Joe Jones (1934-1993)

Xylophone (1976)


Another glorious mechanized symphony from the maestro Joe Jones, this time scored for xylophone alone and captured in a 1976 performance. Over its thirty-one minutes, the dizzying chimes wind up and down, sometimes hanging briefly on a note but rarely settling into much of a pattern beyond that up and down. Once accustomed to the automatons, I find myself listening more to the spaces in between, honing in especially on a bumping that may be accidental or might even be an unsteady drum. Its timing against the steady ringing of the xylophone cannot help but bear similarity to the Javanese kendhang, though I'm sure I am making a bit more out of what's there. The accompanying diagram sheds some great insight into how Jones constructed his instruments and why they played the way they did. -- Twice Zonked.

Joe Jones and Chicken to Kitchen: FLUXSAINTS

01. Solar Music

02. Fluxus Meditation

03. Crat Crat

04. Oh, Mr. John Cage

05. Fluxus Cloud

06. Canal Street

07. Smoke

08. Yoko Ono

09. Fragment

10. Maciunas Intro

11. Chaos Part

12. Dracula

13. Git Bass Geklimper

14. Yellow Fishfinger

15. Willy Brandt

16. Mr. Cage Instrumental

17. Aint Misbehavin'

18. Zero Flux

19. Birds Of Scotland

20. Birds Ovation

21. Satchmo Blues

22. Fluxsaints

23. Continuum

Joe Jones and Chicken to Kitchen

During the International FLUXUS Festival 1992 in Wiesbaden, FLUXUS artist Joe Jones and the music group Chicken to Kitchen worked out seven pieces, a concert program, which was performed during a six week period in a former restaurant, an empty and desert place at that time. The pure ambiente and the large space inspired us to create an individual sound atmosphere. Joe wrote the lyrics and the band composed the music arrangements, mainly at night, because during daytime, hundreds of people walked around, listening to the music of the SOLAR MUSIC ORCHESTRA and enjoying all the other exhibited music machines. The listeners and visitors response to our music was very enthusiastic, thus encuraging us to record our work in a studio after finishing of the MUSICSTORE events. The subsequent CD production was suspended because Joe died, just before the recording day in february 1992.

FLUXSAINTS is a collage based on the live recordings in Joe's MUSICSTORE, Wiesbaden, the Kurpark concert, the Caligary Performance, the studio works and spontaneous events in the Edition Z9A rooms during 1991/92. For each of us 'young chickens' it was a great pleasure and challenge to be involved in this FLUXUS project. We all thank Joe for his patience and for all the love, and the good times we spend together. In memoriam Joe Jones.

-- Dietmar Müller

Joe Jones In Performance / Tone Deaf Music Co.

1. Side A

2. Side B

from the LP Joe Jones In Performance / Tone Deaf Music Co.

Issued in 1977 on the Harlekin Art Records imprint (Wiesbaden, Germany) in an edition of 500. Essentially, this is a recording of several instances of a massive orchestra of instrumental automatons set in motion. The instrumentations runs the gamut: piano with developed keyboard and mechanics, shop-window puppets manipulated by hand, two small guitars, one shadow-object, three xylophones, four lyricas, two tambourines, four normal guitars, one large zither, two balalaikas, one sonia, and three children's guitars. Motors and gravity are involved. There's a bit of the liners (in German) on the back that goes off about the connection between this record and Yoko Ono's classic Fly, maybe actual, maybe theoretical. Extended flights revealing layer after layer of glossed sound-murk, presented in perfect art-damage fidelity (microphones set up in the warehouse NEXT DOOR to the one where the aktion took place). Extremely pleasing. - Forced Exposure

Various Tracks

  1. Solar Music Hot House

    The music was perfomed by myself -solo-, recorded live at former apartment in New York City on the same date as the title shows.In this performance I made use of:


    Recorded in linz (Austria) for "Ars Electronica Festival" 1988

    From Fluxus Anthology, 30th Anniversary

  2. Joe Jones, Flux Music Box, 2:36

    From Flux Tellus


The New York artist Joe Jones first studied composition at the Hartnett Music School and started his career as a jazz drummer. Due to his white skin, however, there were few jobs for him in this field in the early sixties, since New York only had two active jazz clubs at that time. Because of this Jones began to study experimental composition under John Cage and Earle Brown in 1960. Through his teachers he got acquainted with Dick Higgins and Alison Knowles. When Higgins and Knowles travelled to Europe in 1962 to participate in several Fluxus Festivals, Jones rent their studios. Here he developed his first music machines, with which he was very successful from the beginning. Since 1963 Jones participated in the Fluxus-movement and took part in a number of performances with his music machines. In 1963 he performed at the Yam festival in New Brunswick for the first time, a year later he performed at the Avantgarde music festival in New York. Many exhibitions and actions in New York and Nice followed until Jones opened his own 'Music-Store' in New York in 1969. In 1972 he produced the album 'Fly' together with John Lennon and Yoko Ono and founded the 'Fluxus-Airline' with George Macunias. At that time he settled down in Europe; he lived in Amsterdam, Asolo (Italy), Berlin and Wiesbaden and exhibited worldwide in galleries and museums. In 1980 Jones was a guest of the DAAD's Berlin artist program, before he took up residence in Dčsseldorf and Wiesbaden. Since the mid-eighties Jones produced short films with his computer, the so-called 'Fluxus-Home-Movies', and he also devised larger orchestra-like installations with his music machines. His busy exhibition schedule remained unchanged: In 1988 his works could be seen at the Museum Ludwig in Cologne, in 1992/93 there was a big touring exhibition with stops in Helsinki, Nuremberg, Rotterdam and Wuppertal. In addition to that his music machines have been represented in the worldwide exhibition 'Fluxus in Deutschland' since 1995, which could be seen in Gera, Budapest, Istanbul, Brčnn, Copenhagen, Athens, Tel Aviv and Warsaw so far; further stops are planned for Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Africa until 2002.