Philipp Wachsmann

Born Uganda, 1944; violin, viola and electronics.

In the CD booklet to Gushwachs, John Corbett notes that Phillip Wachsmann came to free improvisation from a predominantly classical background, particularly via the contemporary experiments of "indeterminacy, graphic and prose-based scores, conceptualism and electroacoustics, listening to Webern, Partch, Ives, Berio and Varèse, reading 'Die Reihe' and interrogating the rhythmic, harmonic and melodic preoccupations of Western art music. Starting in 1969, Wachsmann was a member of Yggdrasil, an ensemble performing works by Cage, Cardew, Feldman, Ashley and others and in this group he used contact mikes on the violin and made his own electronic instruments, ring modulators and routing devices. Ironically, his studies with Nadia Boulanger in Paris (1969-1970) pushed him hard in the direction of free music. He recalls: 'Despite her neoclassical orientation, her insistence that composition is about the imagination of performance and its realisation, the live moment, and her stunning ability to make this happen was a powerful influence on me, steering towards 'performance' and therefore 'improvisation'.'"

Wachsmann moved from Yggdrasil to Chamberpot - recorded on Bead 2 - and shortly thereafter appeared on Tony Oxley's influential February papers, forward looking in the virtual 'industrial' orientation of some of the tracks, years before this became an accepted genre; the two musicians have continued to work together, in various groupings but notably in the percussionist's Celebration Orchestra. Philipp Wachsmann has also performed and/or recorded with: Derek Bailey's Company, e.g. on the recording Epiphanies; Georg Graewe; Barry Guy; Iskra 1903; King Übü Orchestrü; London Jazz Composers' Orchestra; Evan Parker, particularly as part of the Evan Parker Electronic Project; Quintet Moderne; Fred Van Hove's ML DD 4; Rüdiger Carl's COWWS (now CPWWS) Quintet; and Lines, with Martin Blume, Jim Denley, Axel Dörner and Marcio Mattos. He also plays as a solo musician.

Phillip Wachsmann also administers Bead Records.

Further information

Rusch, Bob (1997), Philipp Wachsmann interview. Cadence, vol. 23, no. 5, pp. 5-12.
Wachsmann, Philipp (1995), Twenty five years. Rubberneck, No. 17, pp. 22-25. An excellent and inspirational piece relating some of the issues dealt with and milestones recognised in twenty five years of improvised playing.


1973, Balance, Incus 11.
1976, Chamberpot, Bead 2.
1977, Sparks of the desire magneto, Bead 7.
1977, February papers, Incus 18.
1977, Improvisations are forever now Vinyl VS 113. Guy/Riley/Wachsmann.
1977, A birthday tribute - 75 years Incus CD63. Tony Oxley.
1977/79, Improvisations are forever now Emanem 4070. Re-issue of Vinyl LP with extra tracks from 1979: Guy/Riley/Wachsmann.
1978, Frames: music for an imaginary film, Ogun CD 010/011. Keith Tippett's Ark.
1979, For Harm, Bead 12.
1979/1981, Hello Brenda!, Bead 18.
1980/1991, Study II/Stringer, Intakt CD095. London Jazz Composers Orchestra.
1980, The family, FMP 0940. The 'Wuppertal Workshop Ensemble'.
1980, Pisa 1980: improvisors' symposium, Incus 37 (LP)/psi 04.03/4 (CD).
1981, The bugger all stars, Bead 19.
1981-1983, Chapter two 1981-3, Emanem 3CD 4303. Iskra 1903.
1982, Was macht ihr denn?, FMP SAJ-42. A concert recording of the ML DD 4: Marc Charig, trumpet, altohorn; Phil Wachsmann; Fred van Hove, piano, accordian; Gunter 'Baby' Sommer, percussion.
1982, Epiphany/Epiphanies, Incus 46/47. Company.
1982, Epiphany, Incus CD42/43. Company.
1983, Sept tableaux phoniques Erik Satie, nato 59/nato 53005.2. Philipp Wachsmann on one track.
1984, Music is music is..., Uhlklang UK-6. King Ubu Orchestru.
1984, Writing in water, Bead 23. Solo violin coupled variously with live electronics and pre-recorded tape to provide a panoply of sounds, including, towards the end of the long title piece, suggestions of the ghost in the machine.
1985, Planet Oeuf Xopf Rec 01.
1985, Tomorrow is here Dossier ST 7507. The Tony Oxley Celebration Orchestra.
1985, Ellispontos, j.n.d. III-A. Paul Lytton, Hans Schneider, Floros Floridis, and Phil Wachsmann.
1986, 26 C 4 Kombination, Unit UTR 4020/4021. Double sampler LP with one track by Planet OEuf.
1987, the Glider & the Grinder, Bead 25. Music from the collaborative project of Tony Oxley and Phil Wachsmann.
1987, Ikkkunan takana [Behind the window], Bead 26. Quintet Moderne.
1987/1988, Zurich concerts, Intakt 005. London Jazz Composers Orchestra.
1988, Eleven years from yesterday, FMR CD02/Bead CD01.
1988/89, Songs and variations, Hat Art CD 6028. Recordings of the GrubenKlangOrchester.
1988/89, South on the Northern, Emanem 5203. Iskra 1903.
1989, Harmos, Intakt CD013. London Jazz Composers Orchestra.
1989, Double trouble, Intakt CD019. London Jazz Composers Orchestra.
1989, The strange and the commonplace, Po Torch PTR/JWD 19S. Quintet Moderne.
1990, Trio Raphiphi, ITM1465.
1990, Klangbrücke Bern: selected soundscape no. 1, For 4 Ears CD 305.
1991, Telefonia - a transatlantic performance: selected soundscape no. 2, For 4 Ears CD 408.
1991, Chamber works 1990-92, Random Acoustics RA003.
1991, muntmunt, Blue Tower BTCD04. Three duos with Christian Munthe.
1991, Theoria, Intakt CD024. London Jazz Composers Orchestra.
1991, Frankfurt 1991, Emanem 4051. Iskra 1903.
1992, Flavours, fragments, ITM Classics 950014.
1992, Ohrkiste, ITM Classics 950013.
1992, Binaurality, FMP CD49. King Ubu Orchestru.
1992, Iskra/Nckpa 1903, Maya 9502.
1992, Meetings, Splasc(h). Mario Schiano.
1993, Portraits, Intakt CD 035. London Jazz Composers Orchestra.
1994, Gushwachs, Bead CD002.
1994, The enchanted messenger, Soul Note 121284. The Tony Oxley Celebration Orchestra.
1995, Three pieces for orchestra, Intakt CD 045. London Jazz Composers Orchestra.
1995, Double trouble two, Intakt CD 053. London Jazz Composers Orchestra.
1995, Icarus, FMR CD15-V1298.
1989-1996, Book/Virtual COWWS, FMP OWN90007/9. Various COWWS tracks on Rüdiger Carl compilation.
1995/1996, Lines, Random Acoustics RA022.
1996, Toward the margins, ECM New series 1612. The Evan Parker Electro-Acoustic Ensemble.
1996, The balance of trade, CIMP 114. Paul Lytton Quartet.
1996, Chathuna, Bead CD 03. Solo.
1997, Some other season, ECM 1662. Wachsmann/Lytton duo.
1997, Strings with Evan Parker, Emanem 4302. On one track on this triple-CD.
1997, Gateway '97 Creative sources CS 225. WTTF (Wachsmann/Turner/Thomas/Frangenheim).
1998, Drawn inward, ECM 1693. The Evan Parker Electro-Acoustic Ensemble.
1998, Trigger zone, FMP CD117. King Übü Örchestrü.
1999, Proceedings, Emanem 4201. London Improvisers Orchestra.
1999, Spectral soprano, Emanem 4204. One track by London Improvisers Orchestra on this Lol Coxhill CD.
1999, August steps, Bead CD104. Duo with Teppo Hauta-Aho.
1999, Floating phantoms, aIlIl001. Tony Oxley/The B.I.M.P. Quartet.
2000, The hearing continues..., Emanem 4203. London Improvisers Orchestra.
2000, Lines in Australia, Emanem 4075. Lines.
2000/2001, The needles Leo LR 348/349. Parker/Wachsmann/Hauta-aho.
2001, Freedom of the city 2001: large groups, Emanem 4206. Strings with/without Evan Parker + London Improvisers Orchestra.
2001, Wellsprings suite, Cadence Jazz Records CJR 1176. Quintet Moderne.
2002, Wazahugy, SOFA 508. Wachsmann/Hug/Grydeland/Zach.
2002, Freedom of the city 2002, Emanem 4090. London Improvisers Orchestra.
2002, St Cyprians 3, FMR CD331-0212. Howard Riley/Philipp Wachsmann/Tony Wren.
2002, Free zone Appleby 2002, psi 03.02/3. Octet in various combinations.
2002, Memory/Vision, ECM 1852/038 1172. The Evan Parker Electro-Acoustic Ensemble.
2002, Expanded botanics, Ninth World Music NWM 031. Philipp Wachsmann/Peter Ole Jørgensen/Jakob Riis.
2002, Apparitions Leo LR 408. Stan Adler/Paul Chauncy/Jon Lloyd/Rob Palmer/Philipp Wachsmann.
2002/2003, Startle the echoes, Bead CD05SP. Duo with Matthew Hutchinson.
2002-2005, Composition No. 62: Compilation IV, BF57. Simon H. Fell.
2003, 888, FMR CD123-i0903. Evan Parker/Philipp Wachsmann/Hugh Davies/Eddie Prévost.
2003, Zero plus, Balance Point Acoustics bpa007. Aurora Josephson/Philipp Wachsmann/Jacob Lindsay/Damon Smith/Martin Blume.
2003, Mount Washington, REIFY Recordings RE001.
2003, Pacific 2003, Bead CD07SP. Philipp Wachsmann/Martin Blume duo.
2003, Free zone Appleby 2003, psi 04.05. Octet in various combinations.
2003, Ikebana: London encounters, Emanem 4213. Milo Fine.
2003, The concert: live at Total Music Meeting 2003, a/l/l 008. King Übü Örchestrü.
2003, Refractions in air, Bead CD06SP. Duo with Michael Bunce.
2003, Improvisations for George Riste, psi 08.06. London Improvisers Orchestra.
2003/2004, Responses, reproduction & reality: freedom of the city 2003-4, Emanem 4110. London Improvisers Orchestra.
2004, Freedom of the city 2004: small groups, Emanem 4214.
2004, Free zone Appleby 2004, psi 05.05. Barry Guy/Paul Lytton/Evan Parker/Joel Ryan/Philipp Wachsmann.
2004, The eleventh hour, ECM 1924/987 0854. The Evan Parker Electro-Acoustic Ensemble.
2004, CINC, Okkadisk ODL10009. Lytton/Vandermark/Wachsmann.
2004, Composition/Improvisation Nos. 1, 2 & 3, ECM 1872/171 6989. Rosoce Mitchell and the Tranatlantic Art Ensemble.
2004, Boustrophedon, ECM 1873/175 0054. Evan Parker and the Tranatlantic Art Ensemble.
2005, Freedom of the city 2005, Emanem 4216. In duo with Kjell Bjorgeengen + London Improvisers Orchestra.
2005, Crossing the river, psi 06.02. Evan Parker Octet.
2005, Free zone Appleby 2005, psi 06.06. Gerd Dudek/Tony Levin/Evan Parker/Tony Marsh/Paul Dunmall/Philipp Wachsmann/John Edwards/Kenny Wheeler/Paul Rogers.
2005, Refugium, Ninth World Music NWM 039. Expanded Botanics: Philipp Wachsmann/Peter Ole Jørgensen/Jakob Riis.
2006, Analekta, Emanem 413. John Russell.
2006, Music from Colourdome, psi 07.01.
2006, Free zone Appleby 2006, psi 07.04. Philipp Wachsmann/Rudi Mahall/Aki Takase/Alexander von Schlilppenbach/Evan Parker/Paul Rutherford/Paul Lovens.
2006/07, Gocce stellari, Emanem 5006. Stellari String Quartet.
2007, Separately & together, Emanem 4219. London Improvisers Orchestra/Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra.
2007, The moment's energy, ECM 2066/177 4798. The Evan Parker Electro-Acoustic Ensemble.
2008, Radio rondo/Schaffhausen concert, Intakt CD 158. LJCO/Irène Schweizer.
2008, Harmos, Intakt DVD 151. LJCO.
2010, Lio Leo Leon, psi 11.04. London Improvisers Orchestra.
2014, Berlin Kinesis Creative sources CS 313. WTTF Quartet (Wachsmann/Turner/Thomas/Frangenheim).

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