Ashley Fure (b. 1982) is an American composer and installation artist. Called “raw, elemental,” and “richly satisfying” by the New York Times, her work explores the kinetic source of sound, bringing focus to the muscular act of music making and the chaotic behaviors of raw acoustic matter. She holds a PhD in Music Composition from Harvard University and joined the Dartmouth College Music Department as Assistant Professor in 2015. A finalist for the 2016 Pulitzer Prize in Music, Fure also received a Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Rome Prize in Music Composition, a DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Prize, a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grant for Artists, a Fulbright Fellowship to France, and a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship from Columbia University.
1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
I find the fact that humans come together in silence just so air molecules can bump against their skin a certain way /really weird/. What are we hungry for when we gather like that? What do we seek? That social act of listening mystifies and motivates me.
2. How and when did you get into making music?
My parents bought a beat-up upright piano from a local church for 40 bucks when I was 4. It sunk its claws into me deep.
3. What are 5 of your favourite albums of all time?
Lists aren’t really my thing, so I’ll just mention one: this LP of Paul Zukofsky playing Giacinto Scelsi’s /Anahit /from 1976. Stumbled upon it at a friend’s in my early 20s and it really knocked something loose for me.
4. What do you associate with Berlin?
Radical experiments in collectivity.
5. What’s your favourite place in your town?
Deep in the woods, sun beating down, piles of fresh snow under my cross country skis.
6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
7. What was the last record/music you bought?
Cue Spotify guilt…
8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?
9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
A recent riveting one for me was Linn da Quebrada (and her whole crew) at CTM.
10. How important is technology to your creative process?
I record a lot of improvised sound when I work – sound I make and sound others make. Getting lost in those sessions and then stepping back to cut, study, sculpt and analyze is a pivotal part of my process. Helps balance that body/mind, instinct/intellect thing for me.
11. Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career/art?
I have three older brothers and they are wildly supportive of my work. Couldn’t be more grateful for that, and them.