Multi-instrumentalist, composer, and improviser Fred Frith has been making noise of one kind or another for almost 50 years, starting with the iconic rock collective Henry Cow, which he co-founded with Tim Hodgkinson in 1968.
Fred is best known as a pioneering electric guitarist and improviser, song-writer, and composer for film, dance and theater. Through bands like Art Bears, Massacre, Skeleton Crew, Keep the Dog, the Fred Frith Guitar Quartet and Cosa Brava, he has stayed close to his roots in rock and folk music while branching out in many other directions.
His compositions have been performed by ensembles ranging from Arditti Quartet and the Ensemble Modern to Concerto Köln and Galax Quartet, from the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra to ROVA and Arte Sax Quartets, from rock bands Sleepytime Gorilla Museum and Ground Zero to the Glasgow Improvisers’ Orchestra.
Film music credits include the acclaimed documentaries Rivers and Tides, Touch the Sound and Leaning into the Wind, directed by Thomas Riedelsheimer, The Tango Lesson, Yes and The Party by Sally Potter, Werner Penzel’s Zen for Nothing, Peter Mettler’s Gods, Gambling and LSD, and the award-winning (and Oscar-nominated) Last Day of Freedom, by Nomi Talisman and Dee Hibbert-Jones.
Fred has performed works by and sometimes alongside composers John Luther Adams, Gavin Bryars, Sylvie Courvoisier, Alvin Curran, George Lewis, René Lussier, Jose Maceda, Meredith Monk, Terry Riley, and Christian Wolff; improvised with Paolo Angeli, Lotte Anker, Derek Bailey, Chris Brown, Lol Coxhill, Chris Cutler, Janet Feder, Joëlle Léandre, Miya Masaoka, Phil Minton, Ikue Mori, Butch Morris, Bob Ostertag, Evan Parker, Zeena Parkins, and Camel Zekri, to name a few; collaborated with classical virtuosi Evelyn Glennie, Katia Labèque, Viktoria Mullova, and Werner Bärtschi; and—as session musician—recorded on albums by, for example, Brian Eno, The Residents, Robert Wyatt, The Swans, Violent Femmes, Material, Negativland, John Zorn, Matthew and the Unfortunates, and Half Japanese.
Playlist 2 :
Art Bears : Rats & Monkeys (Winter Songs - Ré Records - 1979)
Robert Wyatt : Little Red Robin Hood Hit The Road (Rock Bottom - Virgin -1974)
Anil Eraslan, Fred Frith, Tom Malmendier & Clara Weil : Lockdown (There or here and that - Eux Sæm - 2020)
The Residents : Japanese Watercolor (The Commercial Album - Ralph Records - 1980)
The Residents : Moisture (The Commercial Album - Ralph Records - 1980)
The Residents : The Coming of The Crow (The Commercial Album - Ralph Records - 1980)
Fred Frith and Hardy Fox : Every Minute Counts (A Day Hanging Dead Between Heaven And Earth - Klanggalerie - 2018)
Fred Frith : Carnival On Wall St (With Etron Fou Leloublan) (Speechless - Ralph Records - 1981)
Fred Frith : Hello Music (Guitar Solos - Caroline Records - 1974)
Fred Frith : The Bow Moon (Clearing - Tzadik - 2001)
Fred Frith : Falls The Shadow (Woodwork / Live Aux Ateliers Claus - Klanggalerie - 2019)
Skeleton Crew (Fred Frith, Tom Cora) : It’s Fine (Learn To Talk - Recommended Records - 1984)
Skeleton Crew (Fred Frith, Tom Cora, Zena Parkins) : The Birds Of Japan (The Country Of Blinds - No Man's Land - 1986)
Skeleton Crew (Fred Frith, Tom Cora, Dave Newhouse) : Not My Shoes - live - Rote Fabrik - Zurich 1982-10- 9)
John Zorn : Batman (Naked City - Elektra Nonesuch - 1990)
John Zorn : Latin Quarter (Naked City - Elektra Nonesuch - 1990)
Naked City : Speadfreaks (Torture Garden - Shimmy - 1990)
Naked City : Igneous Ejaculation (Torture Garden - Shimmy - 1990)
Fred Frith & Ikue Mori : Shōdōka (A Mountain Doesn't Know It's Tall - Intakt Recordings - 2021)
Fred Frith with Rova Saxophone Quartet : Song And Dance (Freedom In Fragments - Tzadik - 2002)
Ivor Cutler : I Got No Common Sense (Velvet Donkey - Virgin - 1975)
Ivor Cutler : Gee, Amn't I Lucky (Velvet Donkey - Virgin - 1975)
Fred Frith & Hans Koch : Ever Wonder (You Are Here - Intakt Records - 2017)
Picture Fred Frith - Les Ateliers Claus 20-11-2018 © Laurent Orseau