Composer, flutist and conductor, Petr Kotik was born in 1942 in Prague and educated at the Prague Conservatory, the Prague Music Academy, and the Vienna Music Academy. He has been living in the United States since 1969 where he founded the S.E.M. Ensemble in 1970, devoted to the performance of new music.
As a composer, Kotik’s aesthetic derives from the Cageian tradition. In the 1960s he began using chance operation and graphic notation. As he developed as a composer, he began to assert a great degree of control over his work and by the 1970s, a new and distinctive musical style began to emerge. Crystallized in his magnum opus and best known work, Many, Many Women, a mammoth six-hour composition with a text by Gertrude Stein, this style is characterized by parallel motion, stark counterpoint, and post-minimalist repetitive structures. The music can be likened to 12th-century organum of the Notre Dame School composers Leonin and Perotin, and the work of the great medieval composer, Guillaume de Machaut as well elements of Debussy, Stravinsky, Cage and the minimalists.
Kotik has proven to be an ardent and tireless champion of experimental music. He has researched, lectured on, realized and was the first to record the little known musical compositions of Marcel Duchamp. As a solo flutist and conductor/member of the S.E.M. Ensemble and later the Orchestra of the S.E.M. Ensemble, he has performed and recorded not only his own work, but also that of Cage, Feldman, Wolff, Jackson Maclow, Cornelius Cardew, Pauline Oliveros, Jon Gibson, and Ben Neill among a host of others.
Cornelius CARDEW: Treatise (mode 205)