this edition of framework:afield is the second of two shows in memory of the great composer phill niblock, who sadly passed away on january 8th of this year at the age of 90. this is a rebroadcast of a show recorded with phill live in the resonancefm studios in london on the 5th of february, 2007. here again are a few words i wrote for last week’s show, which can be heard at https://frameworkradio.net/2024/01/872-2024-01-14/:
i first met phill here in estonia in 2006 during an art festival in the small village of mooste, and friendship was immediately kindled. this was nothing unusual – phill traveled copiously, and had friends in every corner, and kept in touch with all of us. he had a way of making every one of his friendships feel special, and was somehow able to maintain them all. soon after that first meeting, we were meeting again in the states, and then the uk, and then france. everywhere i went, he seemed to be there. i performed in his loft in new york, and helped organise his performance in london. interviewed him for resonance fm, and hosted him for a brief holiday, with plenty of red wine, in the french countryside. my time with him was always also time with his partner of 22 years, katherine liberovskaya, and often also time with other friends we had both met that summer in estonia, rie nakajima and marie roux, now of the performance group o yama o.
and i haven’t even mentioned his music yet. his oft-quoted description of his own sound begins to sum it up: No harmony. No melody. No rhythm. No bullshit. phill’s sound was massive, and he preferred to listen to it that way, presenting is to live audiences at 110dB. he had definite favorites, which he even presented to me (and many others, i’m sure) on a home-burned cdr with ‘personal faves’ hand-written on it.
i hadn’t seen phill in person in several years, but our last communication was just this past may, in response to the announcement for a show i made featuring sounds from my own home. it was short, succinct, and typical of phill’s communication: