Composer-performer Joshua Fried's work spans experimental music, DJ culture and live art. Known to some for his They Might Be Giants remixes, to others for RADIO WONDERLAND's shoes and wheel computer controllers, and to still others for putting headphones on downtown's most mercurial stars, Fried has performed solo at Lincoln Center, The Kitchen, CBGB, a Stuttgart disco, a former East Village bathhouse, a Tokyo museum, and the Dutch Royal Palace. His production credits include the aforementioned TMBG as well as Chaka Khan, Ofra Haza, and avant drone-master David First.
The RADIO WONDERLAND debut album (2016, clang recordings, http://clang.dk) consists entirely of live FM radio grabbed during live RADIO WONDERLAND shows. Fried found the choicest, danceable bits from over 200 hours of performance recordings and turned them into dance tracks.
Fried also developed Headphone-Driven Performance whereby performers try to imitate vocal sounds that are played over headphones. The performers have never heard these sounds before, and yet they are asked to reproduce the input as it happens--with every word, pitch and expression accurate and no lag time whatever. This work has been presented at the Bang On A Can Festival, Music Now Prague, Lincoln Center, Venice Biennale 2003 (Teatro Piccolo Arsenale), The Israel Festival (Jerusalem) and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Fried is a recipient of a 1994 National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Fellowship, 1995 and 2001 New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) Fellowships and multiple residencies at MacDowell, Yaddo, Djerassi and the Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Center. Fried won two large commissions from American Composers Forum: to create live music for Douglas Dunn & Dancers, and to compose for the robotic instruments of New York's League Of Electronic Musical Urban Robots (LEMUR). He has received additional financial support from the Jerome Foundation, New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), The Mary Flagler Cary Trust, Meet The Composer and others.
Fried's work has been released by the free103point9 Audio Dispatch Series, Trace Label, Hello Recording Club, Harvestworks and Atlantic Records. He is the youngest composer profiled in Schirmer Books' American Music In the 20th Century. Fried emerged from New York's downtown experimental music and East Village performance art scenes of the 1980s. He teaches music technology at NYU.
And now, the original Joshua Fried bio from this site, last edited in 2004!
Joshua Fried emerged from New York's downtown experimental music and East Village performance art scenes of the 1980s. His full-length HEADFONE FOLLIES completed its 12-week run at HERE Arts Center in 2001 with a rotating cast of sixty-four headphone-driven performers. His collaboration with choreographer Douglas Dunn, Spell for Opening the Mouth of N (featuring eight headphone-driven singer/actors and a dance company of ten), premiered in a sold-out run at The Kitchen, New York, and was one of the highlights of the 1997 Lincoln Center-Out-of-Doors Festival. Fried's 30-minute Welcome to the Ice-Box, commissioned by Danish Radio and recorded at Danish Broadcasting Corp. studios, recently premiered on Danish Radio and at Sound/Gallery--25 loudspeakers permanently installed in Copenhagen's main town square.
Fried is known for turning technology on its head, challenging its assumptions, while using machines to accentuate the raw human qualities of live events that are unique to the moment. His work partakes equally of minimalism and the rhythmic experimentation of Nancarrow and his followers, as well as contemporary performance art, dance rhythm and sound processing techniques.
Fried is also known for his invention The Musical Shoes, four ordinary shoes mounted upside-down on stands and plugged into electronics which are activated by striking the shoes.
Fried's 1986 recording "Jimmy Because," with guest guitarist Fred Frith, was released by Atlantic Records. He is re-mix producer on dance records by They Might Be Giants, Chaka Khan and Ofra Haza.
Fried is a recipient of numerous awards including a 1994 NEA Composer's Fellowship, two NYFA (New York Foundation for the Arts) Fellowships, a 1996 Artist Residency at the Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Center on Lake Como, Italy, and MacDowell, Yaddo and Djerassi Colony Fellowships.
His work has been presented at the Bang On A Can Festival, Music Now Prague, New Music America, Lincoln Center, The Israel Festival (Jerusalem), ICC (Tokyo), John Schaefer's "New Sounds Live" (syndicated on NPR), ISCM's World Music Days Warsaw, Café de la Danse (Paris), Het Apollohuis (Eindhoven, The Netherlands), Podewil (Berlin) and the Dutch Royal Palace, plus New York City venues such as Merkin Concert Hall, the Knitting Factory, The Kitchen, DTW, The Bottom Line, Limelight, Irving Plaza, Danceteria, Here, P.S. 122, Dixon Place and La MaMa Experimental Theater.