Gosfield Annie

Annie Gosfield’s work combines notated and improvised music, electronic and acoustic sounds, writing music for others and playing in her own group. Her music is often inspired by the inherent beauty of non-musical sounds, such as machines, destroyed pianos, warped 78 rpm records and detuned radios.
Hailed as “a star of the downtown scene” by The New Yorker magazine, her varied work methods have taken her on a path through international festivals, concert halls, universities, art spaces, and clubs. Gosfield has been awarded fellowships from the American Academy in Berlin (2012), the Foundationfor Contemporary Arts (2008), New York Foundation for the Arts, the Siemens Foundation, and the Mcknight Foundation. She has received grants from NewMusicUsa, The Map Fund, USArtists International, Meet the Composer, and many others. Active as a writer and teacher, she is a regular contributor to the New York Times series “The Score”, and was the Milhaud Professor of composition at Mills College, a visiting lecturer at Princeton University and a visiting artist at Cal Arts. She is on the advisory council of the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, an artists’ residency program based in Umbria. In August, 2010, she curated The Stone, presenting a month of performances by some of New York’s best interpreters of new music, with over 20 premieres and unanimously good notices at the East Village performance space. Prominent musicologist Sabine Feisst has published and presented several papers on Gosfield’s work, most recently Musik – Stadt: Traditionen und Perspektiven urbaner Musikkulturen (Leipzig: Gudrun Schröder Verlag, 2012), and published her research on Gosfield in MusikTexte.
Dedicated to working closely with performers, Gosfield has been commissioned and collaborated with many musicians and ensembles, such as Joan Jeanrenaud, Lisa Moore, Felix Fan, Frances-Marie Uitti, Jennifer Choi, the Bang on a Can All-Stars, MIVOS Quartet, Flux Quartet, Athelas Sinfonietta, Agon Orchestra, Spit Orchestra, and Talujon Percussion. She has performed with John Zorn, Laurie Anderson, Fred Frith, Chris Cutler, Derek Bailey, Ikue Mori, Ches Smith, Roger Kleier, and many others. Her work has been performed internationally at festivals including MaerzMusik, The Bang on a Can Marathon, Warsaw Autumn, The Venice Biennale, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, ISCM, MATA, Gaudeamus Muziekweek, Musique Actuelle (Victoriaville), River to River (NYC), and Otherminds.
Gosfield’s discography includes four portrait CD’s on the Tzadik label, including 2012’s “Almost Truths and Open Deceptions” which was included in year-end lists by The New Yorker’s Alex Ross and The Awl’s Seth Colter Walls. The CD features a cello concerto, music by Gosfield’s electric group, her unique approach to acoustic chamber music, and a piece for piano and a malfunctioning shortwave radio. Other CD's include “Flying Sparks and Heavy Machinery”, which focuses on machine sounds and factory environments in her band’s performance of EWA7, as well the title track, an industrial-inspired 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. Recent releases also include the Cantaloupe EP “Lightning Slingers and Dead Ringers” featuring Lisa Moore playing the title track, an extended work for piano and sampler, and Brooklyn, October 5, 1941. Large-scale compositions include the signature piece EWA7, a site-specific work created during a residency in the industrial environments of Nuremberg, Germany, and Daughters of the Industrial Revolution, a concert-length piece inspired by her grandparents’ immigrant experiences in New York City during the Industrial Revolution.
Annie is currently researching the sounds of jammed radio broadcasts in WWII in preparation for a large-scale work inspired by the processes and perceptions of this oddly surreal radio interference. She initiated the research at the American Academy in Berlin, which led to Long Waves and Random Pulses, for solo violin and jammed radio signals, premiered in 2012 in Utrecht, by violinists Elfa Run Kristindottir and Monica Germino, in both an acoustic and electronic version. Other projects include Kathleen Supové’s recent premiere of a newly commissioned work for her “Digital Debussy” program for piano and electronics, music for Pam Tanowitz Dance’s much lauded The Spectators, and a performance with Laurie Anderson. 2013 also brings premieres in New York, Stockholm, Graz, Tokyo, and Boston.

© Photo and Text Annie Gosfield 2003 - 2013