JOHNKUIPERS.CA > BIOGRAPHY

A Brief Biography

I've enjoyed a varied career that's included graduate study and teaching in the history of ideas at York University; performing, producing and composing music alone and with a variety of talented artists; writing and editing for national magazines; and working in creative, technical and managerial roles in bringing the publishing industry into the electronic era in print, and, more recently, onto the internet. During that time I've remained active in photography and image-making, as well as writing, recording and performing music.

Some of my film soundtracks are listed in the Internet Movie Database - but I've somehow been spliced together in the same biography with a "Handsome Dutch actor, dancer and choreographer" also named John Kuipers and born in Soerabaja, Indonesia, in 1937. The composing credits in the biography are in fact mine, but the acting credits are his. Isn't it wonderful how the internet has brought us together in this strange way?

After working on several other other projects for TV Ontario the National Film Board of Canada, I scored a film called Gulfstream for filmmaker/naturalist William Hansen and the NFB. It's available on DVD from the NFB, and won an award at the International Scientific Film Festival in Rio de Janeiro.



Glass Orchestra LP
In the late '70s, in addition to writing modest amounts of music for film, TV and dance, I was performing with various ensembles based in Toronto, particularly some memorable collaborations with Chilean artist/musician Juan Pablo Orrego. I was also busy taming the patch-monster synthesizers of the era in the electroacoustic trio Waveband with Michael Brook and Gordon Philips, and later in the art/music/video collective Keen, with Fred Gaysek and John Tucker.

In 1977, after experimenting with the haunting, eerie sounds produced by bowing, striking and otherwise exciting glass bowls, wineglasses and other sonic silicates, Juan Pablo Orrego and I founded the Glass Orchestra together with some equally eccentric Toronto musicians, including Marvin Green, Miguel Frasconi and Paul Hodge. We performed music on nothing but glass instruments - from the ethereal, unearthly sound of wine glasses bowed with wet fingers to glass marimbas, gongs, and other percussion, sound effects and wind instruments. Read about it in the Canadian Encyclopedia/Encyclopedia of Music in Canada. We recorded an LP, The Glass Orchestra (1978, Music Gallery Editions WRCI 1551 LP) - on clear vinyl, what else? - and there's an article based on my original liner notes here. There's a photo of a 1980 TV performance in West Berlin here - I'm on the far right.



Three Absolut Vodka ads from 1997
In the 1980s I signed on with a Canadian publishing company as a writer/movie reviewer, editor and eventually electronic publishing manager. It was a period intense media development, from VHS tapes to accessible computers and interactive entertainment, and I was soon shifting to writing about technology (with a foray into a weekly radio segment on CBC's 'The Entertainers'). The next step turned out to be a major technological overhaul of the company's way of preparing and publishing creative material for print magazines and advertising media. It was an exciting time. It was a great opportunity to explore the emerging world of computer graphics - which of course opened up a whole new dimension in photography. Some of the interesting ad work included a chance to create a series of full-page magazine ads for the famous Absolut Vodka bottle campaign in the 90s. And when my employer was absorbed by a larger firm in 2001, I made the transition to working full-time on internet pursuits, helping to build websites for Canadian Living, Style at Home and Elle Canada, along with sites and features for many national and global advertising clients together with a memorable team of designers, programmers and analysts.

In the late 80s and early 90s a collaboration with Greg Antonacci as the pseudoband Cargo Cult resulted in a series of ethnic-electronic pop recordings.

More recently, I've composed and recorded a number of solo guitar and ensemble pieces in a more classical and Latin vein, and am currently working on The Long Way Home, an album of big-band electronica. I'll be uploading a few tracks from that project here soon - stay tuned.



Breathe In
Meanwhile, my nephew, Gabe Antonacci, is a ferociously talented actor and songwriter/musician, and I was thrilled to be part of his new CD, Breathe In (2010). You can listen to a few tracks here: myspace.com/antonaccigabe. Gabe's doing vocals, bass, some keyboards and guitar, while his dad, Greg Antonacci, plays drums, more guitar and also did the engineering and mastering. I added some keyboards, electronic effects and guitar bits, and designed the cover. Check it out!

And, of course, the relentless pursuit of images and oddities continues.

Thanks for visiting my site, and for the opportunity to share my obsessions. A special thanks to my wife, the painter Mary Lou Kuipers, for her constant creative inspiration and support. Visit her website: mlkart.ca. And thanks also to my cousin and brother Sieger Zoutman for his valuable help with the Dutch version of this site.

Please email your comments or inquiries to: john@johnkuipers.ca


John Kuipers


The images here reflect my interest in natural form and texture, landscape and my romance with megaliths and the old stones of Europe.
About the photos...

About the megaliths...

Under the Megaliths menu heading, the slideshows explore ruins in Holland, Germany, England, France and the Balearics. Under the Photography menu heading, Themes focuses on detail, texture and ambiguity. Places draws from various travels.

Most photos are available as archival quality photographic prints, and as digital image rights. Please inquire for information.