These two discs represent some of Gen Ken Montgomery’s sound art and compositional work from 1981-2001. Pondfloorsample is a collection of sonic explorations utilizing common devices meant to hold something other than sound. As with much of his sound work, the sonic material contains many sounds of everyday life. Having composed extensively for multi-channels, Pondfloorsample was specifically designed as a stereo audio piece enabling Montgomery to reach a larger audience.
“His work always begins with listening to the world. He works within processes, defining a set of conditions by which a piece will unfold itself. Sometimes he takes the familiar – sounds of icebreakers, radiators, laminators, egg slicers, bath drains, etc. – amplifying their familiarity, all the time asking us to hear the world a little differently. Other times he constructs a vapor of mesmerizing sound that is entirely disassociated with things that you know or instruments that can be visualized. These are sounds that you can see. He has a Cagian appreciation of ambient noise.
“Although never a formal “student” of the academic “New York School” – the tradition of Cage and Tudor followed by Lucier, Behrman, Mumma, Collins, Kuivila, DeMarinis and others – he is an influential artist in this field. He created his own school, so to speak, of do-it-yourself electronics, assimilating the works of the aforementioned artists and complementing them with his own inside experience of New York performance music. And then there is the bridge he makes to European techno roots; his longtime friendship with Conrad Schnitzler and frequent audio projects for German audiences and galleries. He listens, assimilates, creates, and paints new experiences with sound.” – Thom Holmes (from the liner notes)
Gen Ken Montgomery (b. 1957) is a sound artist living and working in New York since 1978.
Without formal training in music and art, Montgomery has been deeply involved in the experimental music and art scene in New York City and abroad. With roots in Mail Art and cassette culture networking, Montgomery has been involved internationally as a sound artist and as a presenter of sound art.
As an artist Gen Ken Montgomery¹s sound works have been heard on tape, vinyl and CD. He has composed sound for film, video, theater and installations. He has performed solo and collaborated with many other artists. Of special interest has been the creation and presentation of multi-channel sound works performed or exhibited in total darkness. Whether as an artist or as a presenter, Montgomery¹s greatest inspiration has been the creation of spaces for listening.
As a producer, Montgomery was one of the original founders of Generations Unlimited and the Pogus Productions labels of experimental music, and in 1989, founded Generator, the first sound art gallery in New York City. Montgomery has been a guest curator and has assisted other curators for a variety of projects specializing in sound art and experimental music. Presently he co-directs Generator Sound Art Inc., a resource for sound art.
Montgomery has been selected for Artist Residencies at SpritzenHaus in Hamburg, Germany and Harvestworks Studio P.A.S.S. in New York City. He was the recipient of Experimental Television Center¹s Finishing Funds grant in 2001, Media Alliance Sound Art Fellowship in 2000, and The Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts grant in 1992. He has performed in solo concerts and collaborations at The Whitney Museum, Roulette, Experimental Intermedia Foundation, The Kitchen, and P.S. 122, among others.