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PRINT April 2009

SOUND

Arthur Russell

The increasing presence of intermedia and cross-disciplinary performance in New York in recent years has been accompanied by renewed interest in its historical legacy, as well as in a number of its central figures—among whom Arthur Russell (1951–1992) must now be counted. Arriving in Manhattan in 1973 to study cello and classical composition, Russell soon became musical director of the Kitchen, where—as an important sponsor of music from Stockhausen to Bootsy Collins—he was instrumental in the downtown scene’s intermingling of genres as diverse as folk, funk, punk, jazz, classical, Minimalism, and disco. For perspective on the person and the place, Artforum invited composers Rhys Chatham and Christian Wolff to reflect on the milieu and the role that Russell—currently the subject of an ongoing series of CD releases from Audika Records—played within it. Chatham’s

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