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.
Fred Frith : Cap The Knife (Cheap At Half The Price - Ralph Records - 1983)
Henry Cow, Slapp Happy : War (In Praise Of Learning - Virgin - 1975)
Fred Frith : The Boy Beats The Rams (Kluk Tluče Berany) (Gravity - Ralph Records - 1980)
Fred Frith / François-Michel Pesenti : Fingers (Helter Skelter- RecRec Music - 1992)
Aqsak Maboul : Geistige Nacht (Un Peu De L'Âme Des Bandits - Atem -1980)
Henry Cow Unrest : Half Asleep, Half Awake (Unrest - Virgin - 1974)
Massacre : Legs (Killing Time - Celluloid - 1981)
Massacre : Further Conversations With White Arc (Funny Valentine - Tzadik - 1998)
Fred Frith, Bob Ostertag & Phil Minton : Voice Of America (Part 2) (Voice Of America - Rift - 1982)
Eugene Chadbourne : 2000 Statues And The English Channel - Side One (2000 Statues And The English Channel - Parachute - 1979)
Picture Fred Frith Météo Festival 2021 © Jean-Claude Sarrasin