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Karlheinz stockhausen prozession refrain


After a false start as a jazz musician, Czukay studied in Cologne from 1963 to 1966 with the pioneering avant-garde composer Karlheinz Stockhausen, a mentor figure who made a lasting impact on his approach to life and music. In 1968, he formed a band with the young German guitarist Michael Karoli which quickly evolved into The Can.

The roots of Can can be traced back to Irmin Schmidt and a trip that he made to New York City in 1966. While Schmidt initially spent his time with avant-garde musicians such as Steve Reich , La Monte Young and Terry Riley , he was also eventually exposed to the world of Andy Warhol , Hotel Chelsea . In his own words, the trip "corrupted" him, sparking a fascination with the possibilities of rock music. Upon his return to Cologne later that year, an inspired Schmidt formed a group with American avant-garde composer and flautist David C. Johnson and music teacher Holger Czukay with the intention of exploring his newly broadened horizons.

Alex Poots, Founding Artistic Director and CEO, photo by Simon Luethi
The Shed staff, December 2017, photo by Ed Lederman


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