Polish sound manipulator and noise musician Zbigniew Karkowski has passed away following a short battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 55.
The news arrived via a Twitter message from one of his many collaborators, Anton Lukoszevieze. The news will likely come as a shock to his fans: Karkowski’s death comes only 10 weeks after he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
Although well-versed in a number of different fields of computer and instrumental composition, Karkowski is best-known for his work as a noise practitioner – and an especially brutal one at that. Schooled in music and technology in Sweden and the Netherlands, the bulk of his output saw him tweak, twist and layer field recordings into (frequently punishing) new shapes. An immensely prolific artist – his catalogue reportedly runs to six or seven dozen albums – he also played in the long-running trio Sensorband. His catalogue is full of collaborative projects and joint endeavours: making hammering noise-techno with Peter Rehberg as Pop; working with Merzbow as mazk; and collaborating in various live and recorded permutations with Jim O’ Rourke, Helmut Schaefer, Francisco López, and many more.
Footage of one of Karkowski’s famously gut-churning concerts, recorded in Paris in 2006, is available to watch below.