Performance at Metro State College, St. Paul, Minnesota, 1/11/02

Daniel Kaniess performed and recorded as the solo entity, Poet 1955, beginning in 1979.,exploring sound and music in unorthodox ways by unorthodox means. His composition, “HORN”, was performed by the Twin Cities’ ensemble, Zeitgeist, on March 13, 1999. He appeared as part of “The Noise Spectrum” on March 27, 1999, at the Walker Art Center’s Late Night in Gallery 8.

He performed his compositions, “DRAIN” and “Ayler Mystery”, at the Gus Lucky Gallery in November, 2000, and on January 1st, 2000, premiered his dish/water guitar and trumpaphone.

In 2001, he introduced different home made noise makers in different venues.  With guest performers, he debuted his “Marketing Suite” at Rogue Buddha Gallery in Minneapolis.  This piece was made up of texts and elements that referenced the Fuller Brush Man, Avon Lady, telemarketing and E-marketing respectively.  In 2002 Daniel  performed at Metro State College and the Soap Factory.

Examples of his work were made available on self-produced cassette tapes under titles such as; The Preoccupation with Tears (1985), Rust in the Engine that Loves (1993), Technosaur (1994), and Bombstar Folk 2000 (1999).


Jay McHale

 2i was formed in 1980 and performed and recorded regularly until 1986. They played locally and toured in the Midwest and Canada in the 80s.  They blurred many lines between musical genres, and their use of trumpet and saxophones established their reputation as a unique voice. This horn section, or the members thereof, appeared with a variety of other groups in performance and in recording. They have been featured with the Violent Femmes, Boiled in Lead, The Hypstyrz, The Buck-Fifty Boys, Curtis A, Poetry Grenade and many other notable acts. Most demonstrative of their own recordings are the CD, “2i”, the LP, “House of Nerves” and the single, “Smile Down”.

 Since 1995, 2i performed infrequently, but sustained an adventurous course.  Rather than rely on tired and familiar material, they entertained their approach to songwriting publicly.  That is to say that their public performances were mostly improvisations.  Whether the segments of a performance were made up by the suggestion of musical genre, poetic wordplay, or prepared but unexplained titles, the result was a living surprise for audience and musician alike.

While this approach could be cited in the world of music in the work of John Zorn, Material, Tom Waits, Frank Zappa and many others, when churned with the ideals, coloquialisms and passions of the Midwest it took on another patina.

With the passing of Jay McHale in October of 2002, the music that was 2i truly lost its heart.  Jay’s horn and keyboard involvement was integral to the creation of the sound. The entity stopped performing under the 2i banner in 2002, but the spirit has continued in BLACKi.

Daniel Kaniess, singer, guitar player and another founding member of 2i, died in April of 2012.  Music provided this visual artist another outlet for his unbound creativity. Watch for a documentary of the world of 2i in the future.


Who Hears? 1982    i tapes 1    (cassette)
BOO! 1983    i tapes 2    (cassette)
Never Pet A Burning Dog 1984    i tapes 3    (cassette)
House Of Nerves 1985    Goat in a Birdsuit  001     (LP)

Smile Down
b/w Baby, Your House

Goat in a Birdsuit  002     (7″ ) 2i 2000
breakeven records BE02 2000 (compact disc)


BLACKi is an improvisational group in member composition as well as performance. Over 97 different musicians have been participants in a BLACKi experience at one time or another. The philosophy of BLACKi is one of an unyielding melting pot, wherein each chance meeting and interaction provides a new music. Depending on the musical background of the majority of the participants, the outcome may be one of aggressive melody or challenging sound. The goal is to avoid the familiar, and in the end it is the sound of surprise.

Check out the music on Myspace.

BLACKi…one day in May, 2006

BLACKi, summer 2005

Daniel Kaniess was a founding member of BLACKi.  Daniel last performed live with BLACKi in November, 2011.