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Elliott Sharp

New York, NY         

ELLIOTT SHARP is a composer, performer, and producer who leads the projects Orchestra Carbon, SysOrk, Terraplane, and Tectonics and has pioneered ways of applying fractal geometry, chaos theory, and genetics to musical composition and interaction.  He has been awarded the Berlin Prize in Musical Composition from the American Academy for 2015 and a Guggenheim Fellowship for 2014.

Sharp has recently premiered a number of new compositions including in 2014 the opera Port Bou for Issue Project Room;  the suite Tribute: MLK Berlin ’64 for the Berlin Jazz Festival; Sylva Sylvarum, a graphic score in the form of a movie for his new ensemble SysOrk; and the string quartet Akheron for JACK Quartet.  He premiered two string quartets in 2013: Tranzience for JACK and Mare Undarum for Sirius Quartet.  In 2012, violinist Hilary Hahn premiered Storm Of The Eye commissioned by her from Sharp.  His composition Turing Test for the Neue Vocalsölisten Stuttgart premiered at the Venice Biennale October 2012. Also in 2012, Oneirika for the ensemble Zeitkratzer premiered at MaerzMusik Berlin and Persistence of Vision for the Sonic Visions Orchestra (conducted by Sharp) with video by Janene Higgins premiered at Sonic Visions Festival Reutlingen. He was commissioned by Issue Project Room to create Occam’s Razor for double string-quartet for his birthday marathon "E# @ 60" in 2011. In 2010, Sharp directed, wrote, and composed About Us, a science-fiction opera for all-teenage performers at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich. He has been featured at New Music Stockholm, Donaueschingen Festival, Darmstadt Festival, and Au Printemps.  Sharp’s work is the subject of a recent documentary film "Doing The Don’t" by Bert Shapiro and he was featured on NPR All Things Considered in October 2012.

Sharp’s collaborators have included the Radio-Sinfonie Frankfurt; pop singer Debbie Harry; Ensemble Modern; Qawwali singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan; Arditti Quartet; Ensemble Resonanz; blues legends Hubert Sumlin and Pops Staples; jazz greats Jack deJohnette and Sonny Sharrock; multimedia artists Christian Marclay and Pierre Huyghe; and Bachir Attar, leader of the Master Musicians Of Jajouka.

Sharp’s audio installations include Fluvial, a computerized multi-channel audiowork; Chromatine, an interactive string sculpture, and Tag, an interactive audiowork. His 2012 graphic score Foliage has been published both as an eBook and as a print exhibition/video installation.

Trailer for the Elliott Sharp documentary

“Doing The Don’t” is a documentary film from 2008 directed and produced by Bert Shapiro about composer, multi-instrumentalist, and producer Elliott Sharp.

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Elliott Sharp performance from the film

A performance by Elliott Sharp on his self-designed 8-string guitarbass plus computer and electronics in a cave on the border of Italy and Slovenia as part of the Michael Benson film “More Places Forever”.

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“Venus & Jupiter” was commissioned and performed by Either/Or with E# as a guest on guitar and electronics. World premiere performance at The Kitchen on April 27, 2012. The ensemble for this concert included Richard Carrick – piano, Stephanie Griffin – viola, Margaret Lancaster – alto flute, Chris McIntyre – trombone, Josh Rubin – bass clarinet, David Shively – percussion, Alex Waterman – cello. The rare conjunction of Venus, Jupiter, and the moon during March 2012 provided a nightly backdrop to my various activities and inspired this piece.

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NewMusicBox Articles

NewMusicBox October 23 2019 | By Elliott Sharp
Pursuing the Ir Rational

As my understanding of the Inner Ear grows, I ask if it can be separated from the Mind itself. It’s no longer a radical notion that our individual memories have...