Lecturer, Department of the Arts
D.M.A., Music Composition & Technology, Northwestern University, 2016
Chris Fisher-Lochhead is a composer/performer with roots in the classical tradition and branches in the diverse vernacular, popular, and avant-garde musics of America. He holds composition degrees from the University of Michigan and Northwestern University, where his teachers have included William Bolcom, Lee Hyla, and Betsy Jolas.
His music is characterized by an interest in the tension between tradition and critique, a desire to build deep and enduring collaborative relationships, an attention to embodiment and humor in music, and a critical interrogation of the means by which oppressive structures of power and prestige are reproduced through musical values and institutions. He has worked closely with several of the country’s top performers of contemporary music, including Third Coast Percussion, Ensemble Dal Niente, and the Spektral Quartet. He is also active as a performer and improviser. He is a founding member of the Grant Wallace Band, a trio of composer/performers that combines songwriting, improvisation, and collective creativity to create a unique blend of stylistic and methodological influences.
He is currently recording a portrait disc featuring performances by bassoonist Ben Roidl-Ward, Quince, Ensemble Dal Niente, and the JACK Quartet. It is expected to be released on New Focus Records in the Fall of 2019. Other current composition projects include a saxophone/percussion duet for saxophonist Timothy McAllister that seeks to analyze and draw attention to the musical mechanisms of coercion and a large-scale solo work for pianist Winston Choi. He is also working to develop a body of solo viola improvisations that explore the peripheries of instrumental technique, in particular the ways in which “extended” instrumental techniques overlap with vernacular techniques.
His most recent projects include the ensemble piece stutter-step the concept (2016), which was premiered at the Ear Taxi Festival in Chicago and the dramatic song cycle The Magnificent Pretty Boy, commissioned by the Houston Grand Opera and co-written with the other members of Grant Wallace Band. The song cycle was presented in Houston at the Menil Collection and then later in Albuquerque at Chatter. In the summer of 2018, the saxophone duo Ogni Suono released the duet Chroma (2017) on their album SaxoVoce, and Grant Wallace Band released a full-length album, The Battenkill, on the Two Labyrinths record label.