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P53 (band)

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Title: P53 (band)  
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Subject: Chris Cutler, Recommended Records
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P53 (band)

Origin Germany
Genres Experimental, free improvisation
Years active 1994, 1997, 2006
Labels Recommended
Past members Chris Cutler
Marie Goyette
Zygmunt Krauze
Lutz Glandien
Otomo Yoshihide
Jon Rose
Zeena Parkins

P53, sometimes written p53, was an experimental music group commissioned by English percussionist Chris Cutler to play at the 25th Frankfurt Jazz Festival in Germany in September 1994. Their performance was recorded and released by Recommended Records in 1996 on a live album entitled P53.[1] The group reassembled in May 1997 to play at the Angelica International Festival of contemporary music in Bologna, Italy.[2] In November 2006 a new and reduced lineup of P53 performed with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in Glasgow, Scotland, which was recorded and broadcast by the BBC in March 2007.[3]

P53 was an musical improvisational project that centred around the music of two classical grand pianists, accompanied by percussion, homemade guitar, turntable scratching, and real-time sampling/processing of the pianists.[4][5][6]


In 1994 English percussionist Chris Cutler was asked by the organisers of the 25th Frankfurt Jazz Festival in Germany as to whether he had a project for the event. Cutler said "yes" and took the opportunity to try out a new musical idea involving "real-time montaging" that he had been contemplating.[1][7] He used the festival's generous budget to form a quintet of musicians from around the world. Billed as "The Chris Cutler Project" before there was time to give it its name, P53 consisted of Cutler (percussion, electronics), German classical pianist Marie Goyette (grand piano), Polish classical pianist and composer Zygmunt Krauze (grand piano), German composer and performer Lutz Glandien (samples, real-time processing), and Japanese composer and multi-instrumentalist Otomo Yoshihide (turntables, homebuilt guitar).[1]

P53's performance at the Frankfurt Jazz Festival was filmed and later broadcast several times on German television.[1] An album of the concert called P53 was also released by Recommended Records in 1996.[8] In May 1997 P53, with the same lineup, performed for the second time at the Angelica International Festival of contemporary music in Bologna in Italy.[2] An extract from this performance appeared on the Angelica 1997 compilation CD.

In November 2006 Cutler assembled a new and reduced lineup of P53 comprising Cutler, Australian violinist Jon Rose and American harpist Zeena Parkins, to perform with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in Glasgow in Scotland. This event was recorded and broadcast by the BBC on 24 March 2007.[3]


Main article: P53 (album)

The instrumentation of the P53 project consisted of two grand pianos, amplified turntables, a homemade electric guitar, percussion, electronics and real time processing.[4][6] The pianists were instructed to play "a few small sections from the classical repertoire", in any way and at any tempo, while the other musicians were free to improvise around them.[5] Glandien periodically played back amplified and distorted live samples of the pianists.[4]


The group's name was taken from the p53 tumour suppressing gene[nb 1] that was discovered in 1979 by David P. Lane and others.[1] Because of its role in preventing cancer, the gene has been described as "the guardian of the genome"[9]


1994 and 1997 lineup
  • Chris Cutler – drums, objects, low grade electronics
  • Marie Goyette – grand piano
  • Zygmunt Krauze – grand piano
  • Otomo Yoshihide – turntables, homebuilt guitar
  • Lutz Glandien – computer, samples, real-time processing
2006 lineup



Appears on

  • Various artists: Angelica 1997 (1998, CD, Dischi di Angelica, Italy) – includes one P53 track



External links

  • AllMusic.
  • Discogs.
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