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 b.1987 is an internationally acclaimed British composer & electronic artist with Iranian Heritage, and the “cutting-edge expression of turntablism”(SSFB).

Her music addresses some of the most pressing questions concerning music and culture in our time. She is a highly versatile and diverse composer whose musical output encompasses a wide spectrum of resources and influences ranging from classical, mid-20th Century experimental electronics, and electronic dance music genres such as drum n bass and jungle. Her oeuvre includes orchestral, chamber, solo instrumental and vocal music, graphically or conventionally notated compositions with memorable and sublime harmonies, and cutting-edge electronic music which pushes conventional boundaries to uncharted dimensions.

An internationally renowned composer and turntablist, Feshareki was honoured with the 2017 British Composer Award for Innovation from The Ivors Academy, the Royal Philharmonic Society Composition Prize (2009), as well as the BBC Young Composer’s Award (2004) with her first scored composition. A host of stunning performances followed including most recently at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art (VAC), BBC Proms, London Jazz Festival, and as Featured Artist at Spitalfields Festival. Other recent highlights include Saturnalia at Macao (Milan), Hyperreality Festival of Club Culture (Vienna), Mutek (Montreal), Sonar (Barcelona), Maerzmusik (Kraftwerk, Berlin), The Tanks at Tate Modern (London), Artheater (Cologne), Appia Stage (Hellereu), The Pumphouse (Aldeburgh), Southbank Centre ‘Concrete Lates’ Takeover (London) and Nikolaj Kunsthal (Copenhagen) as part of Haroon Mirza’s installation Dancing with the Unknown. Shiva Feshareki’s debut LP, NEW FORMS (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, expansion, complexity and interpretation. 2019 also saw her single release 'Vapour', created through her live turntabling using the vinyl disc of NEW FORMS. Feshareki also composes extensively for orchestras, recently working with the BBC Concert Orchestra, Aarhus Symphony Orchestra, London Contemporary Orchestra, Dusseldorf Symphoniker and Orchestra Nationale de Lyon.

It is unarguable that she is perhaps most clearly defined as an artist when working with her trademark turntables, which alone have formidably established her as one of the foremost musical innovators of her generation. The turntables themselves, and the performance practices of which she utilises, are what most accurately describe her both as a musician and as a human being, and the implications underlying this are both mesmerising and profound.

Shiva Feshareki’s music addresses issues of a cultural relevance to our time, without pandering to pastiche or kitsch impulses. Having been particularly inspired by electronic dance music and culture, she has always been involved in dissolving the cultural boundaries between conventional and experimental artistic practices, and subsequently inaugurating the audience of both extremes without a compromise of integrity. Her influences stretch far beyond solely musical inspiration, and fields such as psychoacoustics and cognitive psychology have a considerable impact on the musical decisions she makes. With such consideration of detail, she has been able to subtly invite audiences into situations they may have once been unfamiliar with, and through imaginative means, she is able to create music that stretches the minds and imaginations of listeners. This evolutionary approach to music-making is of supreme importance in our time, in our day and age of sharing information at a previously unforeseen scope, whereby her substantial musical knowledge and innovative practices have exposed larger audience numbers to new musical possibilities.

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

​ Opus Infinity, Ensemble Modern, Frankfurt LAB

(February 2020)

The British Feshareki (born 1987) has been an exciting turntable performer for years, but sees herself in her work as a composer as well, because she constantly processes her own electronic sounds and compositions and works repeatedly with ensembles and orchestras, so that instrumental qualities and possibilities intertwine with those of the turntables. In addition, her own instruments and samplers give her access to an almost inexhaustible world of electronic music - some of which already exist - which she composes in her own way to create new compositions. …The entire room was included in this "spacial composition", including speakers, musicians and audience. The latter was allowed to move freely within the musicians, so that one received his very own version of the "Opus Infinity". That was not easy, as the encouraging audience led to it being a bit tight and the desired width and size of the room was simply not available, instead you could allow yourself to be direct and intimate, as well as an active participant: I stay, I hear, do I want to continue? - It was also exciting to observe that the music caused the entire audience to pause in some places, while rather turbulent passages were more inviting to move. Feshareki's "Opus Infinity" works with geometric spirals that are nested within each other in the tonal room design and in the live performance on the turntables. In doing so, the composer actually achieves an event that emphasizes organic, almost psychedelic effects… In Feshareki's works there is often something sculptural-looking that, in changing guises, always seems to approach the same soulfulness of music.

Alexander Keuk, mehrlicht

Shiva Feshareki, who worked as a soloist in her work ‘Opus Infinity’, has attracted many people who would otherwise not belong to the usual audience of the Ensemble Modern.

Doris Kösterke, Frankfurter Allgemeine

Portrait Concert, Casa del Lago

National Autonomous University of Mexico (February 2020)

…the open-air forum was filled with spectators who applauded the composer's improvisations effusively. …The artist electrified the environment through beats …that managed to perfectly connect with the cracking and scratching of the vinyl disc.

Arturo Cuevas, Gaceta UNAM

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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