Shiva Feshareki



Shiva Feshareki

Shiva Feshareki: LIQUID ZIGGURAT (work in progress) with support by Rule Driven (John Macormac & Robin Price) Shiva will present a live ambisonic turntable composition that she creates live in the moment in direct response to the energies in the... View event

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Shiva Feshareki (1987) is a British-Iranian composer, artist and turntablist, described as “the most cutting-edge expression of turntablism” and as “one of the most astonishing acts of musical alchemy of the last decade” (BBC Radio 3). Over the last decade, she has been a pioneer at the leading edge of both contemporary classical and electronic music scenes.

Born in London, Shiva holds a Doctorate of Music in composition from the Royal College of Music (2017), and is a winner of the BBC Young Composer’s Award (2004), the Royal Philharmonic Society Composition Prize (2009) and the Ivor Novello Award for Innovation (2017). She was a Visiting Fellow at Oxford University with the Electronic Music Practice Research group (EMPRes) funded by the Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH), researching and presenting state-of-the-art spatial and ambisonic electronic composition.

Her inventive approach has ignited a revolution in performance and spatial composition, paving the way for a new wave of artists and immersive productions, bringing together diverse audiences in a cross-pollination that has changed the landscape of the industry.

This is most apparent in her extensive catalog of works from her earlier compositions such as GABA-analogue (2015), O (2016) and Opus Infinity (2019) where orchestras are spatialized and entered by the audience, to her latest projects including the “mind-bending” TRANSFIGURE (2022), the first ever live ambisonic composition brought to London’s Barbican Centre (Sunday Times).

Her album Turning World was labelled the Guardian’s Contemporary Album of the Month following the critically acclaimed performance of her Aetherworld (2021) at the BBC Proms, where she stood inside the audience arena “sending blasts of electronic sound rippling round the hall” in duet with the BBC Singers (The Times).  Sama-zan Trip (2022) was premiered by Shiva with the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra combining Live Ambisonic Turntablism with Symphony Orchestra in a highly ambitious spatial work installed inside the Helmut List Halle (Graz).

As an innovator, experimenter and a self-described sonic architect, Shiva is fascinated by the materiality of sound. Her intrepid exploration of a 360 degree sound world encompasses compositions for orchestral, solo, choral, chamber, electronic and interdisciplinary installation works. She also composes for ‘note reading’ ensembles where she re-theorises relationships between performer and audience, dissolving physical, historical, and sonic boundaries.

In her live electronic performances, she fearlessly warps time and space through the boundless possibility of her turntables, masterfully contorting samples of her own compositions along with peculiarities from her LP collection. She employs an array of technology from vintage analogue tape echo, vinyl turntables, CDJs, to state-of-the-art ambisonic technology to create experiences that reveal the fluid and infinite interplay between sound and the physics of space.

Shiva has performed extensively across the world in concert halls, art galleries, festivals and raves, with notable appearances at BBC Proms (Royal Albert Hall, London), the Tanks at Tate Modern (London), Southbank Centre (London), Barbican Centre (London), De Bijloke (Ghent), Helmut List Halle (Graz), Dom-im-Berg (Graz), Sonar Festival (Barcelona), the Moscow Museum of Modern Art (VAC Foundation, Moscow), Casa Del Lago (Mexico City), Mutek (Montreal), Hyperreality Festival of Club Culture / Vienna Festwochen (Vienna), Maerzmusik / Berliner Festspiele (Kraftwerk, Berlin), Hellerau (European Centre for the Arts, Dresden), Kunstfestspiele Herrenhausen (Hannover), Spor Festival (Aarhus), Szczecin Philharmonic, Amsterdam Dance Event, Stavanger Konserthus and SNF Nostos, Greek National Opera (Athens).

She has performed her works alongside the BBC Singers, BBC Concert Orchestra, London Sinfonietta, London Philharmonic Orchestra, London Contemporary Orchestra, Ensemble Modern, Netherlands Chamber Choir, Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, Düsseldorfer Symphoniker, Orchestre National de Lyon, Haroon Mirza, Yoshi Sodeoka and Arlo Parks to name just a few.

Her acoustic and electronic compositions are deeply intertwined, often combining fixed and improvised elements responding to one another and intricately influenced by the acoustics and energy of a space. This hybrid approach has placed Shiva at the forefront of electronic, acoustic and spatial composition. The underlying philosophy of Shiva’s work is equally as profound as the music she produces. Exceedingly aware of the cultural crises, and the self-actualisation she has had to manifest to confront conventions as an ethnic minority female in a largely white and patriarchal music culture, her music is a direct response to the issues many of us currently face as artists and as humans.

In 2022, Shiva released her critically acclaimed album Turning World on NMC, earning the title of the Guardian’s Contemporary Album of the Month. The Observer praised her for her “restless invention” and described the record as “beautiful and bewitching”. BBC Music Magazine described it as “a bold and fascinating Josquin-inspired sonic landscape”, labelling Shiva as “the innovator who doesn’t try to be original”.

By Alec Curtis, Jason Noghani & Kate Walker