Joshua Fried

NYFA Artist Fellowship
Credits: photo by My Name Is Blue Canary

Joshua Fried's profile spans experimental music, popular music, and performance art. He's known to some for his They Might Be Giants remixes, to others for drumming on old shoes, and to still others for putting headphones on some of Downtown NYC's most mercurial stars. Fried emerged from New York's downtown experimental music and East Village performance art scenes of the 1980s. 

Fried is a recipient of a 1994 National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Fellowship, 1995 and 2001 New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) Fellowships and multiple residencies at MacDowell, Yaddo, Djerassi and the Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Center. Fried won two large commissions from American Composers Forum: to create live music for Douglas Dunn & Dancers, and to compose for the robotic instruments of New York's League Of Electronic Musical Urban Robots (LEMUR). He has received additional financial support from the Jerome Foundation, New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), The Mary Flagler Cary Trust, Meet The Composer and others.

Fried's work has been released by the free103point9 Audio Dispatch Series, Trace Label, Hello Recording Club, Harvestworks and Atlantic Records.

Fried developed headphone-driven performance, whereby performers try to imitate vocal sounds that are played over headphones. The performers have never heard these sounds before, and yet they are asked to reproduce the input as it happens-with every word, pitch and expression accurate and no lag time whatever. The Bang On A Can All-Stars performed this work at Lincoln Center, and it has also been presented in Venice, LA, Morelia, Warsaw, Prague, Amsterdam, and elsewhere.

Joshua Fried was the youngest composer in Schirmer Books' American Music in the 20th Century. He lives and works in New York City.

Awards & Recognitions

  • 2001 New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA). Artist’s Fellowship.
  • 1995 New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA). Artist’s Fellowship.
  • Meet The Composer Composer/Choreographer Project. Financial support for collaboration with Douglas Dunn.
  • National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Composer’s Fellowship.
  • MacDowell Colony Fellowships
  • Yaddo Artist Residencies
  • Rockefeller Foundation. Bellagio Center Individual Artist Residency.
  • Danish National Broadcasting Corp. International Grand Prize winner, Competition In Sound II, plus commission to create a 30-minute piece in the studios of Danish Radio.
  • New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA). Support to compose for the Hourglass Group.
  • American Composers Forum Jerome Composers Commissioning Program. Grant to create Music For Robots for New York’s League of Electronic Musical Urban Robots (LEMUR).