Elliott Sharp, lecture
September 18th, 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Klein Conference room  66 W 12th St New York, NY 10011
Free and Open to the Public- seating is limited
Eventbrite registration is required
Beginning with his Hudson River Compositions of 1974, composer Elliott Sharp has drawn upon various aspects from natural forms and processes, using them to create conceptual and algorithmic approaches to composition and improvisation. In this lecture, Sharp describes inspirations from fireflies to genetics, and displays the results. Working with Fibonacci numbers in the 1980’s, Sharp built tuning systems as well as rhythms and entire sonic architectures. In his pursuit of ways to mirror seemingly chaotic processes, Sharp found resonance and further inspiration in the fractal geometry of Benoit Mandelbrot which led to a variety of compositions ranging from Tessalation Row for Soldier String Quartet to pieces for his proto-math-rock noise-band Carbon.
Later, composing for his ensemble Orchestra Carbon in the 1990’s, Sharp refined the work with self-organizing systems to include models from flocking birds, RNA replication, Fibonacci numbers, and cellular automata to develop the composition SyndaKit. As much a set of rules or a construction set as a piece of music, SyndaKit creates an every-shifting matrix of rhythms and textures – a composition that is never the same in its manifestation yet always identical in process. This construction set was put to good use to create the orchestral work Calling for the RadioSinfonie Frankfurt and premiered by them at the 2002 Darmstadt festival.
Sharp will present scores and audio examples.
Elliott Sharp 2014-15 CTM Artist/Fellow
A central figure in the avant-garde music scene in New York City for over thirty years, Elliott Sharp leads the projects Orchestra Carbon, SysOrk, Tectonics and Terraplane, and has pioneered ways of applying fractal geometry, chaos theory, and genetic metaphors to musical composition and interaction. Winner of the 2015 Berlin Prize in Music Composition and a 2014 Guggenheim Fellowship, Sharp has composed for Hilary Hahn, Ensemble Modern, RadioSinfonie Frankfurt, and JACK Quartet. His work has been featured in the Darmstadt (2002) and Donaueschingen (2007) festivals, at the Hessischer Rundfunk Klangbiennale (2007), and the Venice Biennale (2003, 2007, 2012). His wide range of collaborators have included Qawwali singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan; Kronos Quartet; Debbie Harry; blues legends Hubert Sumlin and Pops Staples; jazz greats Jack Dejohnette, and Sonny Sharrock; turntable innovator Christian Marclay; and Bachir Attar of the Master Musicians Of Jahjouka, Morocco. His work is the subject of the documentary “Doing The Don’t” and he has been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered.
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In 2013-15, CTM presents a series of lectures, workshops, & performances focusing on the cutting edge present and future of guitar and instrument design. Co-sponsored by Mannes College of Music, functioning as a platform to build cross divisional collaboration at The New School, and opening exclusive external collaborations, this series has brought internationally renowned luthiers, designers, builders, materials innovators, composers, performers, theorists, and sound designers together to explore points of connection between the traditions of musical instrument design and sound production, and new forms of design thinking facilitated by materials science, emergent materials, parametric design, the internet of things, physical computing, networked sound, and the politics of ‘noise’.
Guests have included Ken Parker, Charlie Hunter, Ned Steinberger, Charles Yang, Ola Strandberg, Allan Marcus, Perry Hall, Joe Ravo, Gary Lee, Fred Hand, and Ezio Blasetti.