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Z'EV

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Biography

Z’EV (born Stefan Joel Weisser on February 8, 1951 in Los Angeles, California) is an American poet, percussionist, and sound artist. After studying various world music traditions at CalArts, he began creating his own percussion sounds out of industrial materials for a variety of record labels. He is regarded as a pioneer of industrial music.
In 1983, critic Roy Sablosky wrote: “Z’EV doesn’t just break the rules, he changes them. Journalist Louis Morra wrote in 1983: “Z’EV is a consummate example of contemporary performance art, as well as modern composition and theater. ” and, “Z’EV realizes many of modernist art’s ultimate goals: primitivism, improvisation, multi-media/conjunction of art forms, the artist as direct creator.
His work with text and sound has been influenced by Kabbalah, as well as African, Afro-Caribbean and Indonesian music and culture. He has studied Ewe (Ghana) music, Balinese gamelan, and Indian tala.
From 1959-65 he studied drumming with Arnie Frank, then Chuck Flores and then Art Anton at Drum City in Van Nuys CA.

In 1963 he abandoned Judaism and began his life-long relationship with World religions and esoteric systems.

1964 saw the beginning of his initial attempts at writing Poetry and explorations of both Two and Three dimensional Artforms. Note that some of the Smoke Paintings produced during this period still exist. These were created by manipulating pieces of paper over arrangements of candles to catch the carbon trails.

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