Styles: Ambient, Avant-Garde, Sound Art
One of the few musicians with ties to the unrelated but somewhat connected fields of contemporary avant-garde, techno and indie-rock, Thomas Koner has released albums of sparse ambience for the Barooni label, recorded similarly skeletal and lo-fi techno (with Andy Mellwig) as Porter Ricks, and appeared on albums by Bill Laswell's Divination as well as Sonic Boom's EAR collective. A native of the Netherlands, Koner began recording with 1991's Nunatak Gongamur, the first in a series of LPs for the Dutch Barooni label. The next two, Teimo and Permafrost, were later collected onto one disc by Mille Plateaux, and followed by Aubrite in 1996. That same year, Koner appeared on Distill, an album by the Bill Laswell-based ambient-dub project Divination - which called a roll of experimentalist composers, including Paul Schutze, Pete Namlook, Anton Fier, Haroumi Hosono, Mick Harris and Tetsu Inoue. Also lending his name - literally - to an EAR (Experimental Audio Research) album titled The Koner Experiment, he produced the work with rhythm and programming help from Andy Mellwig. Mellwig and Koner had already recorded several EPs of shadowed techno as Porter Ricks (later collected on the Chain Reaction quasi-compilation Biokinetics). The Koner solo effort Kaamos followed in 1998.
-John Bush (All Music Guide)
Thomas Koner, born 1965, attended the Music college in Dortmund and studied electronic music at the CEM-Studio in Arnhem. Until 1994 he worked with film sound as sound engineer. 2000 the Montreal International Festival New Cinema New Media awarded him the ''New Media Prize''. While studying, he dedicated himself to intensive sound research in the recording studio. His first impulse consisted in avoiding rhythm and melody and focusing instead on the phenomenon of sound colour. To intensify the experience of sound, he decided to work with other media, resulting at first in the collaboration with film artist Jurgen Reble and the live performance Alchemie (1992). Following this, he started to compose film soundtracks and electronic live music to accompany old silent films for the Louvre Museum, Paris. Koner's interest in combining visual and auditory experiences and in extending the effectiveness of his sound works was conducive to an involvement with installation work and led to the collaboration with Max Eastley in which the combination between sound sculpture and performance became central. ''List Of Japanese Winds'' , a collaboration of Max Eastley and Thomas Koner, is an installation piece that was commissioned by the Hayward Gallery, London. The Centre Georges Pompidou commissioned him the sound work for an installation with filmmaker Yann Beauvais. Another field of sound exploration and radical sound design presents itself in today's club culture, which Koner sees as an ideal milieu for intensive and physical listening. The nautical view evokes a clear vision, something freeing. The club as a diving platform, and techno as a nautical sound experience, a project that lies between clubs and art. We value the club culture and the expressions it makes possible, especially the idea of dance culture. Sound is actually more important than elsewhat. The experience of sound, the sensual possibility of diving into the sound. The independence of tonal events and processes are foremost for us, and their immediate perception. The raw experience of the senses, is the greatest instant of intensity, as soon as you begin to reflect, the intensity of the aural experience diminishes instantly.. It's about the real connection of music and semantics. In a sense, dance to us creates a pansensoric dimension.