RECENT SOLO RECORDINGS:
TTTHE DEPARTMENT OF STRANGE WEATHER (Fun N3) 2011
(Live recordings of performances using recorded and appropriated sounds 2008-10)
Working with “found” and “location” sounds recorded by very low-fi means, I improvised performances in real time on a theme of disorientation, suppressed anger and loss. Available at: For this CD please contact me directly:
AT THE OTHER END OF THE DAY (Improvisations 2005-8) (Fun N-1)
Sound works from real life. To me this collection has a dreamy kind of resignation to it, born of listening to quotidian sounds and then willing them into unfamiliarity, accomplished by recording them with a very low-fi device and then further de-fidelifying them w/ simple musique concrete tricks. Hopefully, they are kind of like being in a crowd and pretending you don't understand the language--everything is strange and new again. Special thanks to Guy Orcutt, who inspired these works, and to my family, who put up with me recording and making them.
Available at: For this CD please contact me directly:
CHORAL WORKS & THE APSARAS (Art 1026) Artifact Records (http://www.artifact.com/)
Two works composed from found sounds, ambiances, voices and music:
CHORAL WORKS: (1994-2004)
Short audio-musical pieces based on the sounds of people singing and chanting Made from location recordings of singers in Papua New Guinea, Germany, Japan, Cambodia, Russia, Egypt and Java. Featured on the "AetherFest" radio festival KUNM, 2003.
The APSARAS: (2002)
Eight short audio works based on recordings I made in Cambodia in the mid 1990's. Odd snatches of location recordings are examined for interesting small sound events, from which I tried to fashion "sound melodies". The inspiration for the works were the carvings of the celestial dancers called "Apsaras" found at Angkor Wat and other Khmer temples. The collection was originally made for and premiered on Barbara Golden's KPFA radio show, "Crack of Dawn".
For this CD please contact me directly:
Note that Artifact Records has ended its distribution arrangement with the Electronic Music Foundation (CDe).
EMF no longer has stock of any Artifact titles (in spite of what their website may say), and all Artifact titles are now available only from their composers.
For recordings with THE BIFURCATORS please see The Bifurcators page.
For recordings I did with THE RESIDENTS go to: http://ralphamerica.com/ and scroll down to the old stuff (“Mole Show” etc.).
For recordings by Scott Fraser, “Blue” Gene Tyranny and David Ocker on FUN MUSIC 1979-89 please see the Fun Music page.
BETWEEN TEMPLES: Frances Nkara 2009 (music by Philip Perkins, an excerpt from VIRGO RAMAYANA, 1994)
PHILIP PERKINS' albums on FUN MUSIC 1975-1994:
(for info on any of these albums, email me at email@example.com)
VIRGO RAMAYANA and other works for radio: Fun 18 1994
Four works for radio:
Virgo Ramayana: made from music, ambient and voice recordings from Indonesia and arranged via a primitive live computer-controlled
editing and mixing system. (23 min.)
Radio Music: John Cage’s 1956 composition in a studio realization. (6 min.)
Remotitude: an edit of my live radio work BERKELEY REMOTE (KPFA 1989) (6 min.)
Say Again: a live radio work broadcast on KPFA 5/6/91 featuring Bonnie Barnett (voice), Tim Perkis (computer/synth), Scott Fraser (percussion, guitar), and Philip Perkins (mix, radios, signal and MIDI processing, sampler, tapes, electric bass). Produced by Ben Lindgren. (40 min)
THE REMOTES Fun 17 1990
In 1988 I began a series of live radio performance works called THE REMOTES. In these shows, presented live on various radio stations in the USA and Canada, locally-recruited guest musicians and I would play with and through an electronic system that allowed a unique synthesis of automatic and intuitive processes in a work that continually created itself in real time. This live studio remix (using some of the same systems) of recordings of nine of the live radio versions of the work is a sort of "super Remote", and presents some of the best moments of the series. Later versions were made for NPR, CBC and Japanese radio. Other series spun off of this one were made, including the SURFACE TO AIR series for performance over phone lines to far-away radio stations.
SHAPIRO, VERMEER, FLORIDA and SAN FRANCISCO Fun 1006 1989
This CD includes 4 works:
Shapiro Songs: settings of 7 poems by Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet Karl Shapiro in a variety of styles. Vocalist: Frederick Goff.
re:Vermeer: a five part melodic and electroacoustic work inspired by the paintings of Johannes Vermeer (1632-75).
South Florida Remote: A highly subjective radio documentary on the Miami area. Commissioned by New Music America 1988 and WLRN-FM Miami.
Produced by Steve Malagodi.
San Francisco Remote: This is a documentary recording of this audio installation as it stood in the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery in Oct. 1988. Commissioned by the San Francisco Arts Commission. Produced by Russ Jennings.
HALL OF FLOWERS / THE FLAME OF AMBITION (excerpts) Fun 1005 1988
Side 1 of this LP contains the 21 min. first section of HALL OF FLOWERS a work for radio broadcast. The piece moves through a tremendous variety of sound material configured around a single multirhythmic "cell".
Side 2 has 7 excerpts from THE FLAME OF AMBITION , a collection of short, mostly melodic works about what ambition causes (or enables) people to do. The title refers to the "burning" nature of ambition within those who are literally being consumed by it.
HALL OF FLOWERS Fun 16 1987
This is the full length version of this work for radio. HALL OF FLOWERS was designed so that a listener could tune in at any point, listen for any length of time over a minute or so and get the jist of the piece, while making the hearing of the full length an enjoyable experience also.
THE FLAME OF AMBITION Fun 14 1986
Ambition in these times is particularly visible in the actions of large multi-national corporations, who seem to live by their own laws and politics, while having internal hierarchies as complex as a Renaissance royal court. This varied collection of 14 songs and electroacoustic works reflects on aspects of a consuming desire for power and wealth.
THE ROSETTA STONE Fun 15 1986
Very young children hear language and noise as basically the same phenomena, with occasional "windows" of understanding that widen as the child learns the difference. The Rosetta Stone creates a sonic portrait of this process of discovery through sound composition, melody and location recordings. Side B contains “Horizontal”, a gently melodic ambient work originally commissioned as intermission music for a performance-art piece.
DRIVE TIME: Fun 1004 1985
DRIVE TIME is a series of pieces composed as an alternative to early morning commute or "drive time" radio. The piece alternates melodic songs (often parodies of commercial tunes) with electronic washes and stereo location recordings of street bands, parades, animals, ambiances etc. etc.. The whole is assembled with segues like a live radio show.
KING OF THE WORLD Fun 1003 1984
This album was inspired by the lives and works of three ancient monarchs, all of whom considered themselves to be the absolute ruler of all mankind. The music was made as a meditation on myth, tragedy caused by pride and extreme distance in time.
PACAL (the shield) Fun 13 1983
This work is based on an inference of what the life of this 7th century Mayan king might have been like, based on the art and details of his tomb (Palenque). It follows the chronology of a "noble" life against the sweep and flow of Mayan culture in general. This work is included in the LP KING OF THE WORLD.
NEIGHBORHOOD WITH A SKY (Bird Variations) Fun 1002 1982
This album was conceived of as a "neighborhood" of short, highly evocative audio pieces, similar in size and structure, that would present an audioscape to the listener in much the same way as a neighborhood of buildings and streets presents itself to one walking through it.
APARTMENT LIFE Fun 11 1980
The city as permanent ongoing sound piece. A series of 6 electroacoustic works in which the aural topography of city life is disassembled, examined and finally remade with highly processed mirror images of itself.
TAPEWORKS Fun 12 1975-80 Nine audio works in a variety of styles, from the purely abstract to settings for poetry.
TOOL'S PAINT / READING THE MAIL Fun 1001 (7 inch 45rpm) 1981 One cut each from the APARTMENT LIFE and TAPEWORKS albums.
for info on any of the above albums, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
FILMS and VIDEOS:
Street Tree Films Project (1997-2002):
STILLS (1998) 60 min. video
STILLS2 (2000) 80 min. video
From 1979 until 1997 I took a rather extended vacation from personal filmmaking, working mostly in sound and electronic music. When I became interested in making motion pictures again in 1997 I found that I was not at all wanting to make films that would be shown in competitive "festivals" or very rarely on late-night PBS independent-film ghettos. I had been spoiled by working in radio--I liked the idea of addressing each audience member one at a time in their own space, with the work becoming part of their lives rather than a pretend-theatrical scheduled event. Thus the Street Tree Films project began, making videos that use a video camera more the way a still photographer would work than a filmmaker, and making videos that make a monitor (or TV) simply a display device for a collection of images--related, but not necessarily sequential. The TV is a picture frame, the content of which--usually an image in which camera does not move but contains some motion, however slight--changes from minute to minute, as though one had a painting that could change itself or a window in which the view shifted from moment to moment. The imagery is mostly fairly mundane--what I find in the course of my life, and these pictures alternate with completely abstract studio-created images that use light in a primary way. There are 2 completed videos in the series: STILLS (1998, 60 min.) and STILLS2 (2000, 80 min.). A third video for the series was begun and abandoned in 2002.
(These videos are not currently in distribution.)
Films from the 1970’s:
I was very taken up with the making of short "experimental" films and videos between 1971 and 1979. During this period I made 5 fairly complex works using various experimental film animation techniques in 16mm, and innumerable smaller 8mm works in a wide variety of styles. The 16mm works (along with a longer diary-style film called "TIME PASSES") are available from Canyon Cinema in San Francisco. Canyon has an online catalog.
A WINDOW (1975)
PATCHWORK (Palo Alto Film Festival 1977)
WORKS ON PAPER (1978)
TIME PASSES (1979)
GILA (Bellvue Film Festival 1979)
(included in the American Federation of Arts "Synthetic Movements" touring show, 1979-84)
145 Ninth Street, Suite 260
San Francisco, California 94103
WINTER DANCE (1973)
RAIN * (Northwest Film Festival 1974)
MOON * (1974)
METRONOMIE * (1974)
CARZ * (1975)
A RIVER * (Ann Arbor 8mm Film Festival 1976)
(* = made with Scott Fraser)
(not currently available)
Videos from the 1970’s:
(Projects made on 1/2” Sony-format EIAJ open reel black and white video.)
--A DIFFERENT TOMORROW (with Pat Link) 1977
A verite-documentary portrait of a lonely and depressed elderly lady lost in her memories, performed and narrated by Pat Link.
--3 ELEMENTS (v.1-3) (with Tripp Mikich) 1976
Highly experimental live video mixes with video, film, audio, sculpture and live performance components.
(also not currently available)
Performances and recordings of works by other composers and artists:
Cascando (Samuel Beckett, 1961) Univ. of the Pacific, 1971 Electric guitar and other sounds.
Imaginary Landscape #4 (John Cage, 1951) Raymond College, 1972, as a member of the USSR Ensemble
Variations IV (John Cage, 1963) Raymond College, 1972, as a member of the USSR Ensemble
4' 33" (John Cage, 1952) Raymond College, 1972, as a member of the USSR Ensemble
The Resident's Mole Show (The Residents) USA and Europe tours 1983-4, studio work 1979-83 (several recordings as well).
Shapiro Songs (settings of poems by Karl Shapiro, 1913-2000) 1987-8
Keyboards, bass, bowed psaltery, guitar, samplers, percussion; with vocals by Frederick Goff.
From the album "SHAPIRO, VERMEER, FLORIDA and SAN FRANCISCO” Fun Music 1988
Radio Music (John Cage, 1956) Studio version 1989, on the album "VIRGO RAMAYANA", Fun Music 1991
Other film music:
BETWEEN TEMPLES: Frances Nkara 2009 (music by Philip Perkins, an excerpt from VIRGO RAMAYANA, 1994)