To celebrate the publication of Elliott Sharp’s IrRational Music and Evan Eisenberg’s The Trumpiad, both on Terra Nova Books, Sharp and Eisenberg will engage in a wide-ranging conversation about music and art, politics and culture.
IrRational Music is a mix of memoir, cultural discussion, and music theory. “Elliott Sharp’s writing, like his music, recombines the scrupulously discursive with the deeply humane and reflective. What a joy it is to be informed by this remarkable account of the coming-of-age of his psyche, his curiosity, and his methodology. Sharp paints a picture of lost kingdoms of the avant-garde which aren’t really lost, but continuous in our present if we’re inclined to notice them. With this book, a reader joins Sharp in the step-by-step reinvigoration of intentional sound itself – sound as culture, as science, as art – a process that can never be finished.” – Jonathan Lethem
Before TV came along, the role of late-night comedy—to mash the pie of truth in the face of power—was played by satire in verse, often abetted by the artist’s pen. In their caustic, uproarious Trumpiad, Evan Eisenberg and Steve Brodner reinvent this grand tradition for our demented times. Inspired by Swift, Byron, and Dorothy Parker as much as by John Oliver and Stephen Colbert, Eisenberg traces our hero from the murk of his ancestry to his latest high crimes and misadventures.
Elliott Sharp is a composer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist who leads the projects Orchestra Carbon, SysOrk, Tectonics and Terraplane. His innovations have encompassed fractal geometry, chaos theory, algorithms, genetic metaphors, and new strategies for graphic notation to yield work that catalyzes a synesthetic approach to musicmaking as well as functioning as retinal art. In 2015, Sharp was awarded the Berlin Prize and the Jahrespreis from der Deutscher Schallplatten Kritiks. In 2014 he received a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Fellowship from the Center for Transformative Media. He has been featured in the Darmstadt and Huddersfield festivals, New Music Stockholm, Au Printemps-Paris, Hessischer Rundfunk Klangbiennale, and the Venice Biennale. He is the subject of the documentary Doing The Don't and has been featured on NPR's All Things Considered. Installations include Foliage, Fluvial, Chromatine, and Tag.
Sharp's composition Storm of the Eye, composed for violinist Hilary Hahn, appeared on her Grammy-winning album In 27 Pieces. His opera Filiseti Mekidesi premiered at the Ruhr Triennale in 2018 and his Walter Benjamin opera Port Bou premiered in NYC in 2014. Sharp's collaborators have included Qawwali singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan; Ensemble Modern; Debbie Harry; blues legends Hubert Sumlin and Pops Staples; jazz greats Jack Dejohnette and Sonny Sharrock; media artists Christian Marclay and Pierre Huyghe; and Bachir Attar, leader of the Master Musicians Of Jahjouka.
Evan Eisenberg's book The Ecology of Eden (Knopf, Vintage) — an inquiry into humankind's role in nature, real and imagined — has been hailed as “a masterwork” (Toronto Globe and Mail), “a prose epic [of] dazzling wit and impressive learning” (Washington Post), and “a tour de force of magnificent visionary sweep” (Sunday Times, London). His first book, The Recording Angel, a pathbreaking study of the cultural impact of recorded music, has been translated into French, German, and Italian. Recently reissued in an expanded edition by Yale University Press, it has been selected as one of the "50 greatest music books ever" by the Observer (U.K.). It is also featured in the new Time Out 1000 Books to Change Your Life.
Eisenberg's writing on nature, culture, and technology has appeared in The Atlantic, The New Republic, the New York Times, Natural History, Discover, New York, and other periodicals. His humor pieces have been featured in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Time, Esquire, Slate, Salon, The Independent (U.K.), L.A. Weekly, the New York Observer, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and the op-ed section of the New York Times.More recently he has channeled his comic energies into screenwriting, selling a feature script to a major studio. He has been a music columnist for The Nation, a synagogue cantor, and a gardener for the New York City parks department. Born in New York City, Eisenberg studied philosophy and classics at Harvard and Princeton and biology at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He lives on the Delaware River in upstate New York.