do (where 'I' is defined by those changes for which I is required).'

On Chris Mann's music

'Exactly' - Herbert Brun

'Voice as vortex' - Annea Lockwood

the surfaCe
of tHis
itS body's talk

a fast Mix
of vulgArity

- John Cage

Biography provided by the composer — current to September 2005