Photo: Alex Woodward

Catherine Christer Hennix


Seemingly static but complexly interacting, stately and colossal drones by the creator of some of the most legendary yet least heard music of the 70's.

What we wrote at the time: Who: Creator of some of the most legendary yet least heard music of the 70's, and possessor of an almost unbelievable role call of avant-collaborators/ mentors 1


What: Hennix developed a well-organized and logically constructed, subtle and intricate system for creating what she and Henry Flynt termed Hallucinogenic Ecstatic Sound Experiences 2: seemingly static but complexly interacting, stately and colossal drones. 


Why: Almost every major experimental composer of the 20th Century 3 argued that the essence of music is time, (for e.g. - La Monte Young: "tuning is a function of time"). By thinking music through hard-core mathematics, quantum physics and Eastern thought, Hennix is the only composer we know who insists on a music of no-time.

  • 1. When young sat in on drums with Albert Ayler, worked with Åke Hodell et al at Fylkingen in the 60’s, studied with La Monte Young and Prandit Pran Nath, shared a mathematician collaborator with Maryanne Amacher, set up a commune with Henry Flynt: insanely, this list just goes on….
  • 2. On hearing this piece in the 70’s, Don Cherry (no less! - "the musician who has most clearly embodied the many ambiguities of Jazz” – said the great jazz writer Richard Cook) said it was the most psychedelic thing he had ever heard…
  • 3. Cage, Feldman, Young, all the big guns…
  • Audio

    Credits / license
    • CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

  • Video - Intro

    Credits / license
    • CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

  • Video - Performance

    Credits / license
    • CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

  • Extract


    C.C. Hennix has written an essay about her performance at INSTAL.

    Her work can on first impression sound incredibly simple. As non-specialists in the outer regions of advanced mathematics, Eastern philosophy and tuning systems, neurophysiology or the bathing habits of Heraclitus (“you cannot step into the same river twice”), we can’t explain to you all the ways in which it is in fact composed of sophisticatedly interconnected parts; of all its complexity. 

    But it’s safe to say that the following notes, as an example of the ways in which Hennix’s music is informed, set her apart as one of our key thinkers of the drone, it’s Eastern precedents and their interaction with specific trends in modern Western philosophical and scientific thought. The following notes are an important reminder of how the drone, (and it’s uncanny nature as being both changing and yet still the same; of producing a sameness which is not identical), is far more than something that can be reduced to the merely sonic.