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Elliott Sharp: Two Night Residency

We’re thrilled to host a rare UK performance from one of the leading lights of the NYC Downtown scene, guitarist Elliott Sharp.

In the UK to play the magnificent Frontears Festival in Birmingham, Elliott visits the Vortex for a very special two-night residency, each night playing a solo/duo set, plus an ensemble set showcasing Foliage with the cream of the UK scene.

Elliott Sharp – guitar/conductor
Riaan Vosloo – bass
Liam Noble – piano
Andrew Bain – drums
Percy Pursglove – trumpet
Jeremy Price – trombone
plus more TBC


“Using graphics software, Elliott creates the visual equivalent of what he does with audio editing software in a live performance. Altering what he sees the same way he alters what he hears, by modulating, distorting, filtering, stretching, multiplying, layering, inverting, blurring, and ultimately exploding the traditionally written sheet music.” Excerpt from Christian Marclay’s foreword to Foliage.

Sharp is an American multi-instrumentalist, composer, and performer. A central figure in the avant-garde and experimental music scene in New York City for over 30 years, Elliott Sharp has released over eighty-five recordings ranging from orchestral music to blues, jazz, noise, no wave rock, and techno music. He leads the projects Carbon and Orchestra Carbon, Tectonics, and Terraplane and has pioneered ways of applying fractal geometry, chaos theory, and genetic metaphors to musical composition and interaction.

His collaborators have included Radio-Sinfonie Frankfurt; pop singer Debbie Harry; Ensemble Modern; Qawwali singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan; Kronos String Quartet; Ensemble Resonanz; cello innovator Frances Marie Uitti; blues legends Hubert Sumlin and Pops Staples; pipa virtuoso Min-Xiao Feng; jazz greats Jack deJohnette, Oliver Lake, and Sonny Sharrock; multimedia artists Christian Marclay and Pierre Huyghe; and Bachir Attar, leader of the Master Musicians Of Jajouka.

Sharp has composed scores for feature films and documentaries; created sound-design for interstitials on The Sundance Channel, MTV and Bravo networks; and has presented numerous sound installations in art galleries and museums. He is the subject of a new documentary “Doing The Don’t” by filmmaker Bert Shapiro.

Read “A selection of pages from Elliot Sharp’s score Foliage, with an introduction from the composer” at

Hear Elliot Sharp: “Blues Is A Feeling” at NPR’s ‘All Things Considered’.

With thanks to Frontiers Festival, Arts Council England, Birmingham Conservatoire and Third Ear.

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