Daniel Fishkin is a composer, sound artist, and instrument builder whose work is informed by his personal experiences with tinnitus. Fishkin has studied under composer Maryanne Amacher and multi-instrumentalist Mark Stewart, and has performed with the American Symphony Orchestra. After working with the late Hans Reichel, inventor of the daxophone, Fishkin began building experimental musical instruments, most notably the Lady's Harp, a 20-foot long instrument consisting of piano strings, amplifiers, and a mixer. He says, "In the absence of a medical cure, I vowed to find a creative solution. I do not want to get used to my hearing damage; I want to use it." For his advocacy in the hearing-impaired community, Fishkin was awarded the title of "Tinnitus Ambassador" by The German Tinnitus Foundation. He received his MA in music composition from Wesleyan University and currently teaches a course in analog synthesis at Bard College. In 2016, Fishkin received a Center Project grant to present Composing the Tinnitus Suites: 2016, a collaborative performance series and immersive installation exploring hearing damage.
Sound artist Daniel Fishkin will present a collaborative performance series and electroacoustic installation inspired by his personal experiences with tinnitus. The work will be anchored by the Lady's Harp—a handcrafted 20-foot long instrument consisting of piano strings, amplifiers, and a mixer, which Fishkin began developing in 2011. When the harp's knobs are turned, amplifiers are activated that produce controlled feedback tones, creating slowly evolving melodies. The instrument will be installed in The Rotunda Sanctuary for a four-month-long residency, during which Fishkin will collaborate with a group of musicians to develop new work. The project will culminate in a series of four concerts, including a performance by Brooklyn-based ensemble mise-en, and a duet with Ellen Fullman, inventor of the Long String Instrument. Fishkin says, "To make 'Tinnitus Music' is not just to compose sounds, but also to compose situations that can break the isolation of this experience. [It] helps us hear with difference." A series of workshops, lectures, and conversations will accompany the project, offering audiences an opportunity to hear from and engage with individuals who work with hearing damage in their own practices and personal lives.
*Additional unrestricted funds are added to each grant for general operating support.*