Elliott Sharp

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Elliott Sharp_table_infobox_0

Elliott SharpElliott Sharp_header_cell_0_0_0
Background informationElliott Sharp_header_cell_0_1_0
Birth nameElliott Sharp_header_cell_0_2_0 Elliott SharpElliott Sharp_cell_0_2_1
BornElliott Sharp_header_cell_0_3_0 (1951-03-01) March 1, 1951 (age 69)

Cleveland, Ohio, United StatesElliott Sharp_cell_0_3_1

GenresElliott Sharp_header_cell_0_4_0 Contemporary classical, experimental, free improvisation, jazz, avant-gardeElliott Sharp_cell_0_4_1
Occupation(s)Elliott Sharp_header_cell_0_5_0 Composer, musician, producerElliott Sharp_cell_0_5_1
InstrumentsElliott Sharp_header_cell_0_6_0 Guitar, Tenor Saxophone,

Bass ClarinetElliott Sharp_cell_0_6_1

Years activeElliott Sharp_header_cell_0_7_0 1980s–presentElliott Sharp_cell_0_7_1
LabelsElliott Sharp_header_cell_0_8_0 SST, Tzadik, Clean Feed, Intuition, Homestead, Atavistic, Intakt, Extreme, Knitting Factory, zOaRElliott Sharp_cell_0_8_1
Associated actsElliott Sharp_header_cell_0_9_0 Terraplane, Carbon, Orchestra CarbonElliott Sharp_cell_0_9_1
WebsiteElliott Sharp_header_cell_0_10_0 Elliott Sharp_cell_0_10_1

Elliott Sharp (born March 1, 1951 in Cleveland, Ohio) is an American contemporary classical composer, multi-instrumentalist, and performer. Elliott Sharp_sentence_0

A central figure in the avant-garde and experimental music scene in New York City since the late 1970s, Sharp has released over eighty-five recordings ranging from contemporary classical, avant-garde, free improvisation, jazz, experimental, and orchestral music to noise, no wave, and electronic music. Elliott Sharp_sentence_1

He pioneered the use of personal computers in live performance with his Virtual Stance project of the 1980s. Elliott Sharp_sentence_2

He has used algorithms and fibonacci numbers in experimental composition since the 1970s. Elliott Sharp_sentence_3

He has cited literature as an inspiration for his music and often favors improvisation. Elliott Sharp_sentence_4

He is an inveterate performer, playing mainly guitar, saxophone and bass clarinet. Elliott Sharp_sentence_5

Sharp has led many ensembles over the years, including the blues-oriented Terraplane and Orchestra Carbon. Elliott Sharp_sentence_6

Biography Elliott Sharp_section_0

Sharp was classically trained in piano from an early age, taking up clarinet and guitar as a teen. Elliott Sharp_sentence_7

He attended Cornell University from 1969 to 1971, studying anthropology, music, and electronics. Elliott Sharp_sentence_8

He completed his B.A. degree at Bard College in 1973, where he studied composition with Benjamin Boretz and Elie Yarden; jazz composition, improvisation, and ethnomusicology with trombonist Roswell Rudd; and physics and electronics with Burton Brody. Elliott Sharp_sentence_9

In 1977 he received an M.A. from the University at Buffalo, where he studied composition with Morton Feldman and Lejaren Hiller, and ethnomusicology with Charles Keil. Elliott Sharp_sentence_10

From the late 1970s, Sharp established himself in New York's music scene. Elliott Sharp_sentence_11

His compositions have been performed by the hr-Sinfonieorchester, the Ensemble Modern, Continuum, the Orchestra of the SEM Ensemble, Kronos Quartet, the FLUX Quartet, Zeitkratzer, the Soldier String Quartet, the JACK Quartet, and Grammy-winning violinist Hilary Hahn. Elliott Sharp_sentence_12

His work has been featured at festivals worldwide, including the 2008 New Music Stockholm festival, the 2007 Hessischer Rundfunk Klangbiennale, and the Venice Biennale 2003 and 2006. Elliott Sharp_sentence_13

He releases music under his own label (zOaR music) as well as punk label SST and downtown music labels such as Knitting Factory records and John Zorn's Tzadik label. Elliott Sharp_sentence_14

Guitar Player magazine's 30th anniversary issue included Sharp among their list of "The Dirty Thirty – Pioneers and Trailblazers". Elliott Sharp_sentence_15

He has collaborated regularly with many people, including Christian Marclay, Nels Cline, Bobby Previte, Z'EV, Joey Baron, David Torn, Eric Mingus, Zeena Parkins, Vernon Reid, and Frances-Marie Uitti, as well as qawaali singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, blues legend Hubert Sumlin, actor/writer Eric Bogosian, jazz greats Jack DeJohnette and Sonny Sharrock, pop singer Debbie Harry, and Bachir Attar, leader of the Master Musicians of Jajouka. Elliott Sharp_sentence_16

He was curator of the monumental sound-art exhibition Volume: Bed of Sound for MoMA PS1, which featured the works of 54 artists including Vito Acconci, Tod Dockstader, John Duncan, Walter Murch, Muhal Richard Abrams, Laurie Anderson, Chris & Cosey, Survival Research Laboratories, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Sonic Youth, and Butch Morris. Elliott Sharp_sentence_17

He also curates the State of the Union CD compilations of one-minute tracks by experimental musicians, and produces records for a wide variety of artists. Elliott Sharp_sentence_18

Sharp describes himself as a lifelong "science geek" having modified and created musical instruments since his teen years, and frequently borrowing terms from science and technology for his compositions. Elliott Sharp_sentence_19

He has composed scores for feature films and documentaries; created music and sound-design for The Sundance Channel, MTV and Bravo networks; and has presented numerous sound installations in art galleries and museums. Elliott Sharp_sentence_20

Sharp received the 2015 Berlin Prize in Musical Composition, spending six months as a Fellow-in-Residence at the American Academy in Berlin. Elliott Sharp_sentence_21

He was a 2014 Guggenheim Fellow, a 2014 Fellow at Parson's , and is the subject of Bert Shapiro's documentary Elliott Sharp: Doing the Don't, for Pheasant Eye Film. Elliott Sharp_sentence_22

He was a 2009 Master Artist-in-Residence at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, and a 2010 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow in music. Elliott Sharp_sentence_23

Sharp received a 2003 Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists Award. Elliott Sharp_sentence_24

In March 2011, Sharp's 60th birthday was celebrated with a weekend of all-star concert events entitled "E#@60", hosted by Brooklyn's ISSUE Project Room. Elliott Sharp_sentence_25

Sharp lives in lower Manhattan with media artist Janene Higgins and their two children. Elliott Sharp_sentence_26

Discography Elliott Sharp_section_1

Solo Elliott Sharp_section_2

Elliott Sharp_unordered_list_0

  • Resonance (1979)Elliott Sharp_item_0_0
  • Rhythms and Blues (1980)Elliott Sharp_item_0_1
  • Looppool (1988)Elliott Sharp_item_0_2
  • K!L!A!V! (1990)Elliott Sharp_item_0_3
  • Westwerk (1992)Elliott Sharp_item_0_4
  • Tectonics (1995)Elliott Sharp_item_0_5
  • Sferics (1996)Elliott Sharp_item_0_6
  • Tectonics – Field and Stream (1997)Elliott Sharp_item_0_7
  • Tectonics – Errata (1999)Elliott Sharp_item_0_8
  • Velocity of Hue (2004)Elliott Sharp_item_0_9
  • Quadrature (2005)Elliott Sharp_item_0_10
  • Sharp? Monk? Sharp! Monk! (2006)Elliott Sharp_item_0_11
  • Solo Beijing (2007)Elliott Sharp_item_0_12
  • Octal Book One (2008)Elliott Sharp_item_0_13
  • Concert in Dachau (2008)Elliott Sharp_item_0_14
  • Tectonics – Abstraction Distraction (2010)Elliott Sharp_item_0_15
  • Octal Book Two (2010)Elliott Sharp_item_0_16
  • The Yahoos Trilogy (2013)Elliott Sharp_item_0_17
  • Octal Book Three (2014) for solo 8-string guitarbassElliott Sharp_item_0_18

As a leader Elliott Sharp_section_3

Elliott Sharp_unordered_list_1

with Carbon Elliott Sharp_section_4

Elliott Sharp_unordered_list_2

  • Monster Curve (1982)Elliott Sharp_item_2_35
  • Datacide (1989)Elliott Sharp_item_2_36
  • Sili/contemp/tation (1990)Elliott Sharp_item_2_37
  • Tocsin (1991)Elliott Sharp_item_2_38
  • Truthtable (1993)Elliott Sharp_item_2_39
  • Autoboot (1994)Elliott Sharp_item_2_40
  • Amusia (1994)Elliott Sharp_item_2_41
  • Interference (1995)Elliott Sharp_item_2_42
  • Serrate (2009)Elliott Sharp_item_2_43
  • Void Coordinates (2010)Elliott Sharp_item_2_44

with Orchestra Carbon Elliott Sharp_section_5

Elliott Sharp_unordered_list_3

  • Larynx (1988, 2007)Elliott Sharp_item_3_45
  • Abstract Repressionism: 1990–99 (1992)Elliott Sharp_item_3_46
  • Spring & Neap (1997)Elliott Sharp_item_3_47
  • Rheo~Umbra (1998)Elliott Sharp_item_3_48
  • SyndaKit (1999)Elliott Sharp_item_3_49
  • Radiolaria (2001)Elliott Sharp_item_3_50

String Quartets Elliott Sharp_section_6

Elliott Sharp_unordered_list_4

  • Hammer, Anvil, Stirrup (1987) with Soldier String Quartet and CarbonElliott Sharp_item_4_51
  • Twistmap (1991) with Soldier String QuartetElliott Sharp_item_4_52
  • Cryptid Fragments (1993) with Margaret Parkins, Michelle Kinney, Sara Parkins, and Soldier String QuartetElliott Sharp_item_4_53
  • Digital (1986) on Short StoriesElliott Sharp_item_4_54
  • XenocodeX (1996) with Soldier String QuartetElliott Sharp_item_4_55
  • A Modicum of Passion (2004) with (vocals) Devorah Day, Ben Miller, Eric Mingus, Joan Wasser; and (strings) Stephanie Griffin, Conrad Harris, Amy Kimball, Garo YellinElliott Sharp_item_4_56
  • Elliott Sharp String Quartets 1986–1996 (2003) with Soldier String Quartet and The Meridian QuartetElliott Sharp_item_4_57
  • Elliott Sharp String Quartets 2002–2007 (2008) with The Sirius String QuartetElliott Sharp_item_4_58

Orchestral Elliott Sharp_section_7

Elliott Sharp_unordered_list_5

  • Racing Hearts, Tessalation Row, Calling (2003)Elliott Sharp_item_5_59

with Terraplane Elliott Sharp_section_8

Elliott Sharp_unordered_list_6

  • Terraplane (1994)Elliott Sharp_item_6_60
  • Terraplane – Blues for Next (2000)Elliott Sharp_item_6_61
  • Terraplane – Music fr Yellowman (2002)Elliott Sharp_item_6_62
  • Terraplane – Do the Don't (2003) with Hubert SumlinElliott Sharp_item_6_63
  • Terraplane – Secret Life (2005)Elliott Sharp_item_6_64
  • Terraplane – Forgery (2008)Elliott Sharp_item_6_65
  • Terraplane – Sky Road Songs (2012) with Hubert SumlinElliott Sharp_item_6_66
  • Terraplane – 4AM Always (2014) - Winner of the Jahrespreis from Deutsche SchallplattenkritikElliott Sharp_item_6_67

Duos Elliott Sharp_section_9

Elliott Sharp_unordered_list_7

  • In New York (1990) with Bachir AttarElliott Sharp_item_7_68
  • Psycho~Acoustic (1994) with Zeena ParkinsElliott Sharp_item_7_69
  • Psycho~Acoustic – Blackburst (1996) with Zeena ParkinsElliott Sharp_item_7_70
  • Hoosegow: Mighty (1996) with Queen EstherElliott Sharp_item_7_71
  • Improvisations (1997) with Frances-Marie UittiElliott Sharp_item_7_72
  • Revenge of the Stuttering Child (1997) with Ronny SomeckElliott Sharp_item_7_73
  • Poverty Line (1997) with Ronny SomeckElliott Sharp_item_7_74
  • Rwong Territory (1998) with DJ SoulslingerElliott Sharp_item_7_75
  • High Noon (1999) with Christian MarclayElliott Sharp_item_7_76
  • Anostalgia (2002) with Reinhold FriedlElliott Sharp_item_7_77
  • The Prisoner's Dilemma (2002) with Bobby PreviteElliott Sharp_item_7_78
  • Tongue (2004) with John DuncanElliott Sharp_item_7_79
  • Volcanic Island (2005) with Yasuhiro UsuiElliott Sharp_item_7_80
  • Tranz (2006) with MerzbowElliott Sharp_item_7_81
  • Feuchtify (2006) with Reinhold FriedlElliott Sharp_item_7_82
  • Hums 2 Terre (2007) with Franck VigrouxElliott Sharp_item_7_83
  • Duo Milano (2007) with Nels ClineElliott Sharp_item_7_84
  • pi:k (2007) with Charlotte HugElliott Sharp_item_7_85
  • BASE (2008) with Antoine BerthaumeElliott Sharp_item_7_86
  • Scharfefelder (2008) with Scott FieldsElliott Sharp_item_7_87
  • Protoplasmic (2009) with Boris SavoldelliElliott Sharp_item_7_88
  • Afiadacampos (2010) with Scott FieldsElliott Sharp_item_7_89
  • Reflexions (2010) with Michiyo YagiElliott Sharp_item_7_90
  • Olso (2019) with John Andrew Wilhite-HannisdalElliott Sharp_item_7_91
  • Kumuska (2019) with Saadet TürközElliott Sharp_item_7_92
  • Alluvial Plain (2020) with Matthew Evan TaylorElliott Sharp_item_7_93

Collaborative groups Elliott Sharp_section_10

Elliott Sharp_unordered_list_8

As producer Elliott Sharp_section_11

Elliott Sharp_unordered_list_9

As a compilation producer Elliott Sharp_section_12

Elliott Sharp_unordered_list_10

  • Peripheral Vision (zOaR, 1982)Elliott Sharp_item_10_113
  • State of the Union (zOaR, 1992)Elliott Sharp_item_10_114
  • Island of Sanity (No Man's Land, 1987)Elliott Sharp_item_10_115
  • Real Estate (Ear-Rational, 1990)Elliott Sharp_item_10_116
  • State of the Union (MuWorks, 1993)Elliott Sharp_item_10_117
  • State of the Union (Atavistic, 1996)Elliott Sharp_item_10_118
  • State of the Union 2.001 (Electronic Music Foundation, 2001)Elliott Sharp_item_10_119
  • Timebomb: Live at the Clocktower Gallery (MoMA PS1, 1997)Elliott Sharp_item_10_120
  • Secular Steel (Gaff Music, 2004)Elliott Sharp_item_10_121
  • I Never Met a Guitar (Clean Feed, 2010)Elliott Sharp_item_10_122

Recorded film scores and score compilations Elliott Sharp_section_13

Elliott Sharp_unordered_list_11

  • Figure Ground (compilation) (1997)Elliott Sharp_item_11_123
  • Suspension of Disbelief (compilation) (2001)Elliott Sharp_item_11_124
  • Soundtrack for the film Commune (2005)Elliott Sharp_item_11_125
  • Soundtrack for the film What Sebastian Dreamt (2005)Elliott Sharp_item_11_126
  • Q-Mix (2009)Elliott Sharp_item_11_127
  • Spectropia Suite (2010) Score to the sci-fi feature film by Toni Dove performed by the 31 Band, Sirius String Quartet, and special guest Debbie HarryElliott Sharp_item_11_128

Filmography Elliott Sharp_section_14

Film appearances Elliott Sharp_section_15

Elliott Sharp_unordered_list_12

  • Elliott Sharp: Doing the Don't (2008 DVD documentary)Elliott Sharp_item_12_129
  • The Old, Weird America: Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music (2007 DVD)Elliott Sharp_item_12_130
  • Elliott Sharp: The Velocity of Hue. Live in Cologne (2007 DVD)Elliott Sharp_item_12_131
  • April in New York with Bobby Previte (2007 DVD)Elliott Sharp_item_12_132
  • Roulette TV: Elliott Sharp. Roulette Intermedium Inc. (2000 DVD)Elliott Sharp_item_12_133
  • Record Player: Christian Marclay (2000 DVD)Elliott Sharp_item_12_134

Music composed for film Elliott Sharp_section_16

Elliott Sharp_unordered_list_13

  • Spectropia (2006)Elliott Sharp_item_13_135
  • Commune (2005)Elliott Sharp_item_13_136
  • The Time We Killed (2004)Elliott Sharp_item_13_137
  • What Sebastian Dreamt (2003)Elliott Sharp_item_13_138
  • Daddy and the Muscle Academy (1991)Elliott Sharp_item_13_139
  • Antigone/Rites of Passion (1990)Elliott Sharp_item_13_140
  • The Salt Mines (1990)Elliott Sharp_item_13_141

Opera and Theater Elliott Sharp_section_17

Elliott Sharp_unordered_list_14

  • Port Bou (2014): U.S. Premier at Issue Project Room, Brooklyn. European premiere at Konzerthaus, Berlin. The opera depicts the final moments of philosopher Walter Benjamin's life in Port Bou at the French-Spanish border as he flees Nazi-occupied France. Starring bass/baritone Nicholas Isherwood, with pianist Jenny Lin and accordionist William Schimmel, and prerecorded electro-acoustic backgrounds by Sharp. Projection design by Janene Higgins.Elliott Sharp_item_14_142
  • About Us (2010): Commissioned in the Autumn of 2009 by the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich for their 2010 Summer Festival series in the Mini-Opera Pavillon. A science-fiction story about a Singularity opening our dimension to creatures from another who were only visible to teenagers and were able to catalyze unpredictable and highly creative acts among those teens. All-teenage performers, between the ages of 14–18. In addition to composing the music, Sharp also created the script and story as well as directing the production.Elliott Sharp_item_14_143
  • Binibon (2009): Premiered at The Kitchen, NYC. A work of music/theater, concept and music by Sharp with libretto by noted science-fiction author Jack Womack. Binibon is a chronicle of both a murder and the transformation of the East Village in the early 1980s. It has been released as a radioplay by Henceforth Records. Developed with and directed by Tea Alagic, with projection design by Janene Higgins.Elliott Sharp_item_14_144
  • Em/Pyre (2006): Em/Pyre is an opera commissioned by soprano Donella Del Monaco for the 2006 Venice Biennale to be performed by her with her regular ensemble a collection of musicians whose backgrounds and technical skills varied greatly. She also requested that Sharp perform with the ensemble and conduct the piece. Longtime collaborator Steve Piccolo created the text and sang the baritone parts. Em/Pyre was based on Sharp's interpretation and comparison of Venice in the 15th century with New York City in the late 20th century – two towering city-states whose empires both devolved due to both internal and external cultural and political/economic factors. The composed core materials and defined structure were to be elaborated through conduction and the manifestation of simple algorithmic approaches as well as guided improvisations based on the core materials. A CD of Em/Pyre was released in 2010 on the Italian label Opusavantra Studium.Elliott Sharp_item_14_145
  • Innosense (1981): Premiered at Studio PASS in NYC, Innosense is a post-apocalypse opera set in a basement in the Lower East Side. The three "live" characters are the "Three Improvisers", here performed by Charles K. Noyes on percussion, Lesli Dalaba on trumpet, and Sharp on fretless electric guitar, soprano sax, and bass clarinet. Materials for these characters includes vocal and instrumental sounds made by Sharp, found sounds, sound effects, and texts both written by Sharp and appropriated from various sources. Voices for these characters include Victoria Vecna and Felipe Orrego. Recorded November 23, 1981, zOaR music.Elliott Sharp_item_14_146

Installations Elliott Sharp_section_18

Elliott Sharp_unordered_list_15

  • Suspension (2004): 2-channel installation of video and sound exploring the awareness of momentary stillness in the metropolis. Collaboration with video artist Janene Higgins, for The Chelsea Art Museum, NYC.Elliott Sharp_item_15_147
  • Fluvial (2002): A system for flowing audio to create moving sound currents within the enclosed space of the Engine 27 gallery in NYC, Fluvial uses randomization, filtering, and feedback as its basic processing elements to make full use of the room's spatialization potential.Elliott Sharp_item_15_148
  • Chromatine (2001): Both musical instrument and sculpture, encouraging visitors to touch the sculpture and cause it to play music. For the Gallery of the School of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.Elliott Sharp_item_15_149
  • Tag (1997): An interactive audio installation created for the Departure Lounge exhibition at the Clocktower Gallery of MoMA PS1, New York City.Elliott Sharp_item_15_150
  • Distressed Vivaldi (1996): Soundtrack created for the Model Home exhibition at the Clocktower Gallery of MoMA PS1, New York City.Elliott Sharp_item_15_151


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elliott Sharp.