About

BEN NEILL is a composer, performer, producer, and inventor of the mutantrumpet, a hybrid electro-acoustic instrument. He has been called “a creative composer and genius performer” (Time Out NY). “the mad scientist of dancefloor jazz” (CMJ Journal), and “a musical powerhouse, a serious and individual talent” (Time Out London). Neill’s music blends influences from electronica, jazz and minimalism, blurring the lines between DJ culture and acoustic instrument performance.

Neill has recorded nine CDs of his music on the Universal/Verve, Thirsty Ear, Astralwerks, Six Degrees, Ramseur, New Tone and Ear-Rational labels. His music has also been featured on numerous compilations including Wired Magazine’s Music Futurists. In 2010 his music theater work Persephone was presented at the BAM Next Wave Festival. The recording Songs for Persephone with Mimi Goese which is made up of the music from the theatrical production was released in 2011 on Ramseur Records to critical acclaim. He has performed extensively in a wide variety of international settings including Lincoln Center, Cite de la Musique France, Moogfest, Berlin Love Parade Germany, Spoleto Festival Italy, Umbria Jazz Italy, Sleepless Night Miami, NIME Conferences Vancouver and Paris, Bang On A Can Festival New York, ICA London, Istanbul Jazz Festival Turkey and the Edinburgh Festival UK to name a few.

Neill began developing the mutantrumpet in the early 1980s. Initially an acoustic instrument (a combination of 3 trumpets and a trombone combined into one), Neill integrated the instrument with electronics in the mid 1980s when collaborating with the synthesizer inventor Robert Moog. In 1992, while in residency at the STEIM (Studio for Electro-Instrumental Music) research and development lab for new instruments in Amsterdam, Neill made the mutantrumpet fully computer interactive. In 2008 Neill created a new version of his instrument and returned to STEIM for another residency. The new mutantrumpet is greatly expanded in terms of its electronic capabilities.

In 2008 Neill composed original music for two films. Guest of Cindy Sherman was produced by Sundance Channel, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, and shown in film festivals around the world. 911-911, an animated film by artist Mel Chin, premiered at Tribeca Cinemas and was presented at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 2009. In 2005 Neill presented his collaboration with visual artist Bill Jones titled Palladio, an interactive movie based on Jonathan Dee’s 1998 novel of the same name. Palladio was premiered at the New Territories Festival in Glasgow, Scotland, and at the Thalia Theater/Symphony Space in New York City.

Neill is also active as a sound and installation artist. His collaborative works with Bill Jones have been exhibited in museums and galleries including Sandra Gering Gallery New York, Exit Art New York, Wellcome Gallery London and the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Neill’s installation/performance Green Machine was shown at Paula Cooper Gallery New York in 1994. ITSOFOMO, his major collaborative piece with the late artist David Wojnarowicz, has been presented widely in venues such as The Tate Modern London, The New Museum New York and PPOW Gallery New York, and was featured in the PBS documentary Imagining America.

A native of North Carolina, Neill is a graduate of Manhattan School of Music. He studied composition with minimalist composer La Monte Young, and has collaborated with numerous other composers and musicians including Mimi Goese, DJ Spooky, Helmet’s Page Hamilton, Rhys Chatham, Nicolas Collins, David Behrman, John Cale, John Cage, Coil, and DJ Olive.  He is also currently Associate Professor of Music Industry and Production at Ramapo College of New Jersey.

 

DISCOGRAPHY

SOLO CDs
Ben Neill, Night Science, Thirsty Ear Recordings 2009
Ben Neill, Automotive, Six Degrees Records, 657036 1077-2MJ
Ben Neill, Goldbug, Verve Antilles CD 314 557 085-2
Ben Neill, Triptycal, Verve Antilles CD 314 533 184-2
Ben Neill, Green Machine, Astralwerks CD ASW 6159
Ben Neill, Torchtower, New Tone CD 6723
Ben Neill & David Wojnarowicz, ITSOFOMO, New Tone CD 6710
Ben Neill, Mainspring, Ear-Rational LP/CD 1002

COLLABORATIONS AND COMPILATIONS
Mimi Goese and Ben Neill, Songs for Persephone, Ramseur Records, 2011
Ben Neill, Futura, Still:Echoes compilation, produced by Echoes radio program
Ben Neill, Afterimage, 12” single includes remix by DJ Pinch
Ben Neill, Perfume, remix of Latin-Grammy winning artist Bajofondo, Universal Latin Records
Ben Neill and David Rothenberg, Myagostrov in the Deep (Hudsonia Remix), Whale Music Remixed CD
Ben Neill and Bill Jones, Color Bar Remix, Eyewash DVD Volume 2, Forward Motion Theater
Ben Neill with Andrew Montgomery, Shock the Monkey (Peter Gabriel), Leaves from the Tree compilation, Vitamin Records CD-8597
Ben Neill, Turbonium X, Street Mix vol.1 compilation CD, Volkswagen/Rock River /Universal Music
Ben Neill & Fred Jorio, Comatose remixes of song by Lisa Hall, Reprise Records 9 44544-2
Ben Neill & David Wojnarowicz, ITSOFOMO excerpt, Optic Nerve CD-ROM, Red Hot Organization
Ben Neill, After the Gold Rush, (Neil Young), Wired Magazine Presents: Music Futurists,
Rhino CD R2 75607
Ben Neill, Tunnel Vision, 12” single, Antilles remixes by Spring Heel Jack, DJ Krust, X-Ecutioners
Ben Neill, Pentagram/Flotation Device, 12″ single, Antilles remixes by DJ Spooky, DJ Soulslinger
Ben Neill, Flotation Device OK Jungle mix by DJ Soulslinger, Liquid Sky Music CD JS116
Ben Neill, Sistrum, 12″ single, remixes by DJ Spooky, Single Cell Orchestra, Astralwerks 6159
Ben Neill, Somnabula, Excursions in Ambience compilation CD/LP/cass, Astralwerks 6153
Ben Neill, Ether, Ambient No. 1 Fantasy compilation, Sub Terranean SPV 089-38782
Ben Neill, Sistrum, Nicotine Beat Mix, Werks Like a 12″ compilation, Astralwerks 6179-2
Ben Neill, 678 Streams, Century 21 compilation, New Tone CD 6730
Ben Neill, Bal, Utopia Americana compilation, New Tone CD 6707
Ben Neill, Money Talk, Virtuosity with Purpose compilation, Ear-Rational CD 1034
Ben Neill & David Wojnarowicz, ITSOFOMO excerpt, Tellus CD#25
Ben Neill, Music for ‘The King of Thule” Tellus CD #27 “Mini-Mall”
David Behrman, Unforeseen Events, XI CD 105
David Behrman, Leapday Night, Lovely Music LP/CD VR 1042
John Cage, Concert for Piano and Orchestra, Wergo CD
John Cale, Walking On Locusts, Hannibal/Rykodisc HNCS 1395
Rhys Chatham, Die Donnergotter, Dossier LP/CD 7538
Nicolas Collins, 100 of the World’s Most Beautiful Melodies, Trace Elements CD 1018
Nicolas Collins, It Was a Dark and Stormy Night, Trace Elements CD1019
Nicolas Collins, Still Lives, Unknown Public Cassette Magazine 1994
DJ Spooky, Songs of A Dead Dreamer, Asphodel CD/LP 0961
DJ Spooky, Riddim Warfare, Outpost/Geffen CD OPRD-30031
DJ Spooky, Necropolis, Knitting Factory Records CD
Deep Listening Band, Tosca Salad, DLB 001 CD
Marcel Duchamp, Erratum Musical, Edition Rene Block CD 202
Echo Art, Coreografie, New Tone CD 6712
Electric Owthaus, Co-rage-us, Live at the Knitting Factory, Vol. 5
Fast Forward, Same Same, XI CD 108
Petr Kotik, Solos and Incidental Harmonies, Ear-Rational CD 1007
Pilgrimage-9 Songs of Ecstasy, Point Music
Paul Schutze, Abysmal Evenings, Virgin AMBT 19 7243 8 42175 2 5
Dave Soldier, Smut, Avant CD 019
La Monte Young, The Second Dream of the High-Tension Stepdown Line Transformer, includes liner notes essay by Neill, Gramavision CD R279467

PERFORMANCE HISTORY

2013
TedX Conference, Beacon, NY
Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, 2-week residency with work-in-progress previews
Manitoga, Russel Wright Design Center, Garrison, NY
The Silent Barn, Brooklyn, NY
The Firehouse, Brooklyn, NY
Dogwood, Brooklyn, NY
Collapsable Hole, Brooklyn, NY

2012
Beacons of Music exhibition and concert, Beacon, NY
Haunch of Venison gallery, New York, NY
Guided By Invoices gallery, New York, NY

2011
Lincoln Center Rubenstein Atrium, New York, NY
Moogfest, Asheville, NC
Le Poisson Rouge, New York, NY
Littlefield Performance Space, Brooklyn, NY
Premiere screening of Ray Kurzweil’s Transcendent Man, Time/Life Auditorium, New York, NY

2010
Brooklyn Academy of Music Next Wave Festival, Brooklyn, NY
World Technology Network Conference and Awards, Time/Life Auditorium, New York, NY
Dorsky Museum, SUNY New Paltz, New Paltz, NY
Knitting Factory, New York, NY
Painted Bride Arts Center, Philadelphia, PA
ACM/SIGCHI Conference 2010, Atlanta, GA
IEEE Student Conference, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
Virginia Tech University, Blacksburg, VA
Issue Project Room, Brooklyn, NY
Electric Windows Festival, Beacon, NY

2009
Pulse Festival of Art and Technology. Telfair Museum of Art, Savannah, GA
New Interfaces for Musical Expression Conference, Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA
Ingenuity Festival, Cleveland, OH
Issue Project Room, Brooklyn, NY
Galapagos Art Space, Brooklyn, NY
MMIX Festival, Theaterlab, New York, NY
Sleepless Night Festival, Miami Beach, FL
ISIM Conference, UC Santa Cruz, CA
The Gatherings, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Philipstown Depot Theater, Garrison, NY

2008
Bard College Summerscape Festival, Annandale, NY
Monkeytown, Brooklyn, NY
Proctor’s Theater, Schenectady, NY
Op On Screen Festival, New York, NY
The Stone, New York, NY

2007
Lincoln Center Scanners Festival, Walter Reade Theater, New York, NY
Festa de Serralves, Porto, Portugal
Etnafest, Catania, Italy
Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY
Joe’s Pub, New York, NY
Tonic, New York, NY

2006
Williamsburg Jazz Festival, Brooklyn, NY
World Financial Center, New York, NY
Bard College Summerscape Festival, Annandale, NY
New Interfaces for Musical Expression Conference, IRCAM, Paris, France
Kraakegeluiden Electro-Acoustic series, Amsterdam, Holland
Joe’s Pub, New York, NY
Festival of New Trumpet, New York, NY
Roulette at Location One, New York, NY
Symphony Space (with DJ Spooky), New York, NY
Monkeytown, Brooklyn, NY
Galapagos, Brooklyn, NY
BAM Café, Brooklyn, NY

2005
New Interfaces for Musical Expression Conference, Vancouver, BC, Canada
New Territories Festival, Glasgow, Scotland
Symphony Space, New York, NY
John Jay Theater, New York City

2004
BAM Café, Brooklyn, NY
New Yorker Festival, New York, NY
Exit Art, New York, NY
Van Brunt Gallery, New York, NY

2003
Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
New Yorker Festival, New York, NY
Remote Lounge, New York, NY
Van Brunt Gallery, Beacon, NY
Halcyon, New York, NY
Southpaw, Brooklyn, NY

2002
Cite de la Musique, Paris
Bowery Ballroom, New York, NY
House of Blues, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Chicago, New Orleans, Orlando, Boston
9:30 Club, Washington, DC
St. Andrew’s Hall, Detroit

2001
The Cutting Room, New York, NY
The Kitchen, New York, NY
Halcyon, New York, NY
Idlewild, New York, NY

1999
Bowery Ballroom, New York, NY
South By Southwest Interactive Festival, Austin, TX
Jazz im Theater Festival, Salzburg, Austria
Knitting Factory, New York, NY
Tampere Jazz Happening, Helsinki, Finland
Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY
The Cooler, New York, NY
American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY

1998
Fin de Siecle New York Festival, Nantes, France
Inventing America Festival, Barbican Centre, London, England
Umbria Jazz, Perugia, Italy
Love Parade, Berlin, Germany
Istanbul Jazz Festival, Istanbul, Turkey
Edinburgh Festival, Edinburgh, Scotland
Summerville Theater, Boston, Massachusetts
Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem, NC

1997
Rotterdam Film Festival, Rotterdam, Holland
Jazz Cafe, London, England
Club Rex, Paris, France
LACE, Los Angeles, CA
Arts at St. Ann’s, Brooklyn, NY
Bang On A Can Marathon, Alice Tully Hall, New York, NY
Montreal Jazz Festival, Montreal, Canada
Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Austria
Saalfelden Jazz Festival, Saalfelden, Austria
Pop Komm Festival, Cologne, Germany
Stadtgarten, Cologne, Germany
Projekt Festival, The Vic, Chicago, Illinois
Metallotronic Festival, Washington, DC
Showbox, Seattle, Washington

1996
What Is Jazz? Festival, SOB’s, New York, NY
Art in the Anchorage, Brooklyn, NY
Conway Hall, London, England
De Ijsbreker, Amsterdam, Holland
Korzo, Den Haag, Holland
Macintosh Music Festival, The Cooler, New York, NY

1995
CMJ Festival, Astralwerks night, The Kitchen, New York, NY
Spoleto Festival of Two Worlds, Spoleto, Italy
Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, IN
Cloudwatch, Baltimore, MD
Merkin Hall, New York, NY
Knitting Factory, New York, NY
Prague Spring Festival, Prague, Czechoslovakia

1994
Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT
Washington Square Church (with First Avenue), New York, NY
Rumori series, Theater Frascati, Amsterdam, Holland
The Kitchen, New York, NY
Interpretations series, Merkin Hall, New York, NY
Wires, Los Angeles, CA
New Langton Arts, San Francisco, CA
Belluard-Bollwerk Festival, Fribourg, Switzerland
Teatro Comunale, Modena, Italy
Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, NY

1993
HERE, New York, NY
Guggenheim Museum Soho, New York, NY
Thread Waxing Space, New York, NY
Knitting Factory, New York, NY
Roulette, New York, NY
Steim Festival, Amsterdam, Holland
Grand Theatre, Groningen, Holland
ICA, London, England
Conway Hall, London, England
Bang On A Can Festival, The Kitchen, New York, NY
House of Dance, Stockholm, Sweden
Washington University Gallery, St. Louis, Missouri
Glenn Gould Studio, Toronto, Canada
PS 122, New York, NY

1992
LaMonte Young Cathedral of Dreams Festival, Krems, Austria
Thread Waxing Space, New York, NY
Frankfurt Alte Oper, Frankfurt, Germany
Het Appolohuis, Eindhoven, Holland
Kunstmuseum, Bern, Switzerland
Akademie der Kunst, Wien, Austria
Experimental Music Festival, London, England
Reithalle, Bern, Switzerland
Cave 12, Geneva, Switzerland
Cineteca Comunale, Rimini, Italy

1991
Festival Internazionale Musica da Camera, Camerino, Italy
Atteneum Museum, Helsinki, Finland
Utopia Americana Festival, Torino, Italy
Music Gallery, Toronto, Canada
New Sounds Live at Merkin Hall, New York, NY
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN
Mills College, Oakland, CA
Experimental Intermedia Foundation, New York, NY

CURATORIAL HISTORY
Selection of artists presented at The Kitchen, Exit Art, Creative Time’s Art in the Anchorage, and World Financial Center by Ben Neill 1992 – 2008

1.8.7
77 Hz
Anna Homler
Antenna Tool & Die Co.
Anthony Davis
Bang On A Can Festival
Ben Manley
Blast
Bonnie Barnett
Brian Eno
Byzar
Carl Stone
Christian Marclay
Christian Marclay
Circuit Bible
David Behrman
David First
David Hykes
David S. Ware
David Shea
David Simons
David Soldier
David Weinstein
Deep Listening Band
DJ Dr. Decent
DJ Gretchen
DJ Logic
DJ Lovegrove
DJ Lucy
DJ Olive
DJ Sheldon Drake
DJ Singe
DJ Soulslinger
DJ Spooky
Dorit Chrysler
Dr. Nerve
EBN
Elise Kermani
Elliott Sharp
Elodie Lauten
Emanuel Dimas di Mela Pimenta
Essential Music
Fast Forward
Fennesz
Four Tet and Steve Reid
Frederic Rzewski
Future Sound of London
Gamelatron
Gen Ken Montgomery
Glenn Branca
Golan Levin
Greg Tate
Ikue Mori
Impossible Music
Infant Reader
Jaron Lanier
Jim O’Rourke
John Cage
Jorge Reyes
Jose Halac
Joshua Fried
Karsh Kale
Karthik Swaminathan
Khan
King Britt tribute to Sun Ra
Kode 9/Dubwar
Komar & Melamid
Kumiko Kimoto
Kyle Gann
La Monte Young
Laetitia Sonami
Laraaji
Leroy Jenkins
Liu Sola
M83 with Janet Biggs
Maria de Alvear
Masahiko Kono
Maya Beiser
Meridian Arts Ensemble
Michael Schumacher
Mikel Rouse
Mino Cinelu
Morton Subotnick
Mountains
MultiPolyOmni
Neil Rolnick
Newband
Nicolas Collins
Paul Panhuysen
Pauline Oliveros
Peter Gordon
Phill Niblock
Pixound
Richard Kostelanetz
Robert Poss
Rodney Graham
Sakamoto
Satamile
Scanner
SEM Ensemble
Slash Orchestra
Soundlab
Spit Orchestra
Stelarc
Takehisa Kosugi
Terre Thaemlitz
Tetsu Inoue
The Bedouin
The Books
Tod Machover
Todd Levin
Toni Dove
Trimpin
Twisted Tutu
Ulrich Schnauss
Ushio Torikai
Virgil Moorefield
We
William Duckworth
Zoar