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.
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 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. He received his Ph.D. in Music from U. C. Berkeley in 2013, and is currently a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at Columbia University.
I had an amazing experience at Civitella: it was a platform for my most productive few weeks in several years. In addition to generating the opening section for my upcoming cd, creating a new performance work based on my discussions with the other fellows, and providing the space and time to reflect on and write about the emerging aesthetic concerns of the community of artists of which I am part, this residency also opened up a set of future possibilities. More than one fellow and I formed plans for future collaborations, and the time also allowed me to finally meet and create plans with a set of Italian artists and instrument builders with whom I have been corresponding. Though the future will tell which of these possibilities will come to fruition, the time here was vital and generative in every sense of the word.