Fred Frith

Born 17 March 1949.
Fred Frith

Biography

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, 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 three decades and he appears on over 400 albums. He still performs actively throughout the world.

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Links & Information

BBC Reviews

  1. Review of Gravity

    Gravity

    Reviewed by Peter Marsh
    Right said Fred...Avant guitar hero turns folkie (well, almost) in this re-release...
  2. Review of Accidental

    Accidental

    Reviewed by Bill Tilland
    Avant axe hero Fred Frith mixes indeterminacy, noisy guitar and baroque prettiness in...
  3. Review of Speechless

    Speechless

    Reviewed by Peter Marsh
    Fred Frith's second album for Ralph Recortds gets the reissue treatment. A compelling...
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