Marina Rosenfeld (b. 1968)

Teenage Lontano (2008)

Marina Rosenfeld is an artist and composer based in New York. Her installation, sound and performance works have been widely commissioned by institutions in Europe and North America, including solo projects for the 2010 Liverpool Biennial; the 2009 Performa Biennial of Performance; the 2009 Holland Festival (Amsterdam); Whitney Biennials 2002 and 2008; the Tate Modern (London); and the Kitchen (NY). Festivals programming her work include Ultima Festival (Oslo); Äänen Lumo Festival (Helsinki); Donaueschingen Musiktage (Donaueschingen, Germany), Ars Electronica (Linz), Faster Than Sound (Aldeburgh, UK); Wien Modern (Vienna), Musikprotokoll (Graz), Pro Musica Nova (Bremen), Maerz Musik (Berlin), Mutek (Montreal), Vancouver New Music Festival, and Los Angeles' Center for Experiments in Art, Information and Technology, among many others.

key works:

While still a student at CalArts (Los Angeles) in 1993, Rosenfeld first created the Sheer Frost Orchestra, a graphically scored musical performance realized by 17 women on floor-bound electric guitars, deploying nail-polish bottles as sensitive sound-producing implements. This performance, always created in situ with the collaboration of local performers, has been widely produced since then, most recently at the Cleveland Museum of Art in 2009. Other large-scale works include the performances Emotional Orchestra (Deitch Projects/NY, Tate Modern/London), WHITE LINES (Wien Modern, British School at Rome, Taktlos Bern, Weld/Stockholm and many others), and 2008’s Teenage Lontano, Rosenfeld’s “cover version” of Gyorgy Ligeti's 1967 orchestral work Lontano,for 34-voice teenaged choir and suspended speaker installation. Teenage Lontano was premiered in the vast Drill Hall space of the Park Avenue Armory in New York as part of the Whitney Biennial 2008. The work had its European premiere in Amsterdam in June 2009 as a co-production of the Holland Festival and Stedelijk Museum and its third production in September 2010 in Oslo as part of Ultima Festival. Other recent works include Cannons for live musicians and a suite of massive steel “bass cannons”; the multichannel work P.A., created in residence at the Park Avenue Armory during 2009; and Public Address no. 2, a 2-channel installation currently mounted in a public car park in Liverpool (through November 28).

improvised music:

Rosenfeld also performs frequently in the US and Europe as a turntablist, mostly using original dub plates (acetate records), and has been privleged to collaborate with many extraordinary contemporary artists, including Ikue Mori, Christian Marclay, George Lewis, Christof Kurzmann, Kaffe Matthews, Nels Cline, Zeena Parkins, Lee Ranaldo, Anthony Coleman, Martin TÈtreault, Philip Jeck, Kim Gordon, Alan Licht, Dieb 13, Raz Mesinai, and many others. Performers in Rosenfeld’s Sheer Frost and Emotional orchestras have been too numerous to list, but include Laurie Anderson, Kembra Pfahler/aka (Voluptuous Horror of) Karen Black, Barbara Ess, Okkyung Lee, Chiara Giovando, Honeychild, Jutta Koether, Josephine Meckseper, Jacqueline Humphries, Jennifer Baron, and many illustrious others.  Between 2004 and 2009 Rosenfeld also performed with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company; the art-band “Text of Light”; Sonic Youth’s “Good-bye Twentieth Century” tour; the London Musicians Collective’s “Turntable Hell” touring project; and “The International Turntable Orchestra” in Berlin.

some recordings: 

Sour Mash (2010, Innova), a collaboration with George Lewis

Plastic Materials (2009, Room40/Brisbane)

joy of fear (2006, Softl/Cologne)

The Sheer Frost Orchestra: Hop, Drop, Drone, Slide, Scratch and A for Anything (2001, Charhizma/Vienna)

theforestthegardenthesea: music from Fragment Opera (1999, Charhizma / Vienna)


Rosenfeld is a member of the faculty of Bard College's MFA program, the Milton Avery School of the Arts, and became co-chair of its department of Music/Sound in 2007.

reading, writing:

Rosenfeld’s writing has appeared in Artforum, Leonardo, the LA Weekly and in John Zorns “Arcana II: Musicians on Music.” Her work is the subject of a chapter of a new book by art historian Seth Kim-Cohen, “In the Blink of an Ear: Toward a Non-Cochlear Sonic Art” (Continuum, 2009) and is included in Theresa Sauer’s “Notations 21” (Mark Batty, 2009).