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08 May 15

Composer and multi-instrumentalist Elliott Sharp uses a wide variety of strategies to compose and perform music. His recent string quartet Tranzience is traditionally notated, but makes use of extended techniques and alternative bow materials. The score to his work Sylva Sylvarum was created by processing notation with graphic editing software in the same manner that the composer would process the sound of instruments: modulating, filtering, layering, inverting, distorting, sequencing. Over 250 images were used to form an animated movie that was both a score and a work of retinal art. His operas Port Bou and Substance reflect and comment on the life and works of philosophers Walter Benjamin and Baruch Spinoza, respectively. Sharp discusses these compositions as well as the formal ideas at play in his improvisation before concluding with a brief improvised performance on his eight-string electroacoustic guitarbass. After his lecture and performance, Sharp was presented with the Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik for his album 4am Always. The award was presented by Bert Noglik.

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