born 1955, Philippe Micol has his roots in the french
part of Switzerland, born in Basel and moving to Bern in 1961 he always
lived in the german part of the country until his moving to Germany in
the end of the nineties.
His interest for music on the one hand and for the scientific
approach on the other hand leads him to study music as an instrumentalist
- clarinet - and to establish a focus on the new and experimental musical
tendencies of the time.
1981 after the end of his studies a first extension
of his sound means happens with the soprano and a short time later with
the tenor saxophone. This is accompanied by the appropriation and development
of own new instrumental techniques. The most advanced streams in the
european and american improvised music become decisive sources of inspiration.
1990 there is a second extension with the bass clarinet.
The meeting with
composer Simon Beyeler 1975 and with the composers, pianists and interprets
of experimental music Urs Peter Schneider and Erika Radermacher in 1978
have a formative effect as has the begin of the collaboration with the
improvisers Ruedi Bühler and Franz Aeschbacher with whom Micol founds
the "Werkstatt für improvisierte Musik Bern - WIM" in 1982.
Later important collaborations happen 1987 with Malcolm Goldstein and
1991 with Frederic Rzewski.
His working on the development of the concept
of free improvisation is from 1986 on accompanied by compositional activities.
The increasing interest for the confrontation of improvising and composing
and the interaction between form and flow leads him to realize the project "improvisation
He goes into Cages idea of indeterminacy and into the field of concept-music.
concerned with the notion of the encounter of different centers of activity
in space and in time he gets from 1991 on into collaborations with performance-artists
as Verena Schwab, Marion Leyh, the ensemble "Stop
Performance Theater" led by Norbert Klassen and Janet Hauffler and the
european performer-group "Black Market International" led by Boris
He starts to develop compositions for sound-installations.
From 1994 onwards there is a development of this topic due to the collaboration
with video-artist Ruth Bamberg. In these activities the idea of bringing
together free and independent elements which interfere with each other
plays a central role. They realise together a video, a number of sound/video-installations
as well, publish two CD-productions and a book.
Philippe Micol is currently
heard as an improviser an interpret of experimental music. He has been
and still is involved in numerous musical and also pluridisciplinarian
projects of other musicians and artists.
He has been a member of the pioneering
swiss group "Ensemble Neue
Horizonte Bern" and founded the conceptual duo "Wie er mir, so
ich ihm" with Urs Peter Schneider. Furthermore he was involved in the
trios "Voerkel/Micol/Widmer", "Drei Narzissen" with Urs
Peter Schneider and Franz Aeschbacher, "CBS" with David Gattiker
and Mich Gerber, "Goldstein/Micol/Aeschbacher", "Wäldele/Micol/Rihs", "Neighbours
in sound" mit Fred Lonberg-Holm und Michael Zerang, in the Duos "Schweig&Still" with
Markus Eichenberger, "Micol/Oberg", "MZ 16" with Joachim
Zoepf, "Silk thunder" with Michael Lytle, in the sextett "Double
You Sea Fields" with Jim Staley, Ikue Mori, Davey Williams, Markus Eichenberger,
Jürgen Krusche and in the "Ensemble Echtzeit" mit Melvyn Poore,
Erhard Hirt, Thomas Lehn, Stefan Keune, Paul Lytton, Gunda Gottschalk,
He has stayed in Berlin in 1984 and some years later in
1993/94 a stipendium by the Kanton Bern has enabled him to be in New
York City where he has met and collaborated with Fred Lonberg-Holm, Michael
Lytle, Jim Staley, Gregg Bendian, Lisle Ellis, Paul Plimley, Borah Bergman,
Evan Gallagher, Sean G. Meehan, William Winant, Davey Williams, Paul
Hoskin and others.
After moving to Nordrhine-Westfalia he begins to work with musicians
from Germany and the Nederlands like Erhard Hirt, Joachim Zoepf, Wolfgang
Schliemann, Stefan Keune, Uwe Oberg, Jaap Blonk, Thorsten Töpp, Jan
Keller, Claus van Bebber.
In NRW he also gets into electronic and computer
music matters attending 1998-2001 to courses of lectures at the ICEM, the
electronic music studio of the Folkwang Hochschule in Essen, given by Ludger
Neuhaus and others. The study of programming languages as LISP, Csound
and MAX/MSP is used in compositions for sound/video-installations and projects
focussing on the interactive soundprocessing of acoustic sound sources.
"PSAXD - composition for tenorsaxophone and interactive
developped between 2002 and 2005 in collaboration with Axel Vent, Essen
16 - experimental wind music in high powers", Duo with Joachim
"Clarinets and Saxophones at work", Philippe Micol
two phases of the dynamic music-mix of the sound/video-installation "Musik
ist in 2" in collaboration with Ruth Bamberg, 2 CDs NurNichtNur 2005
UMGANG MIT DEM ZUFALL"
book related to the sound/video-installation "Musik ist In", in
german, AutorenVerlag Matern, distributed by Libri, published by Ruth
Micol, ISBN 3-929899-79-5, ISMN M-700016-90-6
CD related to the sound/video-installation "Musik ist In", with
Ruth Bamberg, NurNichtNur 2000
"7 BLÜTEN" duets with Uwe Oberg
in Cologne, CD, 1998
Compilation-CD of Unit-Records, Unit-Records, UTR 5000 CD, 1997
28 minutes for 28 musicians, produced by WIM-Zürich,
"LIFE IN MONTREAL&TORONTO", trio Goldstein/Micol/Aeschbacher,
1993, Arche Z CD 003, 1996
four solos and a trio, NYC 1993/94, Unit-Records UTR 4092 CD, 1996
encounters 1993/94 in NYC with Gregg Bendian, Jim Staley, Michael Lytle,
Paul Plimley, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Sean. G. Meehan, Paul Hoskin, Lisle
Ellis, William Winant, Unit-Records UTR 4091 CD, 1996
"10 WIM PERN"
Compilation-CD 'Werkstatt für Improvisierte Musik - WIM' Bern, Unit
Rec UTR-4047 CD, 1992
"SECHSTEL", trio with Urs Voerkel (piano)
und Jacques Widmer (drms), Unit Rec UTR-4025 LP, 1987
"26 C4 KOMBINATION"
trio tracks with Irène Schweizer and Urs Voerkel,
Compilation CD 'Werkstatt für Improvisierte Musik - WIM' Zürich,
UnitRec UTR-4020 LP, 1986
"ENSEMBLE NEUE HORIZONTE - HISTORISCHE AUFNAHMEN 1968-1998",
Migros-Genossenschafts-Bund CTS-M76 (Set), CH 2002
"URS PETER SCHNEIDER:
Babel, Chorbuch, Studien, Orchesterbuch",
Grammont CTS-P 34-2, CH 1991
"URS PETER SCHNEIDER: Kompositionen 1955-1988",
Zytglogge Verlag ZYT 4282, CH 1990
"... Philippe Micol is a tinkerer, a researcher, a seeker,
not somebody who puts definitive opinions, to whom this or that kind
of sound would have its absoluteness. Micol is more of a juggler, a mobile
"His approach is that of a musician after Evan Parker and John
Noglik, Die Wochenzeitung, Switzerland
"Micol cultivates a very reflecting
and fundamental dealing not only with his instrument, but with his musical
world on the whole." Der Bund,
"Of course, the music of Philippe Micol isn't Jazz - doesn't pretend
to be, doesn't need to be. Its improvised, though, and it shares the
sense of exhilarating freedom that's a defining characteristic of Jazz at
its best. A freedom that's used by a serious artist dedicated to making his
singular voice heard." Chris Kelsey, Cadence, USA
"All of the five works about
improvisation are perfectly structured and never become as many similar
other project a victim of academical objectivity." Swiss
"There's not only the soprano, there's also a light within
these "Improvisationsstudien" which
goes through the sound of every instrument he is playing and touches
you in many ways." Norberto Gimelfarb, Improjazz, France
About "New York Interviews":
"His "New York Interwiews",
in which he has musical conversations with noted improvising musicians
and his own "Improvisationsstudien" as
well are refreshing music-to-listen-to of the first water." Dresdner
Neuste Nachrichten, Germany
"The structure of music and the process of
its making get one - there are musical responses falling to never asked
"In groups of two and tree players eleven utmost inspired "conversations" have
been captured on tape, in which communication and time, more accurately
the shaping of time are the two main subjects." Revelations