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Charlemagne Palestine is an American composer, performer, visual, video and installation artist born in Brooklyn. A contemporary of Simone Forti, Barbara T. Smith, Philip Glass, Terry Riley, Phill Niblock, and Steve Reich, Palestine has invented and performed intense, ritualistic musics since the sixties, intended to instill new expectations of beauty and meaning in sound in Western audiences. A composer-performer originally trained to be a cantor in synagogue, he has always performed his own works as soloist. His earliest pieces were compositions for carillon, voice and electronic drones, and he is perhaps best known for his intensely performed piano works, entitled Strummings. Palestine’s performance style is ritualistic and shamanistic. He surrounds himself and his instruments with magical clothes and stuffed animal divinities, and begins every performance playing crystal glasses filled with cognac. In recent years he has been collaborating with many other performer/musicians around the world including Rhys Chatham, Z’ev, Oren Ambarchi, Perlonex, the late Mika Vaino, Gol, Mondkopf, Grumbling Fur among many others. Since 1999 Charlemagne resides in Brussels, Belgium.


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