Biography

Joseph Budenholzer grew up in Nebraska, immersed in the rural lore and religious traditions of the region. As a boy he attended parochial school where he was taught by nuns to play guitar for folk Mass. In addition to leading a string of local bands, he also joined The Omaha Magic Theatre, an offshoot of The Open Theatre in New York, as composer in residence. He eventually left Nebraska and set out for New York City arriving in the East Village in the mid-1980s. Soon after he began participating in readings at St Mark's Poetry Project and before long he was collaborating with dance performer, Brian Moran (Blood Boy) creating sampled soundscapes for confrontational Actionist assaults. This led into the Cinema of Transgression scene where he worked with filmmakers Richard Kern, Beth B, and Tessa Hughs-Freeland, and musician J.G. Thirlwell (Foetus). Eventually a series of live collaborations with Lydia Lunch resulted, culminating in the double CD, Matrikamantra, a work of psycho-acoustic theatre in the form of a homage to Romanian philosopher/poet EM Cioran. In 1990 he enrolled in NYU's Gallatin Division, focusing on Eastern European theatre, traveling to study in Russia and Bulgaria, and later touring Poland and the Czech Republic.

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