Carl Stone

Carl Stone is one of the pioneers of live computer music, a composer with heavyweight CalArts credentials, who operates with a rare sense of mischief and intrigue.


'Of the serious composers to come out of 1980s California, Carl Stone is the one who has always performed in nightclubs as well as concert halls, for spiky-haired punks as well as the Ph.D-and-ponytail set – his brand of electro-acoustic bricolage was probably better known among jazz musicians than it was to the blue haired Monday Evening Concerts crowd' — Jonathan Gold, from the liner notes

Across a career spanning five decades Stone has proven a prolific and imaginative voice in electronic composition, mashing together notions of high and low culture and playfully re-contextualising diverse ethnographic materials. To this day he finds consistently engaging ways to present his live performances via real-time processing, multi-channel works and collaborations.

Now dividing his time between Toyko and LA, Stone’s formidable canon of work has recently been in the spotlight via two masterful collections of material released via Brooklyn imprint Unseen Worlds: Electronic Music from The Seventies and Eighties (2016) and Electronic Music from Eighties and Nineties (2018).

When New Music was exiting the loft scene of the 1970s and entering the more commercial realm of the 1980s, Stone guided his art through the transition period by fusing his compositional ambitions with systems of live performance that were simultaneously pop savvy, commercial suicide, and technologically forward thinking. He moved away from pure electronic sound and came to be at the vanguard of incorporating turntables, early digital samplers, and personal computers into live electronic music composition. An adopter of the Max programming language while it was still in its earliest development at the IRCAM research centre, Stone continues to use it as his primary instrument, both solo and in collaboration with other improvisers.

Following the widely acclaimed 3LP collection, Electronic Music from the Seventies and Eighties, Unseen Worlds has compiled a second, 2LP collection of favourite and unreleased Carl Stone works. Electronic Music from the Eighties and Nineties presents the soothing, hallucinatory side of Stone’s slow-evolving, time-bending composition. Throughout his work he locates the inherent emotional properties of his varied sample sources and takes them into unexpected expressive territory.

'West Coast composer Carl Stone was one of the first to plug into the possibilities offered by digital synthesizers, samplers and effects… While Grandmaster Flash and Afrika Bambaataa were flamboyantly promoting sample based hiphop, and John Oswald was openly flaunting the art of plunderphonics, Carl Stone developed his own idiosyncratic take on sonic bricolage' — The Wire Magazine #1 Archive Release of 2016


Mark Slater



Tour dates

Rotterdam, NL
Gardena Festival
London, UK
LSO St Luke's
Colchester, UK
Colchester Arts Centre
London, UK
Cafe Oto
Kircaldy, UK
Tae Sup wi' a Fifer