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Annette Peacock (born 1941) is an American composer, singer, songwriter, producer, arranger, and musician. She is a pioneer in electronic music who combined her voice with one of the first Moog synthesizers in the late 1960s.
Annette Peacock was born in Brooklyn, New York, and was writing music by the time she was five-years-old. She is self-taught except for her time as a student at Juilliard in the early 1970s. She grew up in California. Her mother was a violist in the San Diego and Philadelphia Philharmonic Orchestras who studied at the Curtis Institute of Music.
She moved to New York to marry jazz bassist Gary Peacock. During the early 1960s, she was an associate and guest of Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert (Ram Dass) at their mansion and psychedelic center in Millbrook, New York. She was among the first ten students to study macrobiotics with Michio Kushi.
She toured Europe with avant-garde jazz saxophonist Albert Ayler. She was married to bassist Gary Peacock, then pianist Paul Bley. Around 1965, she began to compose for Bley and invented a style she called "free-form song". Her compositions appeared on his album Ballads and influenced the style of ECM Records. She was a pioneer in synthesizing electronic vocals after being given an early model of the Moog synthesizer by its inventor, Robert Moog. She performed with the Bley-Peacock Synthesizer Show at Town Hall in November 1969 and the next month at Philharmonic Hall. The show ran from 1968–1971 with Bley, Gary Peacock, Barry Altschul, and Han Bennink. They released three albums, beginning with Revenge. From 1972–'74, she attended Juilliard.
In 1972, Peacock released her debut solo album, I'm the One (RCA Victor). With Bley and Bennink she recorded two live albums: Improvisie (America), and Dual Unity (Freedom). She mixed, edited, and produced both albums.
In 1974, she moved to London. After a hiatus of six years, she released two rock albums, X-Dreams and The Perfect Release on Aura in the U.K. and Tomato in the U.S. While she played several instruments on her debut albums, she used only her voice, backed by British progressive rock musicians Chris Spedding, Mick Ronson, Brian Godding, Bill Bruford, and Peter Lemer.
She started her own label, Ironic Records, from the UK, distributed in Europe by Rough Trade. The first release on her label was the single "Sky Skating", followed by the albums Sky Skating (1982), Been in the Streets Too Long (1983), I Have No Feelings (1986), and Abstract-Contact (1988).
Peacock performed solo in 1986 and 1990. During the 1980s and '90s, she worked with Karlheinz Stockhausen, Roger Turner, Michael Mondesir, and Evan Parker before moving back to the U.S.
In 1997, ECM Records released Nothing Ever Was, Anyway: Music of Annette Peacock, a double-album tribute to her compositions from 1964–1969 by Marilyn Crispell, Paul Motian, and Gary Peacock. During the same year, Manfred Eicher, head of ECM, commissioned her to compose for string quartet, piano, and voice. The album, An Acrobat's Heart (ECM, 2000), took three years to compose and arrange and broke her twelve-year hiatus from recording.
In 2006, she restarted her label, renamed 'ironic US', and released 31:31, a signed, numbered, limited edition. During the same year, she collaborated with Coldcut on the song "Just for the Kick" for their album Sound Mirrors. In 2013, she was invited by The Whitney Museum of American Art to perform.
She gave a rare performance at Le Guess Who? Festival in November 2015 as part of a four-day program presented by drone band Sunn O))).
Peacock's music has been recorded by David Bowie, Brian Eno, Mick Ronson, Al Kooper, Pat Metheny, Jaco Pastorius, Bill Frisell, Chris Spedding, Mary Halvorson, Nels Cline, RZA, Busta Rhymes, J-Live, Ghostface Killah, and Morcheeba.Wide ThumbClearartFanartBanner User Comments