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Gen Ken Montgomery is a sound artist living and working in New York since 1978. He has created sound works for tape, vinyl and compact discs, soundtracks for film and video, concerts for stage, performance art for public spaces, sound and music for theatre, sound for elevators and sound art for galleries. Since 1985 he has been creating and performing eight channel concerts for presentation in total darkness inspired by his mentor and collaborator, Conrad Schnitzler. Montgomery was one of the original founders of Generation Unlimited and the Pogus Productions record labels, and in 1989, founded Generator, the first sound art gallery in New York City. He has been awarded Artist Residencies in Hamburg and New York City. In addition to his own work, he continues to produce concerts and publish recordings of dedicated sound artists through Generator Sound Art, Inc. (
“In the process of defining my work I have been involved in creating projects and events which bring people together to produce sounds and/or focus on the experience of listening. I‚ve become increasingly appreciative of the enduring impression of experiences that arise out of transitory moments. Sound is a great form of transportation. I like to create situations which encourage listening and haphazardness, while contemplating that haphazardness doesn‚t exist. Recently I have been enhancing the pre-existing sounds of objects whose primary function is seemingly unrelated to the sounds they produce. (an ice crushing machine, a film projector, a laminator, a coffee machine etc.) In a social context I hope to shift perception, open windows to new experiences, provoke never-heard-before dialogs and celebrate the conscious experience of listening. I confront limitations by utilizing them. Performances are often made in total darkness or amongst the public, but rarely on a stage. In pursuit of a spontaneous creative idea I strive to overcome the fear of producing something stupid or boring.”

Gen Ken Montgomery has performed his work in New York, Dusseldorf and has presented his installations in Stockholm, New York, Vienna, Rotterdam and Munich. He received grants and awards from Harvestworks, Spritzenhaus and the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts Inc. His music was released by GD Stereo, Tellus, Disco Esplendor Geometrico, De Fabriek, RRRecords, ND and his own Generations Unlimited


Icebreaker was heard in the elevator of a gallery in NYC in 1992 – Caught in a Box, Art in General, New York City 1992

Icebreaker was presented as an installtion at Generator Sound Art GAllery in 1992 for 6 weeks. Octophonic live mix in total darkness – Installation, Generator Sound Art Gallery, New York City 1992

Close your eyes. Why should sound composing bother to refer to traditional music instruments? Must there be a visual element to sound? The Crush-a-matic is a sound making device. But Icebreaker is not about instrumentation or composing or presentation. It’s about creating an experience through listening. The Icebreaker was used as a starting point to record and manipulate sounds which were then feed through 8 speakers placed in a circle facing the centre of a dark room. You are in the centre. There is a chair and some cushions but you are free to walk around or do as you please. The room is more than dark. It is black. You can’t see your hand in front of your face. Whether you want to close your eyes or not is your choice. The sounds originating from the Crush-a-matic begin to engulf you. They come from various points in space and move around you, through you, over you, past you, inside you. You hear many things and they might be very different from what I hear or what the next person hears. You may detect the sounds of ice being crushed or the humming of the engine but you will hear a lot of other things too. And they might remind you of memories or inspire fantasies, or you might get bored. And that‚s ok too.

Although all 4 tapes of each concert were created to be played together starting at approximately the same time feel free to mix these tapes in any combination you desire.
The original full length tracks of ICEBREAKER are available as a 4 CD set packaged in a folder with a photograph of the ICE-O-MATIC ice crushing machine used for the recordings.

mini CD