Beth Bradfish is a composer and sound artist whose goal is to bring her audience as close to sound as possible – like a musician holding a cello to his or her heart. She composes for chamber ensembles and orchestras as well as for installations and sound objects she designs. Sensitivity to corporal vibrations and synesthesia inspire the body-centered work of the past 18 months.
Bradfish collects field recordings, analyzes their characteristics, and then edits and transforms those sounds to create compositions that subtly engage audiences and visitors.
Sometimes she invites participation in the music making. For example, Fanfare for Orchestra and the Singing Insects of South Pond Lincoln Park (2017) asks the audience to download sound files of insects to their Smartphones and play the files when cued by the conductor. Her sound installation at Nolan House on Governors Island (NYC), Untied / United, created with artist Connie Noyes, invites visitors to compose their own sound experience as they touch objects and strings connected to various sensors.
Bradfish also creates sound objects that function as instruments. For example, Exhale sound bed (2017) uses transducers and microelectronics to create sound that gently circles the body while the physical vibration directly moves through the body. The sound objects are living instruments Bradfish continues to study and for which she eagerly composes.
Recently, Bradfish collaborated with painter Anna Kunz to develop acoustic compositions based on her synesthetic experience of color and texture in Kunz’ paintings. Kunz uses watercolors on scrim paper. This permeability along with Kunz’ colors strongly influence her compositions. The permeability and physical intimacy of sound is the foundation of experiences she creates and invites her audiences to participate in.
Beth Bradfish is a composer and sound artist whose goal is to bring her audience as close to sound as possible – like a musician holding a cello to his or her heart. She composes for chamber ensembles and orchestras as well as for installations and sound objects she designs. Beth’s work was commissioned (2013) by Access Contemporary Music as part of the Open House Chicago celebration of the Chicago Architectural Foundation. Her work has also been performed at Spectrum NYC and Constellation (Chicago), and in September 2014 she was selected as a featured composer in the Oscillations series of Experimental Sound Studio. She is a member of Chicago Composers’ Consortium and has taught as an artist in residence at the School of the Art Institute Chicago. Beth has been awarded an artist’s residency fellowship at Ragdale and a Field/Work residency with the Chicago Artists Coalition. She was recently awarded a New Works Residency with Harvestworks New Media (NYC) and an Individual Artist Support grant from the Department of Cultural Affairs, Chicago (DCASE). She received her MFA in Music Composition from Vermont College of Fine Arts in 2015.