Fred Frith

~ Person


Jeremy Webster "Fred" Frith (born 17 February 1949) is an English multi-instrumentalist, composer and improvisor.

Probably best known for his guitar work, Frith first came to attention as one of the founding members of the English avant-rock group Henry Cow. Frith was also a member of Art Bears, Massacre and Skeleton Crew. He has collaborated with a number of prominent musicians, including Robert Wyatt, Derek Bailey, the Residents, Lol Coxhill, John Zorn, Brian Eno, Mike Patton, Lars Hollmer, Bill Laswell, Iva Bittová, Jad Fair, Kramer, the ARTE Quartett and Bob Ostertag. He has also composed several long works, including Traffic Continues (1996, performed 1998 by Frith and Ensemble Modern) and Freedom in Fragments (1993, performed 1999 by Rova Saxophone Quartet). Frith produces most of his own music, and has also produced many albums by other musicians, including Curlew, the Muffins, Etron Fou Leloublan and Orthotonics.

Frith is the subject of Nicolas Humbert and Werner Penzel's award-winning 1990 documentary film Step Across the Border. He also appears in the Canadian documentary Act of God, which is about the metaphysical effects of being struck by lightning. Frith has contributed to a number of music publications, including New Musical Express and Trouser Press, and has conducted improvising workshops across the world. Frith's career spans over four decades and he appears on over 400 albums. He still performs actively throughout the world.

Currently Frith is Professor of Composition in the Music Department at Mills College in Oakland, California. He lives in the United States with his wife, German photographer Heike Liss, and their children, Finn Liss (born 1991) and Lucia Liss (born 1994).

Frith was awarded the 2008 Demetrio Stratos Prize for his career achievements in experimental music. The prize was established in 2005 in honour of experimental vocalist Demetrio Stratos, of the Italian group Area, who died in 1979. In 2010 Frith received an honorary doctorate from the University of Huddersfield in West Yorkshire, England in recognition of his contribution to music.

Frith is the brother of Simon Frith, a well-known music critic and sociologist, and Chris Frith, a psychologist working at University College London.

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Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1976 Guitar Solos 2 Frith / Bailey / Fitzgerald / Reichel 1
1980 Gravity Fred Frith 2
1981 Speechless Fred Frith 2
1982 Live In Japan (The Guitars On The Table Approach Vol. 2) Fred Frith 1
1982 Live In Japan (The Guitars On The Table Approach Vol.1) Fred Frith 1
1982 Voice of America Fred Frith, Bob Ostertag, & Phil Minton 1
1987 With Enemies Like These, Who Needs Friends? Fred Frith & Henry Kaiser 1
1988 The Technology of Tears (and Other Music for Dance and Theatre) Fred Frith 1
1992 Cheap at Half the Price Fred Frith 1
1993 Guitar Solos Fred Frith 1
1994 Quartets Fred Frith 1
1994 The Art of Memory John Zorn & Fred Frith 1
1995 Nil Scholl, Erismann, Niggli, Frith, Koch, Kowald 1
1995 Sounds of a Distant Episode Fred Frith / Marc Ribot 1
1996 Guitar Organism Kazuyuki K.Null with Fred Frith, Guy Lohnes, Ichiro Agata & Jim O’Rourke 1
1997 Eye to Ear Fred Frith 1
1997 The Previous Evening Fred Frith 1
1998 Pacifica Fred Frith 1
1998 Meridiem Percy Howard, Charles Hayward, Fred Frith & Bill Laswell 1
1999 Friends & Enemies Fred Frith & Henry Kaiser 1
2000 Traffic Continues Fred Frith & Ensemble Modern 1
2000 Later ... Ikue Mori, Fred Frith & Mark Dresser 1
2001 Clearing Fred Frith 1
2002 Digital Wildlife Fred Frith & Maybe Monday 1
2002 Prints Fred Frith 1
2003 Accidental: Music for Dance, Volume 3 Fred Frith 1
2003 Dalaba, Frith, Glick Rieman, Kihlstedt Dalaba, Frith, Glick Rieman, Kihlstedt 1
2003 Soshin Antoine Berthiaume, Derek Bailey & Fred Frith 1
2003 Tempted to Smile Fred Frith / Joëlle Léandre / Jonathan Segel 1
2004 Eye To Ear II Fred Frith 1
2005 Allies: Music for Dance, Volume 2 Fred Frith 1
2005 Eleventh Hour (Arditti Quartet / Uwe Dierksen / William Winant) Fred Frith 1
2006 Ironic Universe Janet Feder + Fred Frith 1
2006 The Compass, Log and Lead Fred Frith, Stevie Wishart & Carla Kihlstedt 1
2006 The Happy End Problem Fred Frith 2
2007 The Sugar Factory Fred Frith & Evelyn Glennie 1
2008 Back to Life Fred Frith 1
2008 The Technology Of Tears Fred Frith 1
2008 To Sail, To Sail Fred Frith 1
2010 Late Works John Zorn & Fred Frith 1
2011 On Cold Mountain: Songs on Poems of Gary Snyder Karen Clark, Galax Quartet; Fred Frith, W.A. Mathieu, Robert Morris, Roy Whelden 1
2014 The Natural Order Fred Frith and John Butcher 1
2014 Backscatter Bright Blue Fred Frith 1
2015 Edge of the Light Lotte Anker & Fred Frith 1
2 Gentlemen In Verona Chris Cutler & Fred Frith 1
I Dream of You Jumping - With JP Drouet & L Sclavis Fred Frith 1
Live Improvisations Fred Frith & Tim Hodgkinson 1
Stone, Brick, Glass, Wood, Wire (Graphic Scores 1986-96) (Disc 2) Fred Frith 1

Album + Live

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1992 Improvised Music New York 1981 Derek Bailey, Fred Frith, Sonny Sharrock, John Zorn, Bill Laswell & Charles K. Noyes 1
1992 Nous autres Fred Frith & René Lussier 1
2000 Ars Longa Dens Brevis Fred Frith, John Zorn, Onnyk & Toyozumi Yoshisaburo 1
2001 Keep the Dog: That House We Lived In Fred Frith 1
2004 50th Birthday Celebration, Volume 5 John Zorn & Fred Frith 1
2007 The Stone: Issue Two Chris Cutler & Fred Frith 1

Album + Soundtrack

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1989 The Top of His Head Fred Frith 1
1990 Step Across the Border Fred Frith 1
1996 Middle of the Moment Fred Frith 1
2003 Rivers and Tides { working with time Fred Frith 1
2009 Nowhere, Sideshow, Thin Air (Music for Dance Volume 6) Fred Frith 1

Unspecified type

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1994 Sounds of a Distant Episode Fred Frith / Marc Ribot 1

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