Born: April 30, 1960 Primary Instrument: Sax, alto
Blind from birth, saxist and multi-reedist Julius Vasylenko was born and raised in Bradford, West Yorkshire, UK. Regaining partial sight at the age of 18 months through experimental optical surgery, he attended Temple Bank School for the visually impaired. After an initially unpleasant experience here, two teachers opened his ears and his mind by introducing him to the sounds of nature, on camping trips, and to classical music. Beethoven was my first rock and roll, he says...
Two older cousins on his father's side of the family introduced him to the progressive rock of King Crimson, Yes, and Peter Gabriel's Genesis. Later he met and befriended a number of music pioneers, many of whom became the foundation of the industrial genre. In London, there was the unique This Heat and the nucleus of this burgeoning molecule, Throbbing Gristle. He also became involved in the Sheffield Scene, inspired by groups like Cabaret Voltaire and Clock DVA. Electronics pioneer, studio engineer and friend Mark Bokowiec gave him access to tools such as oscillators, sound modulators, noise generators and various synthesizers. They collaborated on many electro-acoustic projects, including ambient, dub and tape loop music.
Picking up saxophone at age 19, he was also involved with theater. He loved performing Samuel Beckett and Harold Pinter plays the best. In addition, he participated in the Dada-inspired performance art scene throughout Northern England.
The traumatic loss of his saxophone on the verge of a move to the US put a damper on the joy he felt at moving overseas in the mid-1980s. However, a move from the East Coast to California led to a remarkable meeting with Sun Ra, who foresaw a mystical return of his horn.
Many saxophones have mysteriously come his way since, and he now plays and records in many contexts. Groups include Boston Lamb & Veal, Breakfast at Penderecki's, Romulus and Remus, and JaJuNo. He performs frequently in the Boston area, and recent excursions include a date at The Stone, NYC.
Gordon Marshall, AAJ
It sounds just like farting.
Margarita Mei Padua - Aged 6, Front Royal, VA, USA