Miguel Frasconi is a composer and improvisor specializing in the relationship between acoustic objects and musical form. His instrumentarium includes glass objects, electronics, laptop, and constructions of his own design. Miguel’s unique glass instruments are struck, blown, stroked, smashed and otherwise coaxed into vibration. As a composer his works include chamber music, operas, film & dance scores. His new opera, Hand To Mouth, was recently premiered in northern California. Miguel’s activities have included collaborations with the Balinese composer Dewa Berata on music for a large-scale shadowplay, with tenor John Duykers on unique music/theater events, and with the Tibetan songwriter Techung, with whom he has toured throughout India. Miguel has worked closely with composers John Cage, Jon Hassell, James Tenney, Morton Subotnick, and has collaborated with many choreographers, including Alonzo King and modern dance pioneer Anna Halprin. He was a founding member of The Glass Orchestra, Toronto’s internationally renowned ensemble featuring all glass instruments (1977-86), and the San Francisco sound-sculpture band Möbius Operandi (1990-95). As a keyboardist, he performed with the Paul Dresher Ensemble (1988-95), and with the Philip Glass Ensemble (1992). He is presently a member of Ne(x)works (2006-present), one of the leading new music ensembles in NYC, with whom he performed at MaersMusik/Berliner Festspiele 2012. In September 2012 his CAGE100 Festival @ The Stone was called “one of the best observances of John Cage’s 100th birthday” by the New York Times and included performances by his Noisy Toy Piano Orchestra and John Cage Variety Show Big Band. Miguel’s music has been released on New Albion, Porter Records, and recordings of his string quartets featuring the JACK Quartet will be released on Tzadik.
Solo for Mbira 1976 (photo 2006)
Born in the late 1950s in NYC, I grew up in Connecticut, with my artist parents keeping a close connection to New York City.
In the ’70s, I absorbed as much music and art in NYC as possible. Loft concerts (Carla Bley, Philip Glass, Phill Niblock), Lincoln Center (Boulez, Dennis Russell Davies), MoMA (Pollock, Monet), Village Vanguard (Thad Jones/Mel Lewis), The Kitchen (Reich, Riley, Ashley); the City was my learning playground.
In the ’80s, I worked with John Cage, James Tenney, Jon Hassell, and co-founded, toured N. America & Europe with Toronto’s Glass Orchestra.
In the ’90s, I created over two dozen dance/theater scores, co-founded San Francisco’s sound-sculpture band Mobius Operandi, played keyboards in the Paul Dresher Ensemble, and toured India with Techung.
In the 2000s, I performed laptop duets with Morton Subotnick and collaborated, on glass instruments, with many NY musicians, including Butch Morris, Zeena Parkins, o.blaat, Christian Marklay, Aki Onda, Marina Rosenfeld, John Zorn, Raz Mesinai, Ned Rothenberg, Ikue Mori, and many more.
I now continue composing/performing/collaborating, teach electronic music at Bard College, and am active in one of NYC’s leading new music ensembles, Ne(x)tworks.
I continue creating solo works where disparate instruments are played as one. Here is a solo for glass harp and toy piano:
Vapor Trace (2003) for glass bellbowls and sampler.