Annie Gosfield

ANNIE GOSFIELD, whom the BBC called "A one woman Hadron collider" lives in New York City and works on the boundaries between notated and improvised music, electronic and acoustic sounds, refined timbres and noise. She composes for others and performs with her own group, taking her music on a path through festivals, factories, clubs, art spaces, and concert halls. Dubbed “a star of the downtown scene” by the New Yorker magazine, her music is often inspired by the inherent beauty of found sounds, such as machines, destroyed pianos, warped 78 RPM records and detuned radios. 

Gosfield has been awarded fellowships from the American Academy in Berlin (2012), the Foundation for Contemporary Arts (2008), New York Foundation for the Arts and the Siemens Foundation. Active as a writer and teacher, she is a regular contributor to the New York Times series “The Score,” and has been the Milhaud Professor of composition at Mills College, a visiting lecturer at Princeton University, and a visiting artist at Cal Arts. In August, 2010, she curated a month of performances at The Stone, with 20 premieres and unanimously good notices, and returned to the East Village venue in May, 2014, to present a week of her own music, including premieres, chamber music, improvisations, and performances by her band. She has received grants from the MAP Fund, NYSCA, the League of American Orchestras, the American Composers Forum, Meet the Composer, the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, The Rockefeller Foundation, NewMusicUSA, the American Music Center, and U.S. Artists at International Festivals, among others. Her music has been used by choreographers Pam Tanowitz, Karole Armitage, Susan Marshall, and many others. Musicologist Sabine Feisst has published and presented several papers on Gosfield’s work, most recently in MusikTexte and Gudrun Schröder Verlag.

Dedicated to working closely with performers, Gosfield has been commissioned by and collaborated with the Bang on a Can All-Stars, JACK Quartet, MIVOS Quartet, Flux Quartet, Athelas Sinfonietta, Agon Orchestra, West Australia Symphony Orchestra, String Noise, Talujon Percussion, Joan Jeanrenaud, Lisa Moore, Felix Fan, Frances-Marie Uitti, Stephen Gosling, Blair McMillen, Jennifer Choi, Anthony De Mare and George Kentros. She has performed with John Zorn, Laurie Anderson, Fred Frith, Chris Cutler, Derek Bailey, Ikue Mori, Billy Martin, Sylvie Courvoisier, Steven Bernstein, Ches Smith, Roger Kleier, and many others. Her work has been performed at Warsaw Autumn, Bang on a Can Marathon, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Ecstatic Music Festival, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Festival Musique Actuelle, Wien Modern, OtherMinds, Spoleto Festival, Company Week, Taktlos, and 3 "Radical New Jewish Culture" festivals curated by John Zorn

Large-scale compositions include the signature piece EWA7, a site-specific work created during a residency in the industrial environments of Nuremberg, Germany; Signal Jamming and Random Interference, composed in close collaboration with the JACK Quartet, with samples of jammed wartime radio signals performed by Gosfield alongside JACK at Roulette; Daughters of the Industrial Revolution, a concert-length piece inspired by her grandparents’ immigrant experiences in New York City during the Industrial Revolution, funded by the MAP fund at The Kitchen; and Floating Messages and Fading Frequencies, the first in a series of works that examined the radio transmissions of resistance groups in WWII, conducted by Pierre André Valade, premiered by the Athelas Sinfonietta and Gosfield’s trio in a 2011 UK tour that included Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival.

Gosfield’s discography includes four portrait CD’s on the Tzadik label. The most recent, “Almost Truths and Open Deceptions” includes a piece for solo piano and broken shortwave radio, a chamber cello concerto, a quartet inspired by deteriorating 78 records, and a five minute blast by her band. “Flying Sparks and Heavy Machinery,” focuses on machine sounds and factory environments, with EWA7 performed by her band, as well as an industrialinspired work for string quartet and percussion quartet. “Burnt Ivory and Loose Wires” features music for detuned and prepared piano, saxophone quartet, and cello. “Lost Signals and Drifting Satellites” demonstrates her unique approach to solo pieces and a string quartet. “Lightning Slingers and Dead Ringers” (Cantaloupe) features Lisa Moore playing the title track for piano and sampler, as well as Brooklyn, October 5, 1941.