Summer 2021

At the end of June we in Paris were unconfined by order of our president.

I live in the 6th arrondissement, and on my way to the studio , which is also in the 6th, I must say that it was a pleasure to see everybody outdoors at the cafés on rue Bucci hanging out and enjoying themselves!

The only problem is that everybody was packed together like sardines, and of course no one was wearing masks because, hoorah hoorah, the confinement had been lifted!

rue Bucci, Paris 6

I wish people would exercise a little prudence, the pandemic isn’t over. It’s possible to carry COVID without showing symptoms and give it to other people, which is another good reason for continuing to wear masks.

While it is great that we musicians are starting to play again, I only hope it lasts. The choice today isn’t to get vaccinated or not get vaccinated, the choice is either everyone gets vaccinated or we go into confinement again, back and forth…endlessly!

Anyway, all that to say I finally have some concerts coming up in September! I only hope that they don’t get canceled due to COVID, but we’ll hope for the best…

The Farniente FestivalSaturday, 4 September 2021 – Saint Nazaire, France.

I’ve been working since early July at my studio in the south of France, in the foothills of the Pyrenees, near Céret. I have a solo performance coming up at the Farniente Festival on Saturday, 4th September in Saint Nazaire.

Evidently, the festival will be on the beach! Here are some photos:

Over the last few years, my solo has consisted of me playing Pythagorean Dream, a piece I had been developing since 2007 that was released on Foom Records about five years ago.

Since last July, I’ve been working on a new solo for me on alto and C flute, voice and (of course) electric guitar.

Instead of continuing to work with my analog setup of loops and other devices, I’m doing this piece completely live in Ableton, working with the Push 2 interface. I’m excited about the new sounds I’ve been getting and plan to present an early version of the new piece at the Farniente Festival.

Fields Festival – Saint Petersburg, Russia:

I’m please to be returning to Russia, this time to play at the Fields Festival in Saint Petersburg on Saturday, 19 September 2021.

We’ll be playing G3 with guitarists from the region of Saint Petersburg.

I don’t have the website yet but in the meantime I’ll post a picture from their FB page announcing the concert. As soon as I have the names of the musicians and other details, I’ll post them.

Photo by Sue Rynski – who captured my “bluesman” look…

Spring 2021

We’re still confined, so my projects have consisted of things one can do online. 

I’ve been working with electronic image artist Angie Eng doing music for her a multisensory installation entitled Kosmorganic Art. We hope to have documentation on that in the coming weeks.

Another new project is with choreographer Yves Musard, who is currently based in Marseilles.  We’ve been working together virtually on a film featuring Yves and my music.

I’ve also been working on a series of short videos with installation artist Raphaele Shirley, here’s a short video of a piece she mounted that I added music to:

There is discussion of possible performances for the late spring and summer, but of course nothing is firm due to Covid.

I’m looking forward to performing live again. In that spirit, here is an excerpt of a performance I did in Paris, pre-Covid:

Pythagorean Dream (excerpt).

Other spring news:

There is a vinyl record in the works with the label SubRosa, it is a duo with me and the dearly recent departed Ghédalia Tazartès, scheduled to be released over the summer. I’ll announce the precise date as the time approaches.

I’m interested in doing sound tracks for films during these Covid times, so if you have a project the would benefit from a soundtrack by us, by all means let us know. I’m currently working with electronic sound, transverse flutes and of course electric guitar. Trumpet is on hold at present due to dental work.

I can be contacted through my agent, Pascal Tippex. Write to:


Winter 2021

Here’s for a better 2021!

Things are already looking up in the States with the change in administration. In Europe the Covid-19 vaccine is being distributed slowly.  Hopefully by the springtime we’ll be able to start thinking about live concerts again.

I’m currently working on various collaborations that I can do over the internet. I’m also developing a new solo that involves electronics with flute and electric guitar.  I hope to be posting some samples and snippets of this work on this page and elsewhere on the internet in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, below you will find an excerpt from a reading from Howl that I will soon be releasing.

The second short video, “3by3by3 (revisited”), draws from an ongoing collaboration between Rhys Chatham, Gh Hovagimyan and Raphaele Shirley.

Rhys Chatham Autumn 2020 news

We started the season off with the presentation of a dance theater piece by Pascal Gravat.  I worked on the music all summer and we put the finishing touches on the piece at Théâtre Galpon in Geneva, rehearsing every day there the first two weeks of September.

The performances were on 15-20 September, which we were able to do despite Covid-19 by practicing strict social distancing and everybody wearing masks.

I was lucky, I arrived in Geneva from Pars just before the quarantine on people living in France, so I didn’t have to isolate during the rehearsals, although I wear a mask.

Here was the lineup:

Chorégraphie Pascal Gravat
Danse Pascal Merighi
Musique Rhys Chatham
Lumière Loïc Rivoalan
Collaboration à la chorégraphie Mélissa Cascarino
Costumes Toni Teixeira
Administration Anaïde Ohannessian
Image Pascal Gravat

Here is a link to a film excerpt of the piece:

And here are some photos:


Other news:

I am back in Paris, where we are largely in quarantine.  I recently did some music for a sound sculpture by the visual artist Angie Eng, which is now finished. All my tours and concerts have been canceled, so I am actively looking for work.

If you have a project that needs music, this would be a good time to ask me. For enquiries, contact me at

Rhys Chatham – Summer News

Here is where I was on the first day of summer last year, or maybe it was the year before.  Anyway, it was a performance of les 100 guitares in Le Havre, France.  Photo is by Anonia Enos.

For this year, we are, of course, just coming out of lockdown here in France.  I spent the spring working on a piece for choreographer Pascal Gravat, to be presented in Geneva this September.  Further details to be announced.

For other news, a piece I wrote back in 2016 has finally been released!  It is about 10-minutes and is called “For Bob”.  It is a piece written in memory of the composer Robert Ashley, who was a composer I looked up to while coming of age.

It’s finally out on vinyl as part of a double compilation album with various artists, the proceeds of which benefit the Alzheimer’s Association, you can give it a listen at the link below.

The limited vinyl edition is for USD$ 50 (or more), the CD version is $30, and the MP3 (and similar) version is $25.

Here is the link to order it:  The Longest Day Order link.

Aside from that, in related news, I’ve decided to get back to my roots in electronic music.  Back in the nineties, I did extensive programming in Max and performed widely at the time on trumpet and interactive electronics programmed in Max.  At the start of the mid-2000s I decided to get back into electric guitar and abandoned electronic music at that point… until now!

So this summer, I’ll be getting back into electronic music with a view to having a new live set ready to go for the autumn involving electronic sounds combined with the various live instruments that I play.

Watch these pages for updates!

For booking any of my projects, from les 100 guitares, to my various smaller ensembles, to my solo and duo projects, you can contact us at this address:


Or for Europe and France contact Pascal at Julie Tippex

Rhys Chatham – winter 2020 news

In December I did a duo concert with Ghédalia Tazartes at the Théâtre Municipal Berthelot Jean-Guérrin in Montreuil, France.  The house was packed and we had a great time, here is a link to an excerpt from the concert:

For booking or enquiries about this concert or my other projects, you can contact Pascal at Julie Tippex Arts and Music Agency for European booking, or for outside Europe you can contact us at Rhys Chatham contact.

For upcoming projects, I have been commissioned to do the music for a new work by Pascal Gravat entitled Quelqu’un d’autre, to be premiered at  Théatre Galpon in Geneva this April featuring the danser Pascal Merighi, with staging by Syvie Kleiber.  More on this as the date approaches!

I recently got together to play with the organist Hampus Lindwall, who plays the organ at Eglise Saint-Esprit in Paris.  We did a jam to see how the timbres would mix between the instruments that I play and the organ, we thought that it sounded quite well.  Here is a brief excerpt to give you an idea:

We plan to continue this collaboration, normally culminating in recordings and performances in the not-to-distant future.

For the moment, I am putting my nose to the grindstone and working on the commission for Pascal Gravat, stay tuned to these pages for more news and music!


Ghedalia Tazartes / Rhys Chatham duo -Sunday 1 December 2019 – 20:00

Dimanche 1er décembre à 20 h – Théâtre Municipal Berthelot – Jean-Guérrin.  8€ – Métro Croix de Chavaux – Montreuil

Ghedalia Tazartes / Rhys Chatham

Ce concert marque la deuxième rencontre de deux figures légendaires.
Beaucoup revendiquent un cinéma pour l’oreille, dans cette catégorie, Ghédalia Tazartès est de loin le plus grand de tous. Sa musique assemble des éléments sonores de toutes natures et de toutes provenances … entre Orient et Occident ou on ne sait où. “ (Dominique Grimaud). Rhys Chatham, multi-instrumentiste et compositeur, n’a pas besoin d’être présenté (Theatre of Eternal Music de La Monte Young, Dream Syndicate de Tony Conrad en passant par le poste de direc- teur musical de The Kitchen et la scène de musique expérimentale post-Minimal New Yorkaise

Musiques Imaginaires
un programme de 8 films réalisé par Marie-Pierre Bonniol autour de l’idée de musiques imaginaires, incarnées, transfor- mées, avec des musiques et morceaux de Pierre Bastien, Asmus Tietchens, Jean-Jacques Palix et Eve Couturier.

Rhys Chatham – End of fall update: photos from recent ISSUE project concerts.

Here are some photos from the recent ISSUE Project Room concerts from early October 2019.  See the post from September (below) for the complete program.

The show started with a duo of Jonathan Kane on drums and Zeena Parkins on electric harp and electronics, followed by a flute solo by Rhys Chatham (me).  After the solo, we played a commissioned piece entitled The Sun Too Close to the Earth.

I’ll be posting photos from the commissioned piece shortly, as well as announcements concerning upcoming Rhys Chatham concerts.

For now, I’ll post photos of the flute solo, taken by Cameron Kelly McLeod:


Rhys Chatham – Fall 2019 News – NYC Issue project performance.

photo: Isabelle Forestier


October 4th & 5th, ISSUE is pleased to present the world premiere of The Sun Too Close to the Earth, an expansive new work by iconoclast composer and multi-instrumentalist Rhys Chatham. Commissioned by ISSUE and presented as a part of the French Institute Alliance Française’s (FIAF) thirteenth annual Crossing the Line Festival, the piece spans Chatham’s aesthetic concerns across thirty years of composing for electric guitar ensembles, as well as the minimalist and free jazz traditions that grew out of NYC’s downtown music scene.

The Sun Too Close to the Earth is a fully notated composition, combined with improvisational elements, written for a nine-person ensemble with electric guitars in special tunings, horns, keyboard, and percussion. The ensemble features many ISSUE friends and luminaries within the Downtown NYC experimental music scene, including Jonathan Kane, Anthony Coleman, Ernie Brooks, and Karen Haglof, as well as Jaimie Branch, Anna Roberts-Gevalt, Sarah Register, Reut Regev, and Jen Baker.

In this piece, Chatham draws from his roots composing for electric guitar ensembles of widely varying forces, incorporating the overtone drenched minimalism of the early 1960s with the relentless elemental fury of the Ramones — the textual intricacies of the classical avant-garde colliding with the visceral punch of punk rock. The Sun Too Close to the Earth combines these influences with Chatham’s more recent experience as a wind player, deploying extended playing techniques inherited from the glory days of the minimalist and free jazz period of New York’s East Village in the early 1970s.

Until now, Rhys has kept the two strains of composition in separate camps. With The Sun Too Close to the Earth, Chatham blends these two bodies of work into one, to arrive at a “post-urban” music that reflects the artist’s concern for the ravages of climate change and the senseless destruction of our planet.

Chatham also performs the North American premiere of his 20-minute solo work Le Possédé for bass flute. The piece continues Chatham’s explorations of the possibilities offered by the early minimalist period of downtown Manhattan. During the early 1970s, Chatham played in La Monte Young’s Theater of Eternal Music, with Tony Conrad in an early version of The Dream Syndicate, and in trio formation with Charlemagne Palestine and Tony Conrad. Chatham draws on these experiences to arrive at a musical vocabulary which is reminiscent of this exciting period in New York, transforming the sound in a way that could only happen in the present decade.

Renowned experimental musicians Zeena Parkins and Jonathan Kane also perform the world premiere of On, Suzanne, dedicated to ISSUE’s founder Suzanne Fiol. Inspired by the poem Some ‘American Sentences’ On Suzanne by the late Holly Anderson, the event marks the first ever collaboration of these two legends of Downtown NYC music.


On, Suzanne
Harp: Zeena Parkins
Drums: Jonathan Kane

Le Possédé
Bass flute: Rhys Chatham


The Sun Too Close to the Earth
Electric guitars: Karen Haglof, Anna Roberts-Gevalt, Sarah Register
Electric bass: Ernie Brooks
Drums: Jonathan Kane
Electric keyboard: Anthony Coleman
Trumpet: Jaimie Branch
Trombones: Jen Baker, Reut Regev
Conductor: Rhys Chatham