Boyd Rice : biography
Boyd Blake Rice (born December 16, 1956) is an American experimental sound/noise musician using the name of NON since the mid-1970s, archivist, actor, photographer, author, member of the Partridge Family Temple religious group, co-founder of the and current staff writer for Modern Drunkard magazine.
Rice creates music under his own name, as well as under the moniker of NON and with contributors under various other project names.
Early sound experiments
Rice started creating experimental noise recordings in 1975, drawing on his interest in tape machines and bubblegum pop sung by female vocalists such as Little Peggy March and Ginny Arnell. One of his earliest efforts consisted entirely of a loop of every time Lesley Gore sang the word "cry". After initially creating recordings simply for his own listening, he later started to give performances, and eventually make records. His musical project NON grew out of these early experiments; he reportedly selected the name because "it implies everything and nothing".
Techniques and implementations
From his earliest recordings, Rice has experimented with both sound and the medium through which that sound is conveyed. His methods of expanding upon the listening possibilities for recorded music were simple. On his second seven-inch, he had 2–4 extra holes punched into the record for "multi axial rotation". Another early LP was titled Play At Any Speed. While working exclusively with vinyl, he employed locked grooves that allowed listeners to create their own music. He was one of the first artists, after John Cage, to treat turntables as instruments and developed various techniques for scratching. Rice has been treating sounds from vinyl recordings as early as 1975.Blood Book "Boyd Rice Interview" 2010
Under the name NON, originally with second member Robert Turman, Rice has recorded several seminal noise music albums, and collaborated with experimental music/dark folk artists like Current 93, Death In June and Rose McDowall. Most of his music has been released on the Mute Records label. Rice has also collaborated with Foetus, Tony Wakeford of Sol Invictus and Michael Moynihan of Blood Axis. His later albums have often been explicitly conceptual.
On Might! (1995), Rice layers portions of "Ragnar Redbeard"’s Social Darwinist harangue, Might is Right over sound beds of looped noise and manipulated frequencies. 1997’s God and Beast explores the intersection in the soul of man’s physical and spiritual natures over the course of an album that alternates abrasive soundscapes with passages of tranquility.
In 2006, Rice returned to the studio to record raw vocal sound sources for a collaboration with Industrial, modern primitive percussionist/ethnomusicologist Z’EV. In addition, he and long-time friend of twenty years Giddle Partridge planned an album titled LOVE/LOVE-BANG/BANG!, under the band name of Giddle & Boyd. After the limited edition release of a bubblegum pink, heart-shaped vinyl E.P. titled, Going Steady With Peggy Moffitt. In early 2010, Rice announced that he and Giddle Partridge would focus on solo projects/albums for the time being.
Early NON performances were designed to offer choice to audience members who might otherwise expect only a prefabricated and totally passive entertainment experience. Rice has stated that he considers his performances to be "de-indoctrination rites". Rice has performed using a shoe polisher, the "rotoguitar" (an electric guitar with an electric fan on it), and other homemade instruments. He has also used found sounds, played at a volume just below the threshold of pain, to entice his audiences to endure his high decibel sound experiments.
Rice coupled his aural assaults with psychological torture on audiences in Den Haag, the Netherlands, by shining exceedingly bright lights in their faces that were deliberately placed just out of reach. As their frustration mounted, Rice states that he: ..continued to be friendly to the audience, which made them even madder, because they were so mad and I didn’t care! They were shaking their fists at me, and I thought that at any minute there’d be a riot. So I took it as far as I thought I could, and then thanked them and left.Vale, V. Juno, Andrea. Re/Search #6/7: Industrial Culture Handbook (1983) ISBN 0-940642-07-7