Annette Peacock

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Annette Peacock
Born Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Genres Free jazz, electronic, avant-garde, art rock
Occupation(s) Composer, singer, songwriter, producer, musician
Instruments Vocals, keyboards
Years active 1960s–present
Labels ironic US, ECM
Associated acts Paul Bley, Bill Bruford, Coldcut

Annette Peacock (Born 1941)[1] is an American composer, singer, songwriter, producer, arranger, and musician. She was a pioneer in the genres of rap and in electronic music, with her voice using the Moog synthesizer, and she's the creator of the free-form song.


Annette Peacock was born Brooklyn, New York and was writing music by the time she was five-years-old. She is self-taught except for some time spent at Juilliard in the 1970s.[2] Her mother was a violist in the San Diego and Philadelphia Philharmonic Orchestras who studied at the Curtis Institute of Music.

During the early 1960s, Peacock was an associate and guest of Timothy Leary[2] and Richard Alpert (Ram Dass) at their mansion and psychedelic center in Millbrook, New York, and she was among the first ten students to study macrobiotics with Michio Kushi.

She toured Europe with avant-garde jazz saxophonist Albert Ayler.[2] She was married to bassist Gary Peacock and then pianist Paul Bley.[3][4] She began to compose for Bley and invented a style she called "free-form song". She was also a pioneer in synthesizing electronic vocals after being given an early model of the Moog synthesizer by its inventor, Robert Moog.[2] She performed live with The Bley-Peacock Synthesizer Show at Town Hall in November 1969 topless, and she produced their concert at Philharmonic Hall in December 1960, by promoting it with late night TV ads as well as an appearance on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.[5]

In 1972, Peacock released her solo album, I'm the One (RCA Victor).[6] With Paul Bley and Han Bennink she recorded two live albums: Improvise (America), and Dual Unity (Freedom). She mixed, edited, and produced both albums.

After a hiatus of six years, X-Dreams and The Perfect Release were released on the British Aura label and the U.S. label Tomato. 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 album Sky Skating (1982), Been in the Streets Too Long (1983), I Have No Feelings (1986), and Abstract-Contact (1988).

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.[7]

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" from their album Sound Mirrors. In 2013, she was invited by The Whitney Museum of American Art to perform.

In November 2015, she gave a rare performance at Le Guess Who? Festival 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.

Critical reception[edit]

"Annette Peacock is a stone cold original – an innovator, an outlier, authentically sui generis," said John Doran of Quietus.[8]

The journalists of the UK music magazine The Wire named her solo album one of the top 100 records that "set fire to the world", and she was the cover of The Wire for the December 2015 issue.


  • 1972 I'm the One (RCA Victor) (reissued in 2010 on ironic US)
  • 1973 Improvisie (America)
  • 1973 Dual Unity (Freedom)
  • 1978 X-Dreams (Tomato)
  • 1979 The Perfect Release (Tomato)
  • 1982 Sky Skating (ironic)
  • 1983 Been in the Streets Too Long (ironic)
  • 1986 I Have No Feelings (ironic)
  • 1988 Abstract-Contact (ironic)
  • 2000 An Acrobat's Heart (ECM)
  • 2006 31:31 (ironic US)
  • 2014 I Belong to a World That's Destroying Itself [aka Revenge] (ironic US)[9]


  • "Don't Be Cruel" / "Dear Bela" (Aura, 1978)
  • "Love's Out to Lunch" / "Rubber Hunger" (Aura, 1979)
  • "Sky-skating" / "Taking It as It Comes" (ironic, 1981)

Compositions appeared on[edit]

  • 1965: Paul Bley Trio - Touching ("Touching", "Both" & "Cartoon")
  • 1966: Paul Bley Trio - Closer ("Cartoon")
  • 1967: Paul Bley - Ramblin' ("Both", "Albert's Love Theme" & "Touching")
  • 1967: Paul Bley, Gary Peacock, Barry Altschul - Virtuosi (all compositions: "Butterflies" & "Gary")
  • 1968: Paul Bley - Mr. Joy (all compositions: "Kid Dynamite", "Nothing Ever Was, Anyway", "El Cordobes", "Touching", "Blood" & "Mr. Joy")
  • 1968: Paul Bley - Turning Point ("Mr. Joy" & "Kid Dynamite")
  • 1968: Karin Krog and Friends - Joy ("Mr. Joy")
  • 1970: Paul Bley & Gary Peacock - Paul Bley with Gary Peacock (all compositions: "Gary" & "Albert's Love Theme")
  • 1971: Paul Bley - The Paul Bley Synthesizer Show (all compositions:"Mr. Joy", "The Archangel", "Nothing Ever Was, Anyway", "Gary", "Snakes", "Parks" & "Circles")
  • 1971: Paul Bley - Ballads (all compositions:"Ending", "Circles" & "So Hard It Hurts")
  • 1972: Paul Bley - Open, to Love ("Open, to Love" & "Nothing Ever Was, Anyway")
  • 1973: Al Kooper - Naked Songs ("Been and Gone")
  • 1973: Paul Bley & Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen - Paul Bley/NHØP ("Gesture Without Plot")
  • 1974: Mick Ronson - Slaughter on 10th Avenue ("I'm the One") & (7 Days)
  • 1974: Paul Bley & Jaco Pastorius - Jaco ("Blood")
  • 1975: Paul Bley – Alone, Again ("Dreams")
  • 1978: Bill Bruford - Feels Good to Me ("Back to the Beginning", "Seems Like a Lifetime Ago (Part One)", "Adios A La Pasada (Goodbye to the Past)")
  • 1986: Paul Bley - Fragments ("Nothing Ever Was, Anyway")
  • 1992: Paul Bley, Franz Koglmann, Gary Peacock - Annette ("Touching" (2 takes), "El Cordobes", "Cartoon", "Albert's Love Theme", "Kid Dynamite", "Miracles", "Blood (2 takes), "Both", "Mister Joy")
  • 1996: Marilyn Crispell, Gary Peacock & Paul Motian - "Nothing Ever Was, Anyway: Music of Annette Peacock" (all compostions: "Nothing Ever Was, Anyway", "Butterflies That I Feel Inside Me", "Open, to Love", "Cartoon", "Albert's Love Theme", "Dreams (If Time Weren't)", "Touching", "Both", "You've Left Me", "Miracles", "Ending" & "Blood")
  • 2006: Coldcut - "Just For The Kick" ft. Annette Peacock
  • 2016: Nels Cline - Lovers medley of ("So Hard It Hurts/Touching") arranged by Michael Leonhart


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c d Adler, David R. "Annette Peacock". AllMusic. Retrieved 10 March 2017. 
  3. ^ arwulf, arwulf. "Paul Bley". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 April 2017. 
  4. ^ Morton, Brian (8 January 2016). "Paul Bley: Pianist who played with Parker, Rollins and Coleman". The Independent. Retrieved 15 April 2017. 
  5. ^ Holmes, Thom (16 October 2016). "On the Road: Early "Live" Moog Modular Artists - The Bob Moog Foundation". The Bob Moog Foundation. Retrieved 15 April 2017. 
  6. ^ Fordham, John (14 July 2011). "Annette Peacock: I'm The One – review". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 April 2017. 
  7. ^ "Annette Peacock: An Acrobat's Heart". All About Jazz. 1 November 2000. Retrieved 15 April 2017. 
  8. ^ "The Quietus | Features | A Quietus Interview | She's The One: Annette Peacock Interviewed". The Quietus. Retrieved 2017-02-01. 
  9. ^ "Annette Peacock | Album Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 10 March 2017. 

External links[edit]