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Artists Christof Migone

Christof Migone is a multidisciplinary artist and writer. His work and research delves into language, voice, bodies, performance, intimacy, complicity, endurance. He co-edited the book and CD Writing Aloud: The Sonics of Language (Los Angeles: Errant Bodies Press, 2001) and his writings have been published in Aural Cultures, S:ON, Experimental Sound & Radio, Musicworks, Radio Rethink, Semiotext(e), Angelaki, Esse, Inter, etc. He obtained an MFA from NSCAD in 1996 and a PhD from the Department of Performance Studies at the Tisch School of the Arts of New York University in 2007. He has released six solo audio cds on various labels (Avatar, ND, Alien 8, Locust, Oral). He has curated a number of events: Touch that Dial (1990), Radio Contortions (1991), Rappel (1994), Double Site (1998), stuttermouthface (2002), Disquiet (2005), START (2007) and STOP (2008). He has performed at Beyond Music Sound Festival (Los Angeles), kaaistudios (Brussels), Resonance FM (London), Nouvelles Scènes (Dijon), On the Air (Innsbruck), Ménagerie de Verre (Paris), Experimental Intermedia (NYC), Méduse (Québec), Victoriaville Festival, Oboro, Casa del Popolo, Théâtre La Chapelle, etc. His installations have been exhibited at the Banff Centre, Rotterdam Film Festival, Gallery 101, Art Lab, eyelevelgallery, Forest City Gallery, Studio 5 Beekman, Mercer Union, CCS Bard. He has collaborated with Lynda Gaudreau, Martin Tétreault, Tammy Forsythe, Alexandre St-Onge, Michel F Côté, Gregory Whitehead, Set Fire To Flames, and Fly Pan Am. A monograph on his work, Christof Migone — Sound Voice Perform, was published in 2005. In 2006, the Galerie de l’UQAM presented a retrospective on his work accompanied by a catalog and a DVD entitled Christof Migone — Trou. He currently lives in Toronto and is a lecturer at the University of Toronto Mississauga and the Director/Curator of the Blackwood Gallery.


Christof Migone

Geneva (Switzerland), 1964

Residence: Toronto (Ontario, Canada)

  • Composer
  • Performer (voice, electronics)
  • Author
  • Writer

Associated groups

On the web

Christof Migone [Photo: Christof Migone]
  • Christof Migone [Photo: Crys Cole]
  • Christof Migone [Photo: Paul Litherland]
  • Christof Migone [Photo: Paul Litherland]
  • Christof Migone [Photo: Micah Donovan]
  • Christof Migone [Photo: Éric Mattson]
  • Christof Migone [Photo: Daniel Brozek]

Main releases

Ambiances Magnétiques / AM 262, AM 262_NUM / 2021
Squint Press / SQUINT 00H / 2004
Oral / ORAL 03 / 2003
Locust Music / LOCUST 1 / 2001
OHM / Avatar / AVTR 005 / 1996


Various artists
OHM / Avatar / AVTR 044 / 2008
Alien8 Recordings / ALIEN 50 / 2005
[Independent] / OBQA 0102, OBQA 0102_INS / 2005
Wired on Words / WOWCD 009 / 2005
&records / ET 02 / 2004

In the press

  • Lawrence Joseph, Signal to Noise, no. 51, September 1, 2008
  • Schepper, Grooves, no. 11, August 1, 2003
    Electroacoustic sets were offered by the nuanced Coin Gutter and sampling artist Diane Labrosse and Aimé Dontigny, whose collaboration resulted in a tactile, improvisatory dialogue.
  • Fabrice Eglin, Revue & Corrigée, no. 52, June 1, 2002
    … dans cette monotonie lumineuse surgissent heurts et séismes scintillants, présence diaphane de la multiplicité des matières à embras(s)er…

Live Reviews: Suoni per il Popolo

Lawrence Joseph, Signal to Noise, no. 51, September 1, 2008

The eighth annual Suoni per il Popolo spanned a month and covered a huge range of musical genres. Over 50 concerts took place in two venues located across the street from each other in Montréal’s artist-filled Mile End neighborhood. It gave fans of free jazz, experimental rock, avant folk, contemporary classical, electronic, and improvised musics plenty to get excited about. Add a workshop with the Sun Ra Arkestra, street performance art, DJ sets and an outdoor day of music and children’s activities, and you have an unbeatably eclectic event. […]

The festival kicked off with two shows that exemplified what it does best. The more intimate Casa del Popolo was the venue for a free jazz blowout with saxophonist Glen Hall, bassist Dominic Duval, and drummer William Hooker, […] Hall keeps a relatively low profile, despite having studied with Ligeti and Kagel and played with the likes of Roswell Rudd, Jimmy Giuffre and John Scofield. The compositions in the first set paid tribute to some of his influences, while the second set shifted to freely improvised territory, with Montréal’s young trumpet luminary Gordon Allen sitting in to add blistering sound blasts and overblowing to the mix. At times this resembled the more noise-based music Hooker has made with Thurston Moore. […]

Allen was a fixture at the festival, playing in seven shows during the month, including guitarist Rainer Wiens’ version of Riley’s In C.

Another evening featured the debut of All Up In There, a trio of Allen, Michel F Côté on percussion, and Frank Martel on Theremin. Martel often played the theremin as if it were a stand-up bass, while Côté, when not playing kit, obtained a surprising variety of sounds from winging two mics around Pignose amps. The overall effect was more like a group of virtuosic Martians than a standard jazz trio. […]

Christof Migone’s performance piece Hit Parade took place outside on a busy Saint-Laurent Boulevard, taking over the sidewalk and one lane of traffic. Eleven people lay face down on the pavement, each pounding a microphone into the ground exactly one thousand times, at varying speeds. The sound of a giant asynchronous metronome prompted ironic thoughts in this listener about the usual meaning of the phrase “hit music,” and about pounding the pavement as a metaphor for life. […]

The Quatuor Bozzini, a string quartet dedicated to contemporary music, performed a selection of pieces by experienced improviser/composers. Malcolm Goldstein’s four-part structured improvisation A New Song of Many Faces for in These Times (2002) was by turns gentle and harsh, agitated and introspective, as melodic and rhythmic fragments were passed from one member of the quartet to another. Goldstein himself performed Hardscrabble Songs, a 13-minute solo piece for voice and violin. Jean Derome and Joane Hétu’s Le mensonge et l’identité (“Lies and Identity”) is an hour-long tour de force with a strong socio-political component. The Bozzinis’ spoken contributions (both live and on prerecorded tape) ranged from pithy quotes from philosophers and politicians to personal anecdotes. The music deliberately unraveled into chaos, the players moving music stands and chairs about the room in response to unsynchronized metronomes, tipping over stands as the scores on them were completed. […]

Mutek 2003 review

Schepper, Grooves, no. 11, August 1, 2003

As in previous years, the range of artists and genres represented at Mutek 2003 was considerable. With over 70 artists from around the world appearing, one had the opportunity to see ‘marquee’ acts like Pole, Coil, and Richie Hawtin, as well as uncompromising artists like Pita, Kevin Drumm, and T. Raumschmiere. Unlike past Muteks, DJ sets were almost entirely absent at this year’s festival (although, for the record, past DJ sets had often been used to bridge the gaps between non-DJ performances). And, in comparison to last year’s ambitious potpourri of concerts, panel discussions, films, and design displays, the 2003 incarnation limited itself to concerts and panel discussions, with seven of the latter. In short, this year felt like a satisfying consolidation of past festivals’ strengths instead of grandiose risk-taking.

There were label showcases by Mego, No Type, and Minus/Plus 8, and sets of dubby microhouse from EGG (Julien Roy and Guillaume Coutu-Dumont), smooth minimal techhouse from Robin Judge and Jeff Milligan (aka Algorithm and Revolver label head), hard-hitting minimal techno by Ototo (Dimitri and Filip), Jeremy Caulfield, and Matthew Dear (aka False), the latter’s music evoking classic Chain Reaction stylings in its treble and bass detailing. Drone and ambient musics were presented, the most notable instance being the appearance by Thomas Köner and Asmus Tietchens (performing as Kontakt Der Jünglinge) who sculpted a slowly unfurling glacial soundscape. Other artists in this genre included Gary Joynes (aka Clinker), who built a singular drone-like piece of slowly metamorphosing waves, and [sic] (Jen Morris), who created ghostly dronescapes against a diptych backdrop of enigmatic photographs. Electroacoustic sets were offered by the nuanced Coin Gutter (Graeme Scott and Michael Hendrix) and sampling artist Diane Labrosse and Aimé Dontigny, whose collaboration resulted in a tactile, improvisatory dialogue. Set Fire to Flames’ member Christof Migone generated a 45-minute stream of body-generated scraping and whirring sounds accompanied by a video triptych that showed a gaping mouth at left, what appeared in the middle to be a tomato encased within a block of ice lodged within a salivating mouth, and, at right, the nighttime silhouette of a cityscape and bridge. There were infectious jazz-inflected funkhouse from Cobblestone Jazz and celebratory Latin techhouse by Mambotur. Chicago-based Telefon Tel Aviv (Joshua Eustis and Charles Cooper) presented a heavy microdub funk of chiming synths and massive bass drum and snare patterns. But, overall, the most memorable performances were turned in by veterans like Pole, Coil, Richie Hawtin, Monolake, and Señor Coconut.

In a Saturday afternoon performance that paid tribute to turntable pioneer Raymond Gervais, four turntable titans — Philip Jeck, Marina Rosenfeld, Martin Tétreault, and Martin Ng — provided an hypnotic set that included extended group collaboration as well as individual spotlights. Ostensibly, the proceedings were directed by Tétreault but his was certainly a benign dictatorship; if anything, the pieces often evolved with the others responding to Jeck’s looping grounds. They began by constructing a beautifully measured collage of scraping and scratching sounds amidst ghostly strains of melody. Immediately following this auspicious beginning, they created an equally effective second piece of whistling tones and bell-like percussion effects. While the concert predominantly featured the four playing together, there were brief duos, trios, and solos. Naturally, as is to be expected in an improvisatory setting, some tentative moments emerged when it seemed as if each of the four was waiting for someone to take the lead, but these registered as not unwelcome moments of brief stillness. Each took solo turns: Jeck, using two turntables, one for 12 inch lps and the other for 45s, drowned the sitar from Stoked in showers of surface noise; Rosenfeld’s solo offered a turntable adagio of sorts filled with treble glissandoes, looped crackling patterns, and phantom melodies; Tétreault’s initial musical quotation was gradually buried under huge slabs of static and hiss, his turn ending with furious scratching and a physical attack on his lps; finally, Ng’s solo impressed less as an exercise in musicality and more as one of physical athleticism. To close, the four collaborated upon a carefully sculpted elegiac piece. In sum, this session was engrossing and nuanced—a demonstration of sensitive listening and collaboration by its participants.

Electroacoustic sets were offered by the nuanced Coin Gutter and sampling artist Diane Labrosse and Aimé Dontigny, whose collaboration resulted in a tactile, improvisatory dialogue.


Fabrice Eglin, Revue & Corrigée, no. 52, June 1, 2002

Brouillard contre transparence, puissance de la perturbation. Aujourdhui cinéma partout. Ça donne l’idée de ce qui se déroule, progrès dans la vulgarité et coquetteries de bizut pour prime. Les expressions (sonores, visuelles…) qui réalisent la mode refusent tout questionnement de la représentation: une volonté de transparence pour ideologie métaphysique. Haine du désir, technicité, ardeur répressive… Porno? “[…] s’interroger […] sur la frontiere du visible et de l’invisible, sur l’ambition du cinéma de donner à voir l’invisible, le mystère même des êtres par les moyens du visible” écrivent Jacques Joubert et Dominique Renard dans Une partie de campagne (Éd. Belin). Mehdi Belhaj Kacem d’ajouter (revue Lignes n°36): “Le porno se veut d’ailleurs heuristique et pédoyagique: il veut prévenir les corps et les formes (les “décoincer”, etc.) leur dire que leurs gestes les précedent comme une ombre, et que tous ceux qu’ils pourront faire ne seront que re-production de ce que le porno montre avec une synchronie parfaite […]”

Transparence toujours, durant ces conversations apparemment sans mobile et sans fil où le lexique trahit: “J’assume” remplaçant “Je m’en fous”, équivalence délicate du “Je gère quelque part” (“Je me rembourse” / “Je meurs en bourse”?); l’optimisme professionnel et agressif, boudeur des torsions sémantiques, la langue chargée; le cynisme à court terme. Il se conchie lui-même, entre l’Être et l’étron. Mais cette haine est aussi portée à l’autre, si l’autre a pris le pouvoir du miroir inversant et renversant (1). Ça thésaurise et l’envie de plus-value s’exhibe. Naturisme sentimental, tautologie du vide de la transparence. Et pourtant ce matin, c’est un peu de printemps et sa musique.

Un CD. Pas un de plus, réalité compactée, ça d’autres s’en chargent et ça plait, régressif et narcissique. On peut tenter d’en rire, leurs dérapages font lois… Mais ici, c’est autre chose. Et les problèmes du sens s’inaugurent avec l’objet. Aucune information. L’enigme proposée exige qu’on l’écoute et la pense, comme on gagne du terrain sur l’ignorance de l’Autre; en permanence l’inachevé. Et pas de lot de consolation, la teneur ne remplit pas l’espace affecté à la representation mais la déchire et l’ouvre d’une consistance singulière; capable d’aspirer le présent, d’instituer une séparation. Ça ne nous isole ni ne nous désigne. Lieu limite. Où l’on reçoit le concret comme métaphore frontale: dérobé (mis à nu), ouvert, à l’improviste; le sens libéré dans sa puissance. Brises, bribes et debris. Et là où tout n’est qu’énigme ça sérotise… ça colle au réel… Temps suspendu. Limites. Des lois, du langage, de soi (“Le sortir de soi” d’Artaud). Profanation, coupure: mise en brêche du temps et de son orientation marchande, un glissement de l’expression quotidienne (l’ordinaire), tout ce qui ne s’aligne pas et que l’on rencontre sans savoir. L’invisibilité dans sa souveraine incandescence. Rien n’est stable: éclatements d’existence, sculptures mobiles en vrilles puissantes d’imbrications - faille concrète l’intérieur rejoint l’extérieur - hologrammes fugitifs. On cède à cette force, seule capable d’offrir les champs sauvages de l’expérience. Déraison et inutilité capitales. Aux bénefices du doute l’à-faire est entendu, l’action s’oppose à la vision (ça granule, ça grésille, ça caresse, ça râpe, ça coupe: ça jouit (2))…

Contemplation. Italiques points de suspension, dans cette monotonie lumineuse surgissent heurts et séismes scintillants, présence diaphane de la multiplicité des matières à embras(s)er, des obstacles à féconder. Apparitions / Disparitions. Passage instable dissolution, labyrinthe monstrueux et l’âpreté en filigranes, le secret pour crime. Stratégique? Il y a là comme un au-delà de la dialectique, sans propriétaire, peut-être rien; quelque chose derrière la pensée… Ça intrigue, ça joue des moments de flottements - l’écoute s’éloigne mais ne lâche pas le corps, ruptures et conflits d’espace privent la fixation (fabriquer une image, se rassurer) et obligent à construire autrement. Une autre idée du déroulement, une logique esthétique (éthique) où les matières sont élements constitutifs de l’exposé. Et propres à faire advenir le silence. Sa révolution paradoxale. Plus tard l’engramme persiste présent fragile, la fin pour suite… ailleurs Légendes des trésors cachés? Fraîcheur et lucidité se marient sans frasques dans l’irrespect du confort - l’intimité dans l’intimité - incitent au theâtre d’un lien baroque; l’altérité évanescente dans son insistance même. Étrange charme d’une phénoménologie précieuse, comme le sucre se dissout dans l’eau. Sans laisser de traces visibles.

Acuité au centre des possibles, des souvenirs et des fantasmes qui, tour à tour, s’incarnent et se mélangent. La part maintenue entre rêve et mémoire, ce plaisir corrosif que distille l’insolence poétique; cette rivalité amoureuse de l’artiste sur le philosophe. À la propagande de la transparence s’oppose une poétique de la dissimulation, de l’écart. Poésie ou fumisterie récréative? D’un péril l’Autre (précarité de l’opinion), beauté polémique. Dès que le soupçon s’installe et gagne du terrain, tout disparaît. Pas de schématisation necessaire à une pédagogie trouble, pas plus l’ineffable (réflexe propriétaire et retour de la présence sacralisée). Simplement ce transport. Expérience de vie que celle de rendre sensible à chaque instant la dramaturgie de toute beauté, cette étrange sensation des matières non revendiquées - l’absence de signature - contre la forme, processus allusif et clandestin qui parasite les mécanismes explicatifs du tout rationnel sociologisant (calculs et taxinomies), déchire les ensembles représentatifs et re-lance le jeu réflexif. Engagé dans l’exploration du mystère partageable, cet acte s’inscrit dans la dépense, potlatch dont l’auteur est moins le maître que la houle porteuse. Espace en questions, il ne s’agit pas ici de spéculer sur le contenu mais de ce qui s’y décale: sa projection. Expérience fuyante, l’exprimer avec justesse nous échappe. L’agrément de la nuit traversée jusqu’à l’aube, quelles sont ces heures?

(1) Francois Pemer, L’amour, Séminaire 1970-71, coll. Pluriel, Hachette Littératures.

(2) Roland Barthes, Le plaisir du texte, Le Seuil, 1973.

… dans cette monotonie lumineuse surgissent heurts et séismes scintillants, présence diaphane de la multiplicité des matières à embras(s)er…