Elliott Sharp’s SyndaKit


SyndaKit is an algorithmic composition, an instruction set for a self-organizing system based on bird flocking, the way RNA molecules combine and reproduce, the lateral transmission of data in African drum choirs, and the computer game "cellular automata" also known as "artificial life."

When & where
Wednesday, July 16, 2014 @ 7pm and @ 9pm
Spectrum, 121 Ludlow Street
New York

$15 general admission, $10 students & seniors

7pm All-acoustic strings
John Pickford Richards & Chris Otto of JACK Quartet. Fung Chern Hwei, Jeremy Harman, & Ron Lawrence of Sirius String Quartet. Plus Judith Insell, Rachel Golub, James Ilgenfritz, Jeanann Dara, Kevin Ray, Reuben Radding, and E#.

9pm All-electric guitars.
Taylor Levine & James Moore of Dither. Anders Nillson, James Ilgenfritz, Cristian Amigo, Lily Maase, Ron Anderson, Ben Tyree, Ava Mendoza, Marc Sloan, Zach Pruitt, and E#.

Composed in 1998 for the composer's ensemble Orchestra Carbon, SyndaKit utilizes a collection of biological metaphors to create an ever-shifting rhythmic and timbral matrix. Improvisatory and algorithmic but not improvisation, SyndaKit’s essence is a transformative organism consisting of 144 composed cores on 12 pages divided among the 12 players with a set of simple rules for their use through processes of imitation, addition, recombination, transposition, and mutation.

These actions are based on the activities of flocking birds, African drum choirs, cellular automata, hunting packs, and recombinant amino acids. SyndaKit has been performed extensively by Sharp's Orchestra Carbon, by Zeitkratzer in Berlin, the Beijing New Music Ensemble, and other groups in the US, Japan, Italy, France, Spain, Austria, and Germany.

For a digital download of the Beijing New Music Ensemble's recording of SyndaKit go ...


ELLIOTT SHARP is a composer, performer, and producer who leads the projects Orchestra Carbon, Terraplane, and Tectonics and has pioneered ways of applying fractal geometry, chaos theory, and genetics to musical composition and interaction. In March 2014, Sharp debuted a new large-ensemble project, SysOrk, at Roulette in Brooklyn. SysOrk is dedicated to Sharp's algorithmic and graphic scores. He is currently working on the opera Port Bou, which will receive its premiere at Issue Project Room in October 2014.

Sharp premiered two new string quartets in October 2013: Tranzience for JACK Quartet and Mare Undarum for Sirius Quartet. His composition Turing Test for the Neue Vocalsölisten Stuttgart premiered at the Venice Biennale October 2012. Also in 2012, Oneirika for the ensemble Zeitkratzer premiered at MaerzMusik Berlin and Persistence of Vision for the Sonic Visions Orchestra (conducted by Sharp) premiered at Sonic Visions Festival Reutlingen. In 2010, Sharp directed, wrote, and composed About Us, a science-fiction opera for all-teenage performers at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich. He has been featured at New Music Stockholm, Donaueschingen Festival, Darmstadt Festival, and Au Printemps, Paris.

Sharp's work is the subject of a recent documentary film "Doing The Don't" by Bert Shapiro and he was featured on NPR All Things Considered in October 2012.

Sharp's collaborators have included the violin virtuoso Hilary Hahn, Radio-Sinfonie Frankfurt; pop singer Debbie Harry; Ensemble Modern; Qawwali singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan; Arditti Quartet; Ensemble Resonanz; blues legends Hubert Sumlin and Pops Staples; jazz greats Jack deJohnette and Sonny Sharrock; multimedia artists Christian Marclay and Pierre Huyghe; and Bachir Attar, leader of the Master Musicians Of Jahjouka.

His audio installations include Fluvial, a computerized multi-channel audiowork; Chromatine, an interactive string sculpture, and Tag, an interactive audiowork. His 2012 graphic score Foliage has been published both as an eBook and as print exhibition.