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Biography

After his debut album, Through the Cardial Window (Kranky, 2006), Kowalsky began composing and performing electro-acoustic music using cassette tapes loops, sine oscillators, mixer feedback, analog synths, contact-mics and various acoustic instrumentation with a focus on multi channel, site-specific works with elements of psychoacoustic phenomena. He is most known for his Tape Chants series, which explores the acoustics where the performances occur by setting up cassette players around the space with tape loops tuned to sine waves using only the cassette players’ speakers for amplification.

Kranky released the first recorded version of Tape Chants in 2009. In 2011 he was commissioned to perform Tape Chants in the WWII Battery Townsley military bunker in the Marin Headlands in Northern California. The performance was recorded and later released on vinyl by Giuseppe Ielasi, who also collaborated on the release entitled Battery Townsley. Kowalsky also collaborated with Dutch Lutist Jozef Van Wissem on Movements Through Marble and Stone (Amish, 2012), which was the final release of the Tape Chants series. The album was a recorded, live performance at Issues Project Room in Brooklyn.

Kowalsky has performed throughout Europe and the United States; participating in festivals such as WDR’s SoundArt-Köln Festival, Mexico City’s Aural Festival, and most recently the Substrata Festival in Seattle, where he performed a commissioned six-channel piece for grand piano and electronics. His recordings have released on Kranky, Thrill Jockey, Rootstrata and Important Records. He has composed for sound installations, film and acoustic ensembles. Date Palms is the collaboration between Kowalsky and Marielle Jakobsons. Their third LP the Dusted Sessions was released by Thrill Jockey in 2013.

He currently resides in Los Angeles after a decade in Oakland, California where he completed a Master of Fine Arts in Electronic Music and Recording Media at Mills College under the tutelage of Fred Frith, Maggie Payne and Pauline Oliveros.

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