Shiva Feshareki

Composer, Turntables

"Extraordinary inventiveness"

Richard Morrison, The Times

"Shiva is the most contemporary, cutting-edge expression of turntablism: the perception of a turntable as an instrument to ply and wield"

Ryan Walmsley, Strange Sounds from Beyond

"Her manipulations illuminate the most incredible textural and harmonic treasures embedded in the corners of the music"

Jack Chuter, ATTN Magazine

"The sounds she produced and its interaction with the orchestra’s music were fascinating, and full of an urgency one hears all too rarely in new music"

Ivan Hewett, The Daily Telegraph

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Shiva Feshareki is an internationally renowned composer & turntablist, and NTS Radio DJ. Her diverse output explores acoustic, context perspective and the sound of electricity through wide ranging practices that incorporate classical craft and experimental methodology. In 2017, she was honoured with the British Composer Award for Innovation from BASCA. 2018 saw a host of stunning performances from Feshareki across Europe including at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art (VAC), BBC Proms and London Jazz Festival. Shiva’s debut LP, NEW FORMS (released in February 2019 on ‘RESIST’), is a snapshot into her turntabling experiments: A sonic exploration of perspective and context, demonstrating how one idea can have numerous perspectives of opinion, extension, complexity and interpretation.

Her solo turntable performances fuse together sonic palettes using hyperphysical manipulations and sampling techniques. Cuts from drum and bass, garage, gabber, deep minimalism and classical orchestral works are yielded to create complex live compositions that are as kinetic as they are delicate.

Her compositional work for orchestra is equally transformative, exploring the physicality of sound in relation to light, sculpture and movement. ’GABA-analogue’ (2017) employed space as a compositional tool to create a surround-sound orchestra inside London’s Printworks nightclub with London Contemporary Orchestra. An alternative form of the composition was also presented as ‘O’ at Musikhuset, Denmark with Aarhus Symphony Orchestra; both pieces engaged with sound as both a ‘sculpture in space’ and as a ‘medium bending through time’. Her composition ‘Dialogue’ (2018) for Live Turntable Manipulation and Orchestra can be described as an “intricate cross-phase between electronic and acoustic sound.” It was premiered at the Queen Elizabeth Hall during The EFG London Jazz Festival by Shiva Feshareki and the BBC Concert Orchestra, and receives three more performances in 2019.

Feshareki was a composition scholar at the RCM under Mark-Anthony Turnage, and also obtained a Doctorate of Music from the Royal College of Music. Her experience as researcher was central to her work on ‘Still Point’ by Daphne Oram (1949). The extraordinary story behind the project began with the discovery of the incomplete composition nearly 70 years after if had been rejected by the BBC, where Oram worked as a sound engineer. Shiva Feshareki and fellow composer James Bulley completed the radical composition, originally written for turntables, double orchestra and five microphones. The story culminated with its world premiere at the BBC Proms in 2018, performed by Feshareki and the London Contemporary Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall - the venue for which it was originally composed.

Other highlights include Saturnalia at Macao (Milan), Hyperreality Festival of Club Culture (Vienna), Mutek (Montreal), The Tanks at Tate Modern (London), Artheater (Cologne), The Pumphouse (Aldeburgh), Southbank Centre ‘Concrete Lates’ Takeover (London) and Nikolaj Kunsthal (Copenhagen) as part of Haroon Mirza’s installation Dancing with the Unknown.

Recent and forthcoming projects include a string of unique solo turntabling performances in a variety of contexts, a concert with Orchestre Nationale de Lyon (Dialogue), BBC Concert Orchestra, Ensemble Modern, and a new commission for SOUNDLab: a composition for Live Turntable Manipulation and Spatialised Brass Ensemble, premiered at the Szczecin Philharmonic in Poland.

Feshareki is one of the most thought-provoking and innovative artists emerging in recent years and achieving international acclaim for her unique and absorbing improvisation and composition practice. Her work sits at the intersections of electronic music, fine art, free improvisation, classical composition, dance music culture and turntablism. The result are new forms of sonic materials, new engagements with sonic materiality and new philosophical perspectives.

This biography is for information only and should not be reproduced.

Live turntable performance, Frau Musica (nova) / Ensemble Garage

(December 2018)

For the latest project of the series on the 16.12.2018, she [Brigitta Muntendorf] brought together the Cologne violinist and Performer in Sabine Akiko and London composer turntable specialist Shiva Feshareki for a captivating presence in the Cologne art theatre.

Egbert Hiller, Deutschlandfunk

GABA-Analogue: Ringside Symphony, Spitalfields Music Festival

York Hall (December 2018)

Shiva Feshareki’s GABA-analogue – a deeply uninviting name for a terrific sonic experience. She divided the orchestra (the Trinity Laban Symphony Orchestra) into four groups, placed wide apart in the four corners of the hall, facing inwards towards the conductor, André de Ridder. Among her musical ideas there’s thrash metal and dance music, as well as marvellously fresh-sounding orchestral-gestures, assaulting or beguiling the audience from all angles. And at the halfway point in this quadraphonic epic, a complete contrast: Feshareki herself (a turntables virtuoso) and Kit Downes on Hammond organ, improvising with telepathic inventiveness. The piece lasted 45 minutes but gripped me from first to last.

Richard Morrison, The Times

Venus/Zohreh, The Planets 2018, Sound UK

(September 2018)

Her finished piece consists of just five notes, but within those notes is a “sonic sculpture” that gradually forms as the quartet explore their sound world. It’s as ambitious and inventive as the project itself.

Time Jonze, The Guardian

Daphne Oram Still Point, BBC Proms: Pioneers of Sound

Royal Albert Hall (July 2018)

The orchestration is rich mid-century modernism – full of spooky dissonances and nods to Messiaen and Stravinsky – but the real USP comes in the form of Shiva Feshareki’s attempts to recreate Oram’s dystopian turntable interludes, manipulating three 78rpm decks to create what sounds like air-raid sirens and the kind of woozy turntable trickery we associate with Kid Koala or DJ Spooky.

John Lewis, The Guardian

‘In conversation: Shiva Feshareki’

March 2018

Shiva is the most contemporary, cutting-edge expression of turntablism: the perception of a turntable as an instrument to ply and wield.

Ryan Walmsley, Strange Sounds from Beyond

The Wire on Shiva's Spatialisation techniques

A long low note on the piano is echoed by the opposite piano; it repeats and speeds up as steady cymbals crash and ripples of strings, woodwind, drums and flutes flourish, until the call and response seems to come not just from the two platforms and walkways but from everywhere at once.

The Wire

Interview: Shiva Feshareki

April 2017

Her manipulations illuminate the most incredible textural and harmonic treasures embedded in the corners of the music; the sort of details that are otherwise hidden behind the framework of melody and song

Jack Chuter, ATTN Magazine

‘Occam River XV’ with Eliane Radique and Lee Gamble

August 2017

One of the year’s most intriguing projects

Tom Howells, FACT Magazine

Daphne Oram’s 1949 opus Still Point, Southbank Centre’s DeepMinimalism Festival

June 2016

Flummoxing? You bet. Enthralling? Absolutely... In arduously bringing 'Still Point' to life, Bulley and Feshareki have afforded a thrilling glimpse into a future very nearly forgotten

Thomas Howells, The Financial Times

TTKonzert for turntables, saxophone quartet and orchestra, London Contemporary Orchestra, Roundhouse

January 2010

The sounds she produced and its interaction with the orchestra’s music – alternately dancing and poised in a trance – were fascinating, and full of an urgency one hears all too rarely in new music

Ivan Hewett, The Daily Telegraph

Exuberantly irreverent... Virtuoso DJ-ing

Richard Morrison, The Times ​

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