Philippe Micol  

Improvisation, Composition, Clarinet, Bassclarinet, Soprano and Tenor Saxophones


born 1955, Philippe Micol has his roots in the french part of Switzerland, born in Basel and moving to Bern in 1961 he always lived in the german part of the country until his moving to Germany in the end of the nineties.
His interest for music on the one hand and for the scientific approach on the other hand leads him to study music as an instrumentalist - clarinet - and to establish a focus on the new and experimental musical tendencies of the time.
1981 after the end of his studies a first extension of his sound means happens with the soprano and a short time later with the tenor saxophone. This is accompanied by the appropriation and development of own new instrumental techniques. The most advanced streams in the european and american improvised music become decisive sources of inspiration. 1990 there is a second extension with the bass clarinet.
The meeting with composer Simon Beyeler 1975 and with the composers, pianists and interprets of experimental music Urs Peter Schneider and Erika Radermacher in 1978 have a formative effect as has the begin of the collaboration with the improvisers Ruedi Bühler and Franz Aeschbacher with whom Micol founds the "Werkstatt für improvisierte Musik Bern - WIM" in 1982. Later important collaborations happen 1987 with Malcolm Goldstein and 1991 with Frederic Rzewski.
His working on the development of the concept of free improvisation is from 1986 on accompanied by compositional activities. The increasing interest for the confrontation of improvising and composing and the interaction between form and flow leads him to realize the project "improvisation studies". He goes into Cages idea of indeterminacy and into the field of concept-music.
Being concerned with the notion of the encounter of different centers of activity in space and in time he gets from 1991 on into collaborations with performance-artists as Verena Schwab, Marion Leyh, the ensemble "Stop Performance Theater" led by Norbert Klassen and Janet Hauffler and the european performer-group "Black Market International" led by Boris Nieslony.
He starts to develop compositions for sound-installations.
From 1994 onwards there is a development of this topic due to the collaboration with video-artist Ruth Bamberg. In these activities the idea of bringing together free and independent elements which interfere with each other plays a central role. They realise together a video, a number of sound/video-installations as well, publish two CD-productions and a book.
Philippe Micol is currently heard as an improviser an interpret of experimental music. He has been and still is involved in numerous musical and also pluridisciplinarian projects of other musicians and artists.
He has been a member of the pioneering swiss group "Ensemble Neue Horizonte Bern" and founded the conceptual duo "Wie er mir, so ich ihm" with Urs Peter Schneider. Furthermore he was involved in the trios "Voerkel/Micol/Widmer", "Drei Narzissen" with Urs Peter Schneider and Franz Aeschbacher, "CBS" with David Gattiker and Mich Gerber, "Goldstein/Micol/Aeschbacher", "Wäldele/Micol/Rihs", "Neighbours in sound" mit Fred Lonberg-Holm und Michael Zerang, in the Duos "Schweig&Still" with Markus Eichenberger, "Micol/Oberg", "MZ 16" with Joachim Zoepf, "Silk thunder" with Michael Lytle, in the sextett "Double You Sea Fields" with Jim Staley, Ikue Mori, Davey Williams, Markus Eichenberger, Jürgen Krusche and in the "Ensemble Echtzeit" mit Melvyn Poore, Erhard Hirt, Thomas Lehn, Stefan Keune, Paul Lytton, Gunda Gottschalk, Ute Völker.
He has stayed in Berlin in 1984 and some years later in 1993/94 a stipendium by the Kanton Bern has enabled him to be in New York City where he has met and collaborated with Fred Lonberg-Holm, Michael Lytle, Jim Staley, Gregg Bendian, Lisle Ellis, Paul Plimley, Borah Bergman, Evan Gallagher, Sean G. Meehan, William Winant, Davey Williams, Paul Hoskin and others.
After moving to Nordrhine-Westfalia he begins to work with musicians from Germany and the Nederlands like Erhard Hirt, Joachim Zoepf, Wolfgang Schliemann, Stefan Keune, Uwe Oberg, Jaap Blonk, Thorsten Töpp, Jan Keller, Claus van Bebber.
In NRW he also gets into electronic and computer music matters attending 1998-2001 to courses of lectures at the ICEM, the electronic music studio of the Folkwang Hochschule in Essen, given by Ludger Brümmer, Thomas Neuhaus and others. The study of programming languages as LISP, Csound and MAX/MSP is used in compositions for sound/video-installations and projects focussing on the interactive soundprocessing of acoustic sound sources.

Current projects:
"PSAXD - composition for tenorsaxophone and interactive computerprogram", developped between 2002 and 2005 in collaboration with Axel Vent, Essen
"MZ 16 - experimental wind music in high powers", Duo with Joachim Zoepf, Cologne.
"Clarinets and Saxophones at work", Philippe Micol solo

two phases of the dynamic music-mix of the sound/video-installation "Musik ist in 2" in collaboration with Ruth Bamberg, 2 CDs NurNichtNur 2005
book related to the sound/video-installation "Musik ist In", in german, AutorenVerlag Matern, distributed by Libri, published by Ruth Bamberg&Philippe Micol, ISBN 3-929899-79-5, ISMN M-700016-90-6
CD related to the sound/video-installation "Musik ist In", with Ruth Bamberg, NurNichtNur 2000
"7 BLÜTEN" duets with Uwe Oberg in Cologne, CD, 1998
Compilation-CD of Unit-Records, Unit-Records, UTR 5000 CD, 1997
"SKYLINE", 28 minutes for 28 musicians, produced by WIM-Zürich, LP, 1996
"LIFE IN MONTREAL&TORONTO", trio Goldstein/Micol/Aeschbacher, 1993, Arche Z CD 003, 1996
four solos and a trio, NYC 1993/94, Unit-Records UTR 4092 CD, 1996
encounters 1993/94 in NYC with Gregg Bendian, Jim Staley, Michael Lytle, Paul Plimley, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Sean. G. Meehan, Paul Hoskin, Lisle Ellis, William Winant, Unit-Records UTR 4091 CD, 1996
Compilation-CD 'Werkstatt für Improvisierte Musik - WIM' Bern, Unit Rec UTR-4047 CD, 1992
"SECHSTEL", trio with Urs Voerkel (piano) und Jacques Widmer (drms), Unit Rec UTR-4025 LP, 1987
trio tracks with Irène Schweizer and Urs Voerkel,
Compilation CD 'Werkstatt für Improvisierte Musik - WIM' Zürich, UnitRec UTR-4020 LP, 1986

"ENSEMBLE NEUE HORIZONTE - HISTORISCHE AUFNAHMEN 1968-1998", Migros-Genossenschafts-Bund CTS-M76 (Set), CH 2002
"URS PETER SCHNEIDER: Babel, Chorbuch, Studien, Orchesterbuch", Grammont CTS-P 34-2, CH 1991
"URS PETER SCHNEIDER: Kompositionen 1955-1988", Zytglogge Verlag ZYT 4282, CH 1990

Press echoes:
"... Philippe Micol is a tinkerer, a researcher, a seeker, not somebody who puts definitive opinions, to whom this or that kind of sound would have its absoluteness. Micol is more of a juggler, a mobile artist" Jazzthetik, Germany
"His approach is that of a musician after Evan Parker and John Zorn" Bert Noglik, Die Wochenzeitung, Switzerland
"Micol cultivates a very reflecting and fundamental dealing not only with his instrument, but with his musical world on the whole." Der Bund, Bern
"Of course, the music of Philippe Micol isn't Jazz - doesn't pretend to be, doesn't need to be. Its improvised, though, and it shares the sense of exhilarating freedom that's a defining characteristic of Jazz at its best. A freedom that's used by a serious artist dedicated to making his singular voice heard." Chris Kelsey, Cadence, USA

About "Improvisationsstudien":
"All of the five works about improvisation are perfectly structured and never become as many similar other project a victim of academical objectivity." Swiss Music Info
"There's not only the soprano, there's also a light within these "Improvisationsstudien" which goes through the sound of every instrument he is playing and touches you in many ways." Norberto Gimelfarb, Improjazz, France

About "New York Interviews":
"His "New York Interwiews", in which he has musical conversations with noted improvising musicians and his own "Improvisationsstudien" as well are refreshing music-to-listen-to of the first water." Dresdner Neuste Nachrichten, Germany
"The structure of music and the process of its making get one - there are musical responses falling to never asked questions!" Swiss Music Info
"In groups of two and tree players eleven utmost inspired "conversations" have been captured on tape, in which communication and time, more accurately the shaping of time are the two main subjects." Revelations

zwanzigmal.1 - SoloSchichten

    Available at NURNICHTNUR:
  'zwanzigmal.1 - SoloSchichten’ - DCD 2004
  'achtmal.1 - SoloSchichten' - CD 2001
  '7 BLÜTEN’ - CD 1997 - sold out