Chris Cutler

Chris Cutler ( born January 4, 1947 in Washington DC, USA ) is a British drummer, percussionist, composer, writer and music theorist. He was known primarily for his work with English avant-garde rock bands Henry Cow and Art Bears, as the initiator of the Rock In Opposition movement and as the founder of the record label and vertriebs Recommended Records.

Life and work

Cutler grew up in England. He has no formal musical training, but is a self-taught. As a student he worked on banjo, guitar, trumpet and flute, before he decided on the drums. He formed his first band in 1963, the covers of instrumental pieces of the Shadows and the Ventures aufführte; then he played in rhythm-and - blues and soul bands, in 1966 he was for three years a member of the band Louise, who played in London psychedelic music. With Dave Stewart in 1971, he founded The Ottawa Music Company, a large-scale rock orchestra before he became a member of Henry Cow.

Cutler works in the border areas of rock, jazz and avant-garde music. He can be heard on well over 100 record releases and was - besides the aforementioned bands - member or a guest musician of many other formations, including but not limited Pere Ubu, The Residents, Cassiber and Gong. A long-time and frequent musical partner is the guitarist Fred Frith; other collaborations there were particular with Tom Cora, Peter Blegvad, Lutz Glandien, Tim Hodgkinson, Lindsay Cooper. To this end, numerous publications and performances come under his own name.

In addition, Cutler has numerous essays and texts to music written and published a book on the political theory of pop music. ( File Under Popular, 1984). He is a member of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music ( IASPM ) and gives lectures and panel discussions on music theory topics.

Discography (selection)

Publications with Henry Cow, Art Bears and Pere Ubu see there.

With Fred Frith

  • Live in Prague and Washington, (1983, Recommended Records )
  • Live in Trondheim, Berlin, Limoges (1994, Recommended Records )
  • 2 Gentlemen in Verona (2000, Recommended Records )
  • The Stone: Issue Two (2007, Tzadik Records )

By News from Babel

  • Work Resumed on the Tower (1984, Recommended Records )
  • Letters Home (1986, Recommended Records )

With Lutz Glandien

  • Domestic Stories (1993, Recommended Records )
  • Scenes from No Marriage (1994 Recommended Records )

With Cassiber

  • Man or Monkey? (1982, Risky )
  • Beauty and the Beast (1984, Recommended Records )
  • Perfect Worlds (1986, Recommended Records )
  • A Face We All Know (1990, Recommended Records )
  • Live in Tokyo (1998, Recommended Records )


  • Solo: A Descent Into the Maelstrom (2001, Recommended Records )
  • Twice Around the World (2005, Recommended Records )
  • There and Back Again (2006, Recommended Records )


  • Cutler, Chris / Hodgkinson, Tim: The Henry Cow Book ( 1981). Third Step Printworks. ISBN 0-9508870-0-5.


  • At the Edge of Chaos (2000), documentary directed by Shinji Aoyama, a solo show in Tokyo in 1998.