Tony Conrad | the artist




The artist Tony Conrad
Born 1940, Concord, New Hampshire, USA.

Style and technique of the artist: Minimal Art, Video, Venice Biennale,

Tony Conrad, best known for playing violin with the Theatre of Eternal Music in the early sixties, and for his more recent violin-centred compositions, admits that his introduction to his instrument was mostly negative. It was only the influence of the young violinist Ronald Knudsen that changed things, urging Conrad to play slowly, and concentrate on the tuning, something he has been doing ever since.


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Let’s assume that you are an animal, like a whale, with your eyes where your ears might otherwise be.  Which is to say that you are capable of looking in two different directions at the same time, albeit with a large blind spot in the center.  With Early Minimalism , to what extent are you simultaneously looking backwards, looking forward, and enjoying the blind spot of the moment in which you’re sawing away at the violin?…
History is like music – completely in the present
Tony Conrad has, throughout his activities, sought redefinition of the role of composer, of creator of works. In turn, writing an analytical project about his works might seem a little bit odd, even perverse: How does one assess carefully the works that systematically denies the status of creator? Tony Conrad, as a member of the Theatre of Eternal Music (1962-1965) as well as in other activity, has made music whose nature calls into question the traditional Western role of composer. Generally, this music is improvised on the spot (although dissimilar to “improvised music,” especially that developed by musicians such as Derek Bailey), has no score, and needs no conductor…
With a background in mathematics and computer programming, Tony Conrad became active in performance and music composition during the 1960s, and was associated with the founding of both minimal music and underground film in New York City…


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