Arthur Russell


Dance music is more improvisatory. It uses an extendable structure which on the one hand is recognizable, and on the other, improvisatory. It's based on hearing what you do while you do it. In most compositions, it's based on hearing things in a much more distanced sense

Arthur Russell, Melody Maker, 11 April 1987

Arthur Russell (May 21, 1951 – April 4, 1992) was an American cellist, composer, singer, and musician whose work spanned the genres of classical, disco, experimental, folk and rock. Notable artists who collaborated with Russell include Allen Ginsberg, Philip Glass, Talking Heads, Jennifer Warnes, Bootsy Collins and Nicky Siano. Russell found the most commercial success in New York’s underground dance and disco scene during the 1970s and 1980s. Although extremely prolific, the musician’s near-chronic inability to finish projects resulted in an extremely limited amount of released output during his life. The only full length record of Russell’s to be released while the musician was still alive was World of Echo on Rough Trade Records in 1986. Following his death, several albums of his various unreleased recordings were compiled and released.