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Barry Sharp


Barry Sharp seeks to create an environment of inclusion and experimentation through new dynamics between performers, composers, and audiences. His works often develop out of a specific sound world from which he sculpts a landscape of harmonic, melodic, and textural ideas. He is interested in how musical experiences vary between performers and listeners, given the way these landscapes are constructed and executed versus how they are perceived. Barry has worked with ensembles such as Duo Helix, Amalgama, sTem, JACK Quartet, International Contemporary Ensemble, Bienen Early/Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, [Switch~ Ensemble], Arditti Quartet, the Princeton Singers, OSSIA Ensemble, Un/Pitched, Ithaca New Music Collective, Cornell Orchestras, and the Cornell Chamber Singers.

Barry enjoys collaborations with musicians as well as artists of different backgrounds. He performs with composer Sergio Cote in the experimental duo etc, [ee-tea-see]. Their work involves creating pieces through an experimental, rebellious, and democratic approach to sound. As composer-in-residence with the New York–based Duo Helix, Eric Umble (clarinet) and Izzy Lepanto-Gleicher (flute), he is authoring an ongoing project, Song Sessions, that derives compositional frameworks from the songs of humpback whales. Another recent project, Hear me, grew out of an exchange with architect Min Keun Park, the Cornell Chamber Orchestra, and Chris Kim (conductor). The project received a grant from the Cornell Council for the Arts for the 2016-2017 biennial. In 2014, Barry collaborated with poets, dancers, light designers, and other composers to create a fifty-minute production addressing war trauma entitled No Armistice. Projects he is currently working on include an opera with librettist Vincent Hiscock and director Ellen Jackson, a new piece for amplified piano and wind ensemble with pianist Ryan McCullough and the Silver Wind Symphony (Cornell), and new work for vibraphone and pure tones with percussionist Lindsey Eastham.

Barry received his doctorate from Cornell University where he studied with Kevin Ernste, Marianthi Papalexandri-Alexandri, and Roberto Sierra. He also holds degrees in music from Murray State University (BM) and the University of Iowa (MA).

Twenty-one notes with fourteen instruments

Twenty-one notes with fourteen instruments (2019) investigates how to generate varied experiences within a performance situation. I use a specific frequency to create a continuous sound in their ear that they tune to. In turn, they hear their own and other instrument’s sounds interacting with those sonorities. You and I on the other hand, hear the collective product of these musicians as they carry on through their own private performance. To me, each of these is a special experience, and I value that diversity.

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