ListN Up: Andrew Stock (February 4, 2022)

ListN Up is a weekly series of artist-curated playlists that offer an intimate sonic portrait of contemporary artists by showcasing the diverse and stylistically varied music that influences their creative practice. 

Andrew Stock makes concert and installative work — lately that work has developed what he thinks of as a recordist posture, taking the labor of documentary and witnessing as a base from which to work across sound, conceptual art, and Black studies.

Hi everyone, my name is Andrew Stock, I’m a composer and artist. I’ve put together a playlist of work by some composers and artists whose work has been influential on me. I don’t think it’s really thematic, but I do think there’s a trend towards music that’s very “out” — that’s experimental or political — and that the strands are basically the strands that have influenced me from the beginning, which are essentially: experimental/punk, Black diasporic musics, and classical music. Thanks to ICIYL for having me, and I hope you enjoy.

“Stars” (Janis Ian) and “Feelings” (Morris Albert) performed by Nina Simone

Nina Simone and Julius Eastman lead this list because their significance for me cannot be overstated. This is a devastating delivery at Montreux in 1976 that seems to erase the line between raw life and performance.

The Holy Presence of Joan d’Arc by Julius Eastman

Eastman was one of the true visionaries of the 20th century. This is my favorite of his surviving pieces, which I first encountered in a video that used it as the score to Carl Theodore Dreyer’s 1928 film The Passion of Joan of Arc.

Last Trumpet: Sacred Order of Twilight Brothers by Terry Adkins and Lone Wolf Recital Corps

Terry Adkins’s passing in 2014 was a terrible loss for art. Living histories — refracted through his powerful artistic vision in a process he termed “potential disclosure” — became materials for a holistic concept of the “Recital” which encompasses performance, sculpture, video, assemblage, and other media. Curator Adrienne Edwards quotes Adkins in an 2014 Artforum obituary, in a kind of creed I read as a form of spiritual guidance: “I am from the school of the Miles Davis how-dare-you-ism […] that deals with the principles of what Afro-Atlantic culture is, not through the appearance of it in images, but through the principles that guide it that are a very high order of abstract thinking.”

Accompaniments by Christian Wolff, performed by Frederic Rzewski

I’m not in the Wandelweiser network, but I share some of their interests and points of influence. Among the most significant of these is Christian Wolff, whose work for me exemplifies an inexhaustible intellectual curiosity and keen attunement to all sorts of interaction (between performers, between performer and symbol, between histories…). I’ve liked this Rzewski performance of Accompaniments for a long time — I think of it now as a long “speech” for pianist and piano, a message from the end of the last revolutionary period.

L’art de toucher le clavecin, 3 by Evan Johnson, performed by ensemble mosaik

The weird, ornate beauty of Evan Johnson’s music has been important for me, as well as his insistence on notation as a medium unto itself — rather than as a workmanlike “means to an end” where the paternalistic, schoolmaster-like figure of The Sound (and The Sound alone) actually opposes thought, rerouting all artistic processes toward itself as a kind of proscription on all the other things music can be and do. This piece, which takes on Couperin, is especially gorgeous.

“x-clams” by Charmaine Lee

Charmaine Lee’s work is audacious and she expands possibility wherever she goes: in the deep exploration of one’s own vocal potential outside “singerly” bounds; in an intense commitment to the solo; in the instrumentalization and critical redeployment of things usually taken as “givens” (for her, the use of microphones); and in an ongoing inquiry into experimental improvisation. a stone widens it, a recent set of “miniatures” (the artist’s term) responding to Martha Tuttle’s installation A stone thinks of Enceladus, adds to these concerns a focused and intimate preoccupation with field recordings and the spoken word.

Michael Finnissy’s music – its conceptualist, “photographic” orientation with respect to preexisting material; its processual and musical extremity — has been a touchstone for me since I was in my teens, and though I’ve never met either of them, an on-off email correspondence with Finnissy in those years led to my receiving parcels of scores from both him and the artist/composer Chris Newman. I’m including one of the many Newman songs the two have recorded because it seems to collapse into one place many of the things I admire and identify with in both of their practices: a basically punk ethos; an austere, unflinching politicization; and a “critical,” almost “objectifying” approach to all kinds of materials and processes.


I CARE IF YOU LISTEN is an editorially-independent program of the American Composers Forum, funded with generous donor and institutional support. Opinions expressed are solely those of the author and may not represent the views of ICIYL or ACF. 

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