Composer/multi-instrumentalist Elliott Sharp leads the groups CARBON and ORCHESTRA CARBON, gx4, BOOTSTRAPPERS, and TERRAPLANE and has been performing improvised music since 1969 and has lead a variety of ensembles in New York City since 1979.
Large ensemble pieces include CROWDS AND POWER, SILI/CONTEMP/TATION, MARCO POLO’S ARGALI, SELF-SQUARED DRAGON, RE/ITERATIONS (commissioned by American Composer’s Orchestra – 1987), LARYNX (for a 13 member version of CARBON for the 1987 Next Wave Festival at Brooklyn Academy of Music), ABSTRACT REPRESSIONISM: 1990-99, and SERRATE.
Other compositions include: INNOSENSE (an opera-sketch performed at Public Access Synthesizer Studio – 1981), JUMP CUT (premiered at the Rensellaer Polytechnic Institute’s Electronic Arts Series – 1988), TWENTY BELOW (for six keyboards – premiered at the Alternative Museum – 1986), and FERROUS (for an ensemble of instruments invented and constructed by the composer, premiered at the Knitting Factory’s Handmade Instrument Festival – 1989). Pieces composed for New Music America include: HAKA (1983), MASEREEL (1987) and VIRTUAL STANCE (1989). Compositions for THE SOLDIER STRING QUARTET include TESSALATION ROW (1986), DIGITAL (1986), TWISTMAP (1991), SHAPE-SHIFTERS (1991) and INTIFADA (1992 – for the Festival of Radical Jewish Music in Munich). HAMMER ANVIL STIRRUP was written and premiered in 1988 by Finland’s Avanti String Quartet at the Pori Jazz Festival. His music-theatre piece DECEPTION premiered at the Kitchen in January 1990.
In 1977, Sharp founded the zOaR label to release his own and other extreme musics. Among other releases, he produced two critically acclaimed compilations: PERIPHERAL VISION – BANDS OF LOISAIDA and STATE OF THE UNION.
Recent activities include an appearance on the NBC-TV show “NIGHT MUSIC” performing his piece FREE SOCIETY, extensive touring in the U.S. and Europe with CARBON, a 1989 tour of the then-Soviet Union with the cooperative group FRAME, and a live broadcast performance with Qawwali singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan at CKUT-FM Montreal. He continues ongoing collaborations with Korean komungo-player Jin Hi Kim and Bachir Attar, a multi-instrumentalist and leader of the MASTER MUSICIANS OF JAHJOUKA from Morocco. Sharp performed in N.Y. and Chicago in 1988 with Czechoslovakia’s PLASTIC PEOPLE OF THE UNIVERSE/PULNOC.
Sharp has composed scores for the film THE SALT MINES (by Susanna Aikin and Carlos Aparicio), DADDY AND THE MUSCLE ACADEMY (by Finnish film maker IIppo Pohjola), and for video artist Paul Garrin. he has also composed for choreographer/performance artists Jo Andres, Kaja Gam, Poppo, Fiona Templeton, Barbara Chang and Nina Wiener, as well as collaborating with Japanese Butoh groups BYAKKO-SHA and TATOEBA.