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Phil Kline makes music in many genres and contexts, from experimental electronics and sound installations to songs, choral, theater, chamber and orchestral music.
Raised in Akron, Ohio, he came to New York to study English Literature at Columbia. After graduation, he joined the downtown New York arts scene: founding the rock band The Del-Byzanteens with Jim Jarmusch and James Nares, collaborating with Nan Goldin on the soundtrack to The Ballad of Sexual Dependency, and playing guitar in the notorious Glenn Branca Ensemble.
His early compositions grew out of his solo performance art and often used boombox tape players as a medium, most notably in the Christmas piece Unsilent Night, which debuted in the streets of Greenwich Village in 1992 and is now performed annually in cities around the world.
Other compositions include Zippo Songs, a song cycle based on poems Vietnam vets inscribed on their Zippo lighters, The Blue Room and Other Stories, written for string quartet Ethel, and Exquisite Corpses, commissioned by the Bang on a Can All-Stars.
More recent works include the choral Mass John the Revelator, written for vocal group Lionheart; a piano sonata, The Long winter, written for Sarah Cahill; and scores for three evening-length dance pieces by Wally Cardona: Everywhere, Site and Really Real. The sound installation World on a String opened the season at the Krannert Center in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, in September 2007 and SPACE for string quartet and electronics was performed by Ethel at the gala reopening of Alice Tully Hall in 2009.
2011 will see the premieres of A Dream and its Opposite, written for the La Jolla Symphony Orchestra, and Canzona a due Cuori, commissioned by the St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble. Kline is currently working on an opera, Tesla, in collaboration with writer-director Jim Jarmusch. His music is available on the Cantaloupe, CRI and Starkland labels.
More info at www.philkline.com