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Fred Frith (1949-     )

Fred Frith, composerIn the '60s and '70s, much (if not most) contemporary improvisation was jazz-based. That began to change in the '80s, when a significant number of rock musicians began exploring the possibilities of free improvisation and new classical forms. Fred Frith is one of the more prominent. Co-founder of the underground British band Henry Cow in 1968, composer/improviser/guitarist Frith moved to the U.S. in the late '70s, where he began associations with such New York-based experimental musicians as cellist Tom Cora, harpist Zeena Parkins, saxophonist John Zorn, and percussionist Ikue Mori. Frith lived in New York for 14 years; some of his well-known ventures in that time included Massacre (with Bill Laswell and Fred Maher), Skeleton Crew (with Cora and Parkins), and his sextet Keep the Dog. In the '80s, Frith's compositional activities increased; he began writing for dance, film, and theater, and for such ensembles as the Rova Saxophone Quartet, Ensemble Modern, Asko Ensemble, and his own Guitar Quartet. Primarily known as an improvising guitarist, Frith has also performed on bass (with Zorn's Naked City) and violin (with Lars Hollmer's Looping Home Orchestra). Frith has played on albums by the Residents, Brian Eno, Amy Denio, and René Lussier, to name just a few. Frith was the subject of Step Across the Border, a documentary film by Nicolas Humbert and Werner Penzels. By 2000, Frith was a professor of composition at Mills College in Oakland, CA, and continued to release a bevy of albums.
-  Chris Kelsey/AllMusic

COMPOSITIONS                                                            Frith Links     ~ ~ ~     Works by Genre
Wolfsgrub, documentary film score (1986)
Long on Logic, saxophone quartet (1988)
Disinformation Polka, accordion (1988)
The As Usual Dance Towards the Other Flight to What is Not, 4 electric guitars (1989)
In Memory, 4 guitars, 4 voices, 4 percussionists and animated film (by Pierre Hébert) (1989) [text: Sara Miles]
The Top of His Head, film score (1989)
Helter Skelter, 2 sopranos, contralto and large electric ensemble (1990)
Stick Figures, 6 guitars and 2 players (1990)
Lelekovice (String Quartet No. 1) (1991) [for Iva Bittová]
Une rencontre, short film score (1991)
Ostkreuz, TV movie score (1991)
Stone, Brick, Glass, Wood, Wire, graphic scores for any number of players (1992)
Goongerah & Motormouth, electric guitar quartet (1992)
Thea und Nat, film score (1992)
Endurance, double bass (1993)
Freedom in Fragments (suite of 23 pieces), saxophone quartet (1993)
The Previous Evening, 4 clarinets, tapes, bass, footsteps, electric guitars, whirled objects and voice (1993) [tribute to John Cage]
22, Rue Lacépède, accordion (1993)
Elegy for Elias, piano, violin and marimba (1993)
Second Nature, graphic composition, 13 electric guitars (1994)
Portraits d'Inconnus, an installation (1994) [30 fragments of music triggered by movements of the public through
                                                                                                 an environment created by painter Béatrice Turquand d'Auzay]
Pacifica, a meditation for 21 musicians (1994) [texts: Pablo Neruda]
Seven Circles, piano (1995)
Before Sunrise, film score (1995)
Middle of the Moment, documentary film score (1995)
Traffic Continues, large ensemble (1996)
Shortened Suite, trumpet, oboe, cello and marimba (1996)
Doppelganger, oboe (1996)
Tense Serenity, trombone and string trio (1996)
Impur, 100 musicians, large building and mobile audience (1996)
Back to Life, trumpet, oboe, cello and marimba (1997)
Pop Mechanics, Disklavier (1997) [for Sergei Kuryokin]
The Tango Lesson, film score (1997)
Traffic Continues: Gusto, large ensemble with improvising soloists (1998)
Centre Moving Out, voice, clarinet, cello, piano, samples and percussion (1999)
Weatherwise or Otherwise, large ensemble (1999)
The Big Picture, saxophone quartet, w/2 soloists (2000)
Love, Money, Love, film score (2000)
Landing for Choir, chorus, Flamenco singer, cello, saxophone and samples (2001)
Light at the End of the Tunnel, flute, clarinet, alto sax, piano, harp, violin, 2 cellos and double bass (2001)
Sideshow, dance piece (2001) [commisioned by Korzo, Den Haag, Netherlands; choreography: Paul Selwyn]
Rivers and Tides: Andy Goldsworthy Working with Time, documentary film score (2001)
Allegory, string quartet and electric guitar (2002)
Fell, string quartet and electric guitar (2002)
For Whom Am I, dance piece, 2 violins, guitar, piano and samples (2002) [commissioned by Peggy Piacenza, Seattle]
sEtaccio, dance piece, string quartet, alto saxophone and samples (2002) [choreography: François Chat]
Gambling, Gods and LSD, documentary film score (2002)
shading my face it shall be you, clarinet, bassoon, percussion, piano, violin and double bass (2003)
The Happy End Problem, dance piece, flute, bassoon, gu zheng, percussion, violin and electronics (2003) [for Pretty Ugly Dance]
The Right Angel, orchestra and electric guitar (2003)
Still/Urban, saxophone quartet and electric guitar (2004)
Imitation, dance piece (2004) [for Pretty Ugly Dance Company, Freiburg, Germany]
Thirst, documentary film score (2004)
Touch the Sound: A Sound Journey with Evelyn Glennie, documentary film score (2004)
Save As, cello and percussion (2005)
Álftanes, guitar quartet (2005)
Candid, short film score (2005)
Drei gegen Troja, TV movie score (2005)
Snakes and Ladders, clarinet, electric guitar, piano, percussion, cello and double bass (2006)
Waypoint, dance piece (2006) [for Axis Dance Company, Oakland; choreography: Margaret Jenkins]
El sol del movimiento: El principio, short film score (2006)
Kononga, documentary short film score (2006)
Episodes, dance piece, Baroque orchestra (2007) [for Pretty Ugly Dance Company, Cologne, Germany]
Water Stories, clarinet, piano, percussion, violin and cello (2007)
Debates for Ganden, dance piece (2007) [installation based on Tibetan field recordings; Pretty Ugly Dance Company]
El tiempo que se queda, film score (2007)
For Nothing (in 3 parts), contralto and Baroque string quartet (2008) [text: Gary Snyder]
Thin Air, dance piece (2008) [commissioned by Donna Uchizono]
Small Time, percussion quartet (2009)
Rage, film score (2009)
Woman on a Swing, video score (2010)
This Moment Is Not the Same, documentary film score (2010)
Field Days, dance piece (2011) [for Nederlands Dans Theater; choreography: Amanda Miller]
Between Two Worlds, documentary film score (2011)


WORKS BY GENRE                                                            Firth Links     ~ top of page ~
Dance
Sideshow, dance piece (2001) [commisioned by Korzo, Den Haag, Netherlands; choreography: Paul Selwyn]
For Whom Am I, dance piece (2002) [commissioned by Peggy Piacenza, Seattle]
SEtaccio, dance piece (2002) [choreography: François Chat]
The Happy End Problem, dance piece (2003) [for Pretty Ugly Dance Company, Freiburg, Germany]
Imitation, dance piece (2004) [for Pretty Ugly Dance Company, Freiburg, Germany]
Waypoint, dance piece (2006) [for Axis Dance Company, Oakland; choreography: Margaret Jenkins]
Episodes, dance piece (2007) [for Pretty Ugly Dance Company, Cologne, Germany]
Debates for Ganden, dance piece (2007) [installation based on Tibetan field recordings; Pretty Ugly Dance Company]
Thin Air, dance piece (2008) [commissioned by Donna Uchizono]
Field Days, dance piece (2011) [for Nederlands Dans Theater; choreography: Amanda Miller]

Orchestra
The Right Angel, orchestra and electric guitar (2003)
Episodes, dance piece, Baroque orchestra (2007) [for Pretty Ugly Dance Company, Cologne, Germany]

Soloist(s) w/Orchestra
The Right Angel, orchestra and electric guitar (2003)

Choral
Landing for Choir, chorus, Flamenco singer, cello, saxophone and samples (2001)

Large Ensemble
In Memory, 4 guitars, 4 voices, 4 percussionists and animated film (by Pierre Hébert) (1989) [text: Sara Miles]
Stone, Brick, Glass, Wood, Wire, graphic scores for any number of players (1992)
The Previous Evening, 4 clarinets, tapes, bass, footsteps, electric guitars, whirled objects and voice (1993) [tribute to John Cage]
Second Nature, graphic composition, 13 electric guitars (1994)
Pacifica, a meditation for 21 musicians (1994) [texts: Pablo Neruda]
Traffic Continues, large ensemble (1996)
Impur, 100 musicians, large building and mobile audience (1996)
Traffic Continues: Gusto, large ensemble with improvising soloists (1998)
Weatherwise or Otherwise, large ensemble (1999)
Landing for Choir, chorus, Flamenco singer, cello, saxophone and samples (2001)

Chamber
Long on Logic, saxophone quartet (1988)
The As Usual Dance Towards the Other Flight to What is Not, 4 electric guitars (1989)
Stick Figures, 6 guitars and 2 players (1990)
Lelekovice (String Quartet No. 1) (1991) [for Iva Bittová]
Stone, Brick, Glass, Wood, Wire, graphic scores for any number of players (1992)
Goongerah & Motormouth, electric guitar quartet (1992)
Freedom in Fragments (suite of 23 pieces), saxophone quartet (1993)
Elegy for Elias, piano, violin and marimba (1993)
Shortened Suite, trumpet, oboe, cello and marimba (1996)
Tense Serenity, trombone and string trio (1996)
Back to Life, trumpet, oboe, cello and marimba (1997)
Centre Moving Out, voice, clarinet, cello, piano, samples and percussion (1999)
The Big Picture, saxophone quartet, w/2 soloists (2000)
Light at the End of the Tunnel, flute, clarinet, alto sax, piano, harp, violin, 2 cellos and double bass (2001)
Allegory, string quartet and electric guitar (2002)
Fell, string quartet and electric guitar (2002)
For Whom Am I, dance piece, 2 violins, guitar, piano and samples (2002) [commissioned by Peggy Piacenza, Seattle]
sEtaccio, dance piece, string quartet, alto saxophone and samples (2002) [choreography: François Chat]
shading my face it shall be you, clarinet, bassoon, percussion, piano, violin and double bass (2003)
The Happy End Problem, dance piece, flute, bassoon, gu zheng, percussion, violin and electronics (2003) [for Pretty Ugly Dance]
Still/Urban, saxophone quartet and electric guitar (2004)
Save As, cello and percussion (2005)
Álftanes, guitar quartet (2005)
Snakes and Ladders, clarinet, electric guitar, piano, percussion, cello and double bass (2006)
Water Stories, clarinet, piano, percussion, violin and cello (2007)
Small Time, percussion quartet (2009)

Solo Instrument
Disinformation Polka, accordion (1988)
Endurance, double bass (1993)
22, Rue Lacépède, accordion (1993)
Doppelganger, oboe (1996)

Piano
Seven Circles, piano (1995)
Pop Mechanics, Disklavier (1997) [for Sergei Kuryokin]

Vocal
Helter Skelter, 2 sopranos, contralto and large electric ensemble (1990)
Centre Moving Out, voice, clarinet, cello, piano, samples and percussion (1999)
For Nothing (in 3 parts), contralto and Baroque string quartet (2008) [text: Gary Snyder]
    - Once at Cold Mountain, troubles cease
    - ???
    - My home was at Cold Mountain from the start

Incidental/Film
Wolfsgrub, documentary film score (1986)
The Top of His Head, film score (1989)
Une rencontre, short film score (1991)
Ostkreuz, TV movie score (1991)
Thea und Nat, film score (1992)
Before Sunrise, film score (1995)
Middle of the Moment, documentary film score (1995)
The Tango Lesson, film score (1997)
Love, Money, Love, film score (2000)
Rivers and Tides: Andy Goldsworthy Working with Time, documentary film score (2001)
Gambling, Gods and LSD, documentary film score (2002)
Thirst, documentary film score (2004)
Touch the Sound: A Sound Journey with Evelyn Glennie, documentary film score (2004)
Candid, short film score (2005)
Drei gegen Troja, TV movie score (2005)
El sol del movimiento: El principio, short film score (2006)
Kononga, documentary short film score (2006)
El tiempo que se queda, film score (2007)
Rage, film score (2009)
Woman on a Swing, video score (2010)
This Moment Is Not the Same, documentary film score (2010)
Between Two Worlds, documentary film score (2011)

Multimedia
In Memory, 4 guitars, 4 voices, 4 percussionists and animated film (by Pierre Hébert) (1989) [text: Sara Miles]
Portraits d'Inconnus, an installation (1994) [30 fragments of music triggered by movements of the public through
                                                                                                 an environment created by painter Béatrice Turquand d'Auzay]
Impur, 100 musicians, large building and mobile audience (1996)


FRITH  LINKS                                                            Works by Genre      ~ top of page ~
Defining The Edge: The Musical World Of Fred Frith (Sander R. Wolff, The Long Beach Union Newspaper)
Fred Frith/Ensemble Modern: Traffic Continues (Andrew Johnson, Pop Matters)
Fred Frith - Interview [March 19th, 1998] (Dan Warburton, paristransatlantic.com)
Fred Frith Interview (Jazz Break)
Guitarist Challenges Music, Listeners, Himself (Rick DelVecchio, SF Gatge)
Improv:21 Derk Richardson Interviews Composer-Improviser Fred Frith (Internet Archive)
An Interview with Fred Frith: The Teaching of Contemporary Improvisation (Charity Chan, Mills College)
The Musical World Of Fred Frith (Sander R. Wolff, The Long Beach Union Newspaper/sanderis.com)
Professor Fred Frith Is As Much Pupil As Teacher (Michael Roberts, Denver Class Act)
Simply in Their Own Words: Fred Frith (Tom Sękowski, Bagetellen)

Composer's website    . . .   contact Fred Firth:  here

Frith @ Wikipedia
Frith @ AllAboutJazz
Frith @ Answers.com
Frith @ Art + Culture
Frith @ Bay Area Improvisers Network
Frith @ Cafe OTO
Frith @ Calyx
Frith @ Classical Archives
Frith @ Classical Composers Database
Frith @ ClassicsToday
Frith @ DowntownMusic
Frith @ Europe Jazz Network (E.J.N.)
Frith @ Facebook
Frith @ IMDb (Internet Movie Database)
Frith @ Inclinaisons
Frith @ InstantEncore
Frith @ Intakt Records
Frith @ Masaya Ichikawa
Frith @ Mills College
Frith @ Mills Music Now
Frith @ MSN Music
Frith @ mymusicbase.ru
Frith @ MySpaceMusic
Frith @ The New York Times
Frith @ The New York Times/movies
Frith @ NNDB
Frith @ Dan Plonsey
Frith @ Scaruffi.com
Frith @ TrouserPress

Publisher
Frith @ Composer's website

Streaming Audio
Frith @ Classical Archives
Frith @ last.fm
Frith @ MySpaceMusic
Frith @ NPRmusic
Frith @ Rhapsody.com
Frith @ SoundCloud

Recordings
Frith @ Composer's website
Frith @ ArkivMusic
Frith @ CD Universe
Frith @ ClassicsOnline
Frith @ Discogs
Frith @ Forced Exposure
Frith @ Fred Records
Frith @ Intakt Records     also    here
Frith @ New York Downtown Scene and Other Miscellaneous Discographies
Frith @ Tzadik Records
Frith @ Wikipedia (Discography)

Video
Frith @ YouTube
Frith @ Google Video
Frith @ Daily Motion
Frith @ Internet Archive/Improv:21 Derk Richardson Interviews Composer-Improviser Fred Frith
Frith @ Vimeo


Frith on Frith: Derk Richardson Interviews Composer/Improv:21 (VIDEO)

Fred Frith, composerComposers Speak on the Web at Pytheas
                            ~ click on composer picture to listen ~




. . . and check out more    Composers Speak on the Web    at Pytheas

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