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Charles Amirkhanian

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Charles Amirkhanian

Charles Amirkhanian (born January 19, 1945; Fresno, California) is an American composer. He is a percussionist, sound poet, and radio producer of Armenian extraction. He is mostly known for his electroacoustic and text-sound music. Performance artist Laurie Anderson praises his work: "The art of audio collage has been reinvented here...A brilliant sense of imaginary space."[1]


  • Career 1
  • Discography 2
  • Partial list of works 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6
    • Listening 6.1


Amirkhanian was Music Director of

  • Art of the States: Charles Amirkhanian three works by Charles Amirkhanian
  • UbuWeb: Charles Amirkhanian featuring music from Amirkhanian's LP Mental Radio
  • Riding the Meridian: Ka Himeni Hehena Sound/Text by Charles Amirkhanian
  • author page at, with audio and text.


  • Golden, Barbara. “Conversation with Charles Amirkhanian.” eContact! 12.2 — Interviews (2) (April 2010). Montréal: CEC.
  • Other Minds: Amirkhanian
  • American Maverick: An interview with Charles Amirkhanian by Alan Baker, Minnesota Public Radio, June 2002.
  • CDeMUSIC: Charles Amirkhanian
  • CD on StarklandWalking Tune
  • compilation CD

External links

  1. ^ Listing for Starkland CD
  2. ^ [Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (Oxford University Press, 2004)]
  3. ^ American Music Center Awards
  4. ^ ASCAP Award 2009


Paul Dobransky Chris Goldstein John Moe

See also

  • Symphony I (for 13 players, 1965)
  • Words (1969)
  • Oratora Konkurso Rezulto: Autoro de la Jaro (Portrait of Lou Harrison, 1970)
  • If In Is (1971)
  • Radii (1970/2)
  • Dzarin Bess Ga Khorim (1972)
  • Just (1972)
  • Heavy Aspirations (1973)
  • Seatbelt Seatbelt (1973)
  • Roussier (not Rouffier) (1973)
  • Mugic (1973)
  • she and she (1974)
  • Muchrooms (1974)
  • Mahogany Ballpark (1976)
  • Dutiful Ducks (1977) †
  • Dreams Freud Dreamed (1979)
  • Egusquiza to Falsetto (chamber ensemble with tape, with Margaret Fisher, 1979)
  • Church Car (1980) †
  • Nite Traps (1981)
  • Dot Bunch (1981)
  • Hypothetical Moments (In the Intellectual Life of Southern California, 1981)
  • Maroa (1981) †
  • Too True (1982) †
  • Dog of Stravinsky (1982)
  • Andas (1982)†
  • The Real Perpetuum Mobile (1984)
  • Gold and Spirit (1984)
  • Metropolis San Francisco (1985-6)
  • Dumbek Bookache (1986) †
  • Walking Tune (A Room-Music for Percy Grainger, 1986-7)
  • His Anxious Hours (chamber ensemble with tape, 1987)
  • Pas de Voix (Portrait of Samuel Beckett, 1987)
  • Politics As Usual (1988)
  • Never Say Die (1989)
  • Im Frühling (1990)
  • Vers Les Anges (for Nicolas Slonimsky, 1990)
  • Bajanoom (1990)
  • Loudspeakers (for Morton Feldman, 1990)
  • A Berkelium Canon (1991, with Henry Kaiser)
  • Chu Lu Lu (1992)
  • Ka Himeni Hehena (The Raving Mad Hymn, 1997) †
  • Miatsoom (1994-7)
  • Son of Metropolis San Francisco (1997)
  • Marathon (1997) †
  • Octet for Ratchets (amplified percussion ensemble, 1998)
  • Pianola (Pas de mains, 1997-2000)
  • Mqsical Lou (2003)
  • Rippling the Lamp (violin and tape, 2006-7)
  • Quince Quinoa (2007) †

Tape works unless otherwise noted; † indicates optional live voice(s).

Partial list of works

  • 10+2: 12 American Text-Sound Pieces (1975). 1750 Arch Records S-1752 (LP) reissued in 2003 on Other Minds/CD 1006-2 compilation which includes Amirkhanian's 'Just (1972)' and 'Heavy Aspirations (1973)
  • Lexical Music (1979). 1750 Arch Records S-1779 (LP)
  • Polipoetry Issues Numero 3: American Sound Poetry (1983). 3Vitre – EM 00383 (limited edition 7" LP) Compilation containing Amirkhanian's 'The Putts'
  • Mental Radio: Nine Text-Sound Compositions (1985). CRI-SD 523 (LP); reissued in 2009 on New World Records NWCRL 523 (CD)
  • Perspectives of New Music PNM 26 (1988). Compilation CD accompanying Volume 26 issue of Perspectives of New Music magazine. Contains: Pas de Voix (Portrait of Samuel Beckett)
  • Walking Tune (1998). Starkland ST-206. "One of the Year's 20 Best CDs," according to the Electronic Music Foundation.


In 1984, the American Music Center awarded him its Letter of Distinction for service to American composers through his work at KPFA FM in Berkeley, California. This was followed in 2005 by another for his co-founding and directing the Other Minds Festival in San Francisco, California.[3] From ASCAP in 1989 he received the Deems Taylor Award, also for service to American composers. Amirkhanian received a 1997 Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists Award. In 2009, Chamber Music America and ASCAP honored him for his Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music with Other Minds.[4]


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