Catherine Christer Hennix

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Catherine Christer Hennix (C.C. Hennix, 1948, Stockholm) is a Swedish-American sound artist, poet, composer, philosopher, mathematician and visual artist associated with drone music. Hennix was affiliated with MIT's AI Lab in the late 1970s and was later employed as research professor of mathematics at SUNY New Paltz.

Catherine Christer Hennix started her creative career playing drums with her older brother Peter growing up in Sweden. In the mid-1960s she saw jazz luminaries such as John Coltrane, Eric Dolphy, Dexter Gordon, Archie Shepp, and Cecil Taylor perform at the Golden Circle, Stockholm. Directly after high school, Hennix went to work at Stockholm’s pioneering Elektronmusikstudion (EMS), where she helped develop early synthesizer and tape music. After traveling to New York in 1968, she met Dick Higgins and Alison Knowles and developed a fruitful relationship with many composers in the burgeoning American avant-garde, including, most significantly, Henry Flynt and La Monte Young. Young introduced Hennix to Hindustani raga master Pandit Pran Nath, and she would later study intensively under him. During this time Hennix led the just-intonation live-electronic ensemble The Deontic Miracle, drawing inspiration from Japanese Gagaku music and the early vocal music of late-Middle Age composers Perotinus and Leoninus. In 1976 the ensemble would perform Hennix’s original compositions as part of Brouwer’s Lattice at the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, which was followed later that year at the same institution by Hennix’s first and only solo exhibition, Topos and Adjoints. While Hennix continued to make music performing alongside Henry Flynt, Marc Johnson, Arthur Russell, and Arthur Rhames, she also served as a professor of Mathematics and Computer Science at SUNY New Paltz and as a visiting Professor of Logic (at Marvin Minsky’s invitation) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. She currently resides in Berlin, Germany, where she is active as a composer and writer. (2018)

  • Notes on Toposes and Adjoints, Stockholm: Moderna Museet, 1976, 106 pp.
  • Poësy Matters and Other Matters, 2 vols., ed. & intro. Lawrence Kumpf, Brooklyn, NY: Blank Forms, 2019, 311 & 448 pp. Publisher.