Fred Frith is a songwriter, composer, improviser, and multi-instrumentalist best known for the reinvention of the electric guitar that began with Guitar Solos in 1974. He learned his craft as both improviser and composer playing in rock bands, notably Henry Cow, and creating music in the recording studio. Mostly commissioned by choreographers and film-makers, Fred’s work has also been performed by Ensemble Modern, Robert Wyatt, Arditti Quartet, Ground Zero, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, Concerto Köln, and Rova Sax Quartet, among quite a few others. For over forty-five years Fred has been enthusiastically recording and performing all over the place with co-conspirators of all persuasions. He currently teaches improvisation and composition at Mills College in Oakland, California and at the Musik Akademie in Basel, Switzerland. He and partner Heike Liss are currently acting as visiting faculty at the Universidad Austral in Valdivia, Chile. Fred is the subject of Nicolas Humbert and Werner Penzel’s award-winning documentary film Step Across the Border.
Heike Liss works in a variety of media, including video, photography, drawing, sculpture, site-specific installation and public intervention. Her biggest inspiration is everyday life – the world and the people around her. She studied Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Tübingen before attending Mills College, where she received a Master’s degree in Studio Art. Heike’s award-winning work has been exhibited internationally in museums, galleries and at film festivals. She has collaborated with choreographers Sonsherée Giles and François Verret, musicians Ellen Fullman, GAW, Marcus Weiss, Sylwia Zytynska, Caroline Penwarden and Theresa Wong, multi-media artists Ellen Lake, Nomi Talisman, and Michael Trigilio, painter Soffia Saemundsdottir, and poets Lyn Hejinian and Julie Gilbert, to name a few. Since 2014 Heike is performing live visuals with her longtime collaborator and travelling companion Fred Frith, as well as other musical improvisers such as Ikue Mori, Lotte Anker, Okkyung Lee, Chris Cutler, Susana Silva Santos and Shelley Hirsch. She lives and works in Oakland and Basel and teaches at the Universidad Austral de Chile in Valdivia.
Concert/performance Fred und Heike
Heike Liss, DrawingSound ©heikeliss
Liss/Frith Cutler SilvaSantos ©Muzički salon SC
Heike Liss, SilvaSantos ©Muzički salon SC