Phill Niblock (born 2 October 1933, in Anderson, Indiana) is a minimalist composer, filmmaker, videographer, and director of Experimental Intermedia, a foundation for avant-garde music based in New York. Phill Niblock's music usually consists of simultaneous drones created from tape (later computer) manipulations of recorded pitches performed by instrumentalists such as Rafael Toral, David First, Lee Ranaldo, and Thurston Moore, on Guitar Too, for Four (G2,44+1x2); and Ulrich Krieger, on Touch Food.
Phill Niblock's music usually consists of simultaneous drones created from tape (later computer) manipulations of recorded pitches performed by instrumentalists such as Rafael Toral, David First, Lee Ranaldo, and Thurston Moore, on Guitar Too, for Four (G2,44+1x2); and Ulrich Krieger, on Touch Food.
Phill Niblock creates thick, loud, atonal drones of music, filled with microtones of instrumental timbres that generate many other overtones by pulsing against each other in the performance space. Simultaneously, he presents films/videos that look at the movement of people working, or computer-driven, black-and-white abstract images floating through time. Since the mid-1960s, he has been making music and intermedia performances that have been shown at numerous venues around the world. His musical works are notated as actual frequencies (cycles per second) and often transform slowly from consonance to dissonance or the reverse. Since 1985, he has been the director of the Experimental Intermedia Foundation in New York where he has been an artist/member since 1968. He is the producer of Music and Intermedia presentations at EI since 1973 (about 1000 performances) and the curator of EI's XI Records label. Unlike Charlemagne Palestine, whose approach to works of sustained sound is similar, Niblock works with absolute pitches, while Palestine generally works with tonal clusters. During performance instrumentalists often accompany the playback of recorded tracks adding subtle colorations to the music. Since 2003, Niblock frequently tours and collaborates with electroacoustic improviser Thomas Ankersmit.
Phill Niblock's music is available on the XI, Moikai, Mode, and Touch Records labels. A DVD of films and music is available on the Extreme label, and his film The Magic Sun, an abstract, avant-garde film featuring the music of Sun Ra and members of the Sun Ra Arkestra, is available on DVD from Atavistic Records.
He has released three albums on Touch Records, a UK label: Touch Works, Touch Food, and Touch Three.