Charlemagne Palestine was born Chaim Moshe Palestine in Brooklyn, New York of a Jewish immigrant family from Odessa and Minsk in 1947. At six years old he started to sing traditional Jewish cantorial music in the synagogue. At the New York University, he began composing electronic music at the NYU Electronic Music Studio run by Morton Subotnick where he worked with electronic synthesizer oscillators and filters which he would name "Spectral Continuum". Later Subotnick invited him in 1969 to relocate to Los Angeles and participate in the creation of a new radical school for multimedia, arts, music, dance, and theater known as the California Institute of the Arts. There he met happening artist inventor Allan Kaprow, video pioneer Nam June Paik, avant-garde composer James Tenney, fluxus artists Emmett Williams, Dick Higgins, Alison Knowles, and Judson Dance Theatre member and artist Simone Forti with whom Palestine created a unique music and dance form called "Illuminations" in 1970, which they have continued to perform irregularly over the last 45+ years even just recently at Centre Pompidou, Paris and MoMA, New York. At Cal Arts he developed many different practices: electronic and acoustic sound works, body performance art, video art and multimedia installations. With Forti he was invited for the first time to Europe to perform in a festival in Rome in 1972 where he met La Monte Young, Philip Glass, Steve Reich, and Terry Riley. With his revolutionary solo piano work Strumming Music (1974), he was included in the new musical trend known as minimal music.