Kim Cascone

Kim Cascone (December 21, 1955, in Albion, Michigan) is an American composer of electronic music who is best known for his releases in the ambient, industrial and electro-acoustic genre on his own record company, Silent Records. Cascone studied electronic music at Berklee College of Music, Boston, Massachusetts, audio engineering at Institute of Audio Research, New York City, New York and electronic theory at the RCA Institute New York City, New York. Afterwards he started his career working as an electronic technician for audio companies such as Crumar Synthesizers, Eventide, Hyde Street Studios and Orban Associates throughout the 1980s. In 1983 he moved to San Francisco, California to pursue a career in music and audio. In the late 1989 Cascone became as assistant music editor for director David Lynch on Twin Peaks and Wild At Heart and worked in various editorial capacities at Saul Zaentz Film Center and at Skywalker Ranch. He founded Silent Records in 1986, then later Pulsoniq Distribution, Furnace Records, Flask Records, Sulphur Records and went on to release many albums under the moniker PGR (short for Poison Gas Research). He has used various aliases over the years but became best known under the moniker Heavenly Music Corporation, a name taken from a track on the record No Pussyfooting by Brian Eno and Robert Fripp. Cascone released four full albums under this name from 1993 to 1996. His third Heavenly Music Corporation album, Lunar Phase (1995), was featured on St.GIGA radio, the Japanese ambient radio station whose name became the title of the longest song on this album.

In 1996 Cascone sold Silent Records and Pulsoniq Distribution to work as a sound designer/composer for Thomas Dolby's company Headspace. After Headpsace Cascone went on to serve as the Director of Content for Staccato Systems, a spin-off company from CCRMA, Stanford University where he helped develop an algorithm for realistic audio atmospheres and backgrounds for video games. He returned to making music in 1998 and has since been releasing records using his own name on various labels as well as his own label, anechoic (named after his last Heavenly Music Corporation release), which he established in 1996. Cascone has released more than 40 albums of electronic music since 1984 and has recorded/performed with Merzbow, Keith Rowe, Tony Conrad, Scanner, John Tilbury, Domenico Sciajno and Pauline Oliveros among others.

Cascone has also written articles and papers for academic journals and media magazines such as Computer Music Journal, Artbyte, Contemporary Music Review, Soundcultures, Parachute Journal, Junk Jet, Geometer and Zehar. He is best known for the groundbreaking paper titled The Aesthetics of Failure which outlined the use of digital glitches and systemic failure in the creation of post-digital and laptop music and is read by many students in digital media university courses. He is also on the Advisory Board of the academic sound journal Interference based in Dublin, Ireland.

In 2009, Cascone turned his attention to the issue of anthropogenic noise in ocean environments and developed a sound art festival called Hydrophonia which has taken place in Genoa, Italy, San Sebastian, Spain and Barcelona, Spain. The festival incorporated performances by sound artists working with hydrophones as well as speakers on bioacoustics and anthropogenic noise, and workshops on construction of hydrophones.

Lately, Cascone has been working and researching the effects of sound on states of consciousness. He is currently composing a new piece for his 2012 European tour titled "becoming Aion" that incorporates his research into binaural beats, brain entrainment and audio hypnosis techniques.

Cascone has been a student of the Schillinger System of composition since 2009.

Cascone has a wife, Kathleen (b. 1959), and a son, Cage (b. 1993), named after John Cage.

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