Fred Frith

Fred Frith © Fred Frith

Multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and improviser Fred Frith has been making noise for almost fifty years in one way or another, starting with the iconic rock band Henry Cow, which he co-founded with Tim Hodgkinson in 1968. Fred is known for being a pioneering electric guitarist, improviser, songwriter and composer for film, dance and theater. Through groups such as Art Bears, Massacre, Skeleton Crew, Keep the Dog, Fred Frith Guitar Quartet and Cosa Brava, he has remained close to its roots in rock and folk music, but has also expanded into many other directions.

His compositions have been performed by groups ranging from the Arditti Quartet and the Modern Ensemble to the Concerto Köln and Galax Quartet, from the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra to ROVA and the Art Sax Quartet, from the rock groups Sleepytime Gorilla Museum and Ground Zero to the Glasgow Improvisers' Orchestra.

Throughout his long career he has composed music for film, documentaries, dance and theater, and has performed works by composers such as John Luther Adams, Gavin Bryars, Sylvie Courvoisier, Alvin Curran, George Lewis, Ren Lussier, Jose Maceda, Meredith Monk, Terry Riley and Christian Wolff. He has also performed with classical musicians such as Evelyn Glennie, Katia Labèque, Viktoria Mullova and Werner Bärtschi, and has recorded on albums by Brian Eno, The Residents, Robert Wyatt, The Swans, Violent Women, Material, Negativland, John Zorn, Matthew and the Unfortunates and Half Japanese.

He has received the Demetrio Stratos Award from Italy for his lifelong work on experimental music and an honorary doctorate from Huddersfield University in his home county, Yorkshire.

He currently performs with the Fred Frith Trio and Frelosa and is a teacher at the legendary epicenter of American experimental music, Mills College in Oakland California, the Musik Akademie in Basel and the Universidad Austral de Valdivia, Chile. whre he worked on the creation of a new school of music and sound art.


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