Bischoff, John, innovative American composer, live- electronic music performer, and programmer; b. San Francisco, Dec. 7, 1949. He studied composition at the San Francisco Cons, of Music (1968–70), Calif. Inst. of the Arts (B.F.A., 1971), and Mills Coll. (M.F.A., 1973), where he received the Elizabeth Mills Crothers Prize in Composition (1973). His teachers in composition and electronic music have included Robert Moran, James Tenney, and Robert Ashley. From 1975 to 1992 he served as head technician and a faculty member at the City Coll. of San Francisco, and in 1992 he joined the faculty at Mills Coll. as an instructor and studios coordinator for its Center for Contemporary Music. He also serves as treasurer of Ubu Inc./Artifact Recordings in Berkeley (from 1989). Beginning in 1973, Bischoff created electronic music for both himself as solo performer and for computer network bands, and from 1976 toured widely, appearing throughout the U.S. and Europe; in 1998 he performed at the seventh International Festival of Electroacoustic Music in Havana, Cuba. He was a founding member of The League of Automatic Music Composers, the first computer network band, and in 1985 became a founding member of The Hub, a computer music band whose members design and build their own hardware and software instruments. He has also contributed several seminal articles on digital music, artistic software design, and computer applications to several respected journals. In 1989 he began creating software tools using the HMSL language which enable him to execute random searches for sonic textures on a MIDI synthesizer, and to recall and transform those textures in a strikingly idiomatic fashion. A sampling of such works comprise his noteworthy CD recording The Glass Hand (1996), lauded by critics as “transcending the mechanical and suffused with an organic quality”
—Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire
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