In 2008, Daniel Fishkin’s ears started ringing, and they never stopped. Composing the Tinnitus Suites: 2016 investigates the aesthetics of hearing damage. The work is anchored by the Lady’s Harp: a system of 20-foot long piano wires activated by mixer feedback, using guitar pickups and pressure transducers to coax the strings into vibration, not unlike the cilia that transduce vibrations into electrical impulses for the brain. Fishkin says, “To make ‘Tinnitus Music’ is not just to compose sounds, but also to compose situations that can break the isolation of its experience.” Shalom, Schrey, and Fishkin are members of New Perplexity, a collective of new wartime composers and scholars. Schrey performs on the Hardanger Fiddle, a Norwegian folk instrument lined with sympathetic strings that resonate as he plays. Shalom is a contrabassist blessed with perfect pitch, but this intuitive gift is confounded by spectral barrage of the Lady’s Harp. For this concert, the trio present a series of compositions in an attempt to answer the question, “What is Tinnitus Music?” from each player’s perspective. This project was funded in part by the Harvestworks Artist in Residence Program.
Sunday December 19, 2016 @ 7 pm
Harvestworks 596 Broadway #602 New York NY 10012
Phone: 212-431-1130 Subway: F/M/D/B Broadway/Lafayette, R to Prince, #6
Described by the Irish Times as “a musician utterly at one with his instrument and his music,” Cleek Schrey is a fiddler and composer from Virginia. An active member of traditional music communities in America and Ireland, he plays in the Ghost Trio with Ivan Goff and Iarla O Lionaird. His work has been presented at Pioneer Works Center for Art and Innovation in Brooklyn, Storm King Art Center, the Kilkenny Arts Festival, the Lumen Performance Art Festival, and the Bridge Progressive Art Center. Cleek frequently makes music for dance, having worked with choreographers Douglas Dunn and Bill T. Jones and percussive dancers Sandy Silva and Nic Gareiss. He also works closely with the renowned Beckett theater company, Gare St. Lazare, as a composer and musician. He has studied composition with David Behrman, Paul Caputo, Bunita Marcus, and Walter Zimmermann. The journal Sound Post has noted that Cleek “possesses a rare combination of traits: deep respect for traditional music and the people who make it, and an unbounded curiosity about new directions for sound.” He is currently pursuing a Masters in Music Composition at Wesleyan University.
Ron Shalom (b. 1989) is a songwriter, composer, bassist, vocalist and organist, and he is leader of the Cult of the Illuminated Orifice. “Ron is slim, slightly stooped, with a wonderful oval head perched atop that spindly but useful body. He wears a small pair of wireframe glasses, and has a dainty mustachio beneath his afghan nostrils. His posture reflects a peaceful and accepting attitude, arms formed in an embracing gesture bringing his friends closer to an open heart. That said, his art is radical like a rocket. There is always a sense of danger, or perhaps the grotesque. He has performed in various altered states including as a vomitorium.” I am a musician and time artist working in multiple media exploring boundaries between forms of performance in public life, and between the musical and the theatrical. As a musician I work in composition, songwriting, and as a double bassist and organist. In other contexts I produce guerrilla street performance, pornography, sculpture and theater.
Daniel studied with composer Maryanne Amacher and with multi-instrumentalist Mark Stewart. He has performed as a soloist on modular synthesizer with the American Symphony Orchestra, developed sound installations in freight elevators and abandoned concert halls, and played innumerable basement punk shows. Previous iterations of Composing the Tinnitus Suites have received international press (Nature Journal, 2014); as an ally in the search for a cure, he has been awarded the title of “tinnitus ambassador” by the Deutsche Tinnitus-Stiftung. Daniel received his MA in Music Composition from Wesleyan University, has taught analog synthesis at Bard College, and currently is pursuing his PhD at UCSD.