Swansea International Festival

Philip Corner and Rhodri Davies

Friday 13 October, 7.30pm

Swansea Studios, University of Wales Trinity St David, Swansea College of Art, 32 Alexandra Road

Final NAWR concert at Swansea International Festival, the legendary Fluxus artist and musician Philip Corner is joined by experimental harpist Rhodri Davies.


(b. 10 April 1933, The Bronx, New York, New York).

American composer, now resident in Italy, of interdisciplinary works that have been performed throughout the world; he is also active as a performer, visual artist and writer.

Mr. Corner studied composition with Mark Brunswick and musicianship and piano with Fritz Jahoda at the City College of New York, where he earned his BA in 1955, and composition with Henry Cowell and Otto Luening at Columbia University, where he earned his MA in 1959. He also studied analysis with Olivier Messiaen at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris from 1955–57, where he earned a deuxième prix, and studied calligraphy with Ki-sung Kim in South Korea in 1960–61. He studied piano privately with Dorothy Taubman in New York, New York from 1961–75.

As a performer of new music, he has been active as a pianist, trombonist and vocalist. He has also played alphorn and various natural objects, including resonant metals. He was drafted into the US Army in 1959 and shipped to South Korea in 1960–61, where he introduced music by himself, as well as John Cage, Olivier Messiaen, Wallingford Riegger, Anton Webern, and other composers. He has participated in various concerts, exhibitions and festivals with the name Fluxus since 1961. He served as a resident composer and musician to the Judson Dance Theater in New York, New York from 1962–64. He co-founded with Malcolm Goldstein and James Tenney the Tone Roads Chamber Ensemble in New York, New York in 1963, a group for contemporary music that performed until 1970. He co-founded with Julie Winter the ensemble for music and ritual Sounds Out of Silent Spaces in New York, New York in 1972 and co-founded with Barbara Benary and Daniel Goode Gamelan Son of Lion in New York, New York in 1976 and often played with each ensemble, as well as with the Experimental Intermedia Foundation in New York, New York. He is featured in the book The Four Suits (1966, Something Else Press) and an overview of his life and work is presented in the book LifeWork: A Unity (1991–93, Frog Peak Music).

As a visual artist, his works have been exhibited in the Americas, Asia and Europe.

As a writer, he has written numerous articles, essays and poems. His major publications include the book I Can Walk through the World as Music (1966, unpublished; 1980, Printed Editions).

He taught piano privately in New York, New York from 1962–68 and taught secondary subjects at the New Lincoln School in New York, New York from 1966–72. He gave courses on the analysis of contemporary music and experimental composition at The New School in New York, New York from 1967–70 and taught contemporary music, music theory and world music at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey from 1972–92.

He has used the pseudonym Gwan Pok – Contemplating Waterfall on occasion. He is married to the dancer Phoebe Neville, with whom he has often collaborated.

He has lived in Italy since 1992.

His publisher is Frog Peak Music.


Rhodri Davies was born in 1971 and lives in Swansea, South Wales. He plays harp, electric harp, live-electronics and builds wind, water, ice, dry ice and fire harp installations. He has released four solo albums: Trem, Over Shadows, Wound Response and An Air Swept Clean of All Distance. His regular groups include: HEN OGLEDD (with Richard Dawson and Dawn Bothwell), Cranc, a duo with John Butcher, The Sealed Knot, Common Objects and a trio with John Tilbury and Michael Duch. He has recorded, toured and/or performed with the following artists: David Sylvian, Jenny Hval, Derek Bailey, Mark Fell, Kahimi Karie, Laura Cannell, Lina Lapelyte, Sachiko M, Bill Orcutt, Jim O’Rourke, Ben Patterson, Christian Marclay and David Toop.

In 2008 he collaborated with the visual artist Gustav Metzger on ‘Self-cancellation’, a large-scale audio-visual collaboration in London and Glasgow. New pieces for solo harp have been composed for him by: Eliane Radigue, Philip Corner, Phill Niblock, Christian Wolff, Alison Knowles, Mieko Shiomi and Yasunao Tone. In 2012 he was the recipient of the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Grants to Artists Award and since 2016 is a Chapter Associate Artist.

Tickets: £8 / £6
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