Matthew Goodheart

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Matthew Goodheart is a composer, improviser, and sound artist currently residing in New York. Following an early career as a free-jazz pianist, he has developed a wide body of work that explores the relationships between performer, instrument, and listener. His diverse creations range from large-scale microtonal compositions to open improvisations to immersive sound installations – all unified by the analytic techniques and performative methodologies he has developed to bring forth the unique and subtle acoustic properties of individual musical instruments. Goodheart’s approach results in a “generative foundation” for exploring issues of perception, technology, cultural ritual, and the psycho-physical impact of acoustic phenomena.

He began his work with reembodied sound techniques in 2008 at the Center for New Music and Audio Technologies at UC Berkeley. Focusing on the activation of acoustic instruments, his first installation, Cymbal Study appeared at the 2009 Temascal Experiment festival in Oakland, CA. Since then, his output has expanded to include works for multiple metal percussion instruments, string instruments, and piano in a continuing series of installations and performance works.

His work has been featured throughout the US, Canada, and Europe in such festivals as MaerzMusik, The International Spectral Music Festival, June in Buffalo, Klappsthulfest, Jazz Ao Centro, The Illuminations New Music & Arts Festival, and many others. He has performed and recorded with such luminaries as Wadada Leo Smith, Fred Frith, Pauline Oliveros, Glenn Spearman, Gianni Gebbia, Vladimir Tarasov, Jack Wright, and Cecil Taylor, and works frequently with the new music ensemble sfSoundGroup. He received his Ph.D. in Music from U. C. Berkeley in 2013, and was a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at Columbia University from 2015 - 2017, and has won numerous awards and honors, including the 2014 Berlin Prize in Music Composition, and a 2013-14 Fulbright Grant to the Czech Republic where he worked with the historic quartertone pianos designed by Alois Hába.

In 2016 he founded the Reembodied Sound Wiki as a way to connect the great variety of artists and researchers pursuing similar endeavors, and is currently the site's administrator.

Goodhears is an Assistant Professor of Music Composition in the Department of the Arts at Rensselaer Polytechnic University.


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