Linda Bouchard, artistic director


December 3rd, 2009
Salon Concert Series
Double-Take on Fred Frith

An exclusive home sold out concert featuring Fred Frith in an intimate setting.

Fred Frith (England / Bay Area)

Fred Frith, composer, improviser and multi-instrumentalist, has situated himself for more than thirty years in the area where rock music and new music meet. Co-founder of the British underground band Henry Cow (1968-78), he moved to New York in the late seventies and came into contact with many of the musicians with whom he's since been associated, including, for example, John Zorn, Ikue Mori, Tom Cora, Zeena Parkins, and Bob Ostertag. Fourteen years in New York gave rise to groups like Massacre (with Bill Laswell and Fred Maher), Skeleton Crew (with Tom and Zeena), and Keep the Dog, a sextet performing an extensive repertoire of Fred's compositions. In the eighties Fred began to write for dance, film, and theatre, and this in turn has led to his composing for Rova Sax Quartet, Ensemble Modern, Arditti Quartet, Asko Ensemble, and many other groups, including his own critically acclaimed Guitar Quartet. Best known world-wide as an improvising guitarist, Fred has also performed in a variety of other contexts, playing bass in John Zorn's Naked City, violin in Lars Hollmer's Looping Home Orchestra, and guitar on recordings ranging from The Residents and René Lussier to Brian Eno and Amy Denio. Fred is the subject of Nicolas Humbert and Werner Penzels' award-winning documentary film Step Across the Border. He is currently Professor of Composition at Mills College in Oakland, California.



"In more than twenty years of recordings and performances, Fred Frith has become something of an icon in avant-garde music. The eccentric guitarist may be neither as fashionable as John Zorn...nor as seminal as AMM.., but his perpetual musical motion has scraped across a good portion of the cutting-edge scenes around the globe."
Derk Richardson (SF Bay Guardian) (USA)

"Cassures binaires, arhythmies bariolées, chiaroscuries pointillistes, énergie bruitiste et retour, en gros plan, d'un lyrisme jamais vraiment refoulé. Une workshop-music permanente, cassée et sensuelle, hilarante et élégaique."
Andrea Petrini (Libération) (France)

"As a masterful sound colorist, Frith is in no way subject to analyses of has artistic legitimacy - (he) redefines the possible uses of the guitar and makes traditional discourse irrelevant".
L.A. Herald Examiner (USA)