Duane Pitre Music


Duane Pitre is an American avant-garde composer, performer, and sound artist. His work often focuses on the interaction between electronic sound and acoustic instrumentation, chaos and discipline, as well as site-specificity. The composer also utilizes alternate tuning schemes that focus on microtonality, enabling him to explore unaccustomed intervallic relationships. He has created works for various instrumentation configurations such as string orchestra, his own bowed harmonic-guitar ensemble, string/wind ensembles, electronic sound-installations, as well as electro-acoustic solo works for himself.

He has presented and performed his live works across the U.S., U.K., and Europe at spaces such as Café OTO (London), Roulette (NYC), The Stone (NYC), Muziekhuis Utrecht, MoMA’s P.S.1, The Cube (Bristol, UK), GRIM (Marseille, FR), NK (Berlin), St. Ann’s Cathedral ISSUE Project Room (where the Jerome Foundation provided funding for his spring 2009 Artist in Residency). He has received commissions for new works by ISSUE Project Room, the String Orchestra of Brooklyn, and Roulette, among others. In June 2014 Pitre was the winner of the "Label Prize" from the Sonic Arts Award, a Rome-based sound-art organization. More than 100 different musicians from around the world have taken part in the performances of his works.

Pitre’s sound installations have been included in visual art group shows in Geneva (2013's Prosthetic Measures at the Skopia Gallery) and New Orleans (as a part of the 2012 NOLA Now show at the Contemporary Art Center). Pitre has also performed live in gallery settings such as New York’s Phillips de Pury & Co., San Francisco’s Eli Ridgway Gallery (as reviewed in ArtForum as a part of James Sterling Pitt’s 2012 show On a Clear Day We Were Lightening), Elaine Gallery in Basel, O' in Milan, and New Orleans’ Antenna Gallery.

Pitre has been featured in publications such as The Wire, The Village Voice, The New York Times, The Creators Project (a Vice/Intel collaboration), Pitchfork, Dusted, Skug: Journal for Music (Austria), and NewMusicBox. His work has been released by various labels including Important Records, Root Strata, NNA Tapes, and Quiet Design, and he has appeared on soundtracks with Dinosaur Jr., Battles, and Animal Collective. In 2009 he curated and contributed a track to a Just Intonation compilation, alongside Pauline Oliveros, Ellen Fullman, Charles Curtis, and others.

He has performed at festivals such as the 2011 Hopscotch Music Festival in Raleigh, NC (alongside the Flaming Lips, Earth, Swans, J. Mascis, Guided by Voices, Rhys Chatham, and more) and the 2012 The Wire's Adventures in Modern Music Festival at The Empty Bottle in Chicago.

Pitre’s 2012 album, Feel Free, received critical acclaim and was included on several ‘best of’ lists, including being named #37 on The Wire’s2012 Rewind’ (out of their top 50 releases); #34 on The Wire’sSubscribers’ Releases of the Year’ list; and #8 on Uncut Magazine’s ‘Wild Mercury Sound Top 112 of 2012’ list. In addition, “The Out Door,” Pitchfork’s experimental-minded column included Feel Free on its ‘Best of 2012: The Big Four’ list. The album was also included in several year-end lists for Dusted Magazine and many other blogs.

In 2013 Pitre released several new albums including his follow-up to Feel Free, titled Bridges, which was released on Important Records in August; a debut LP from a new collaboration with electronic minimalist Eleh (under the moniker PITRELEH); and a live recording of his summer 2012 sextet performance of Feel Free at London’s Café OTO, whose release date coincided with a month-long U.K./Europe tour in fall 2013 which spanned eight countries.

2014/2015 marks a time of many collaborative albums for Pitre, including duos with Cory Allen (on Students of Decay), Jon Mueller (on Type Records), Gareth Davis (on Important Records) and Agathe Max (on Desire Path Recordings). A live recording (that took place in Paris in fall 2013) of the James Blackshaw Ensemble collaboration (consisting of Pitre, Blackshaw, Simon Scott [Slowdive, 12k], and Charlotte Glasson) was released on Tompkins Square in July 2014.

In summer 2015 Important Records released Pitre’s Bayou Electric on CD and LP. The album utilizes synthesizers, sine tones, amplified violin/viola/cello, a single (unprocessed) field recording and custom software. Bayou Electric is the final installment in an unplanned trilogy, with Feel Free and Bridges making up the first and second installments in the series, respectively. All three works share similar characteristics, compositional processes, alternate tuning schemes, instrumentation and a certain ethos that Pitre views as a cohesive whole.



Past ensemble works performers...

Jesse Sparhawk, Oliver Barrett, Guillaume Viltard, Jim Altieri, Jessie Marino, Shannon Fields, James Blackshaw, Jennifer Allum, Craig Colorusso, James Ilgenfritz, Sarah Lipstate, Lauren Cecil, Byron Westbrook, Gene Park, Steve Flato, Emily Moore, Christopher McIntyre, Isabel Castellvi, Chris Welcome, Amy Cimini, Julianne Carney, Thierry Madiot, Brooke Gillespie, Jeffrey Young, Greg Davis, Emily Hilliard, Jesse Peterson, Justin Wood, Emily Dufour, Chris Otto, Alexander Waterman, Lathan Hardy, Kevin Thaxton, Morgan Packard, Casey Block, Frantz Loriot, Toby Aronson, Sara-Paule Koeller, Sequioa, James Jacobs, Edward Brenton, Alys Hewer, Abraham Faure Mennen, Sophie Cooper, Silvia Tarozzi, Richard Thomas, Michelle So, Tianna Kennedy, Tom Soloveitzik, Evan Rapport, Matty McDermott, Peter Hess, Daphne Carr, Emilie Friedlander, Hannah Kammerer, Michael Fuerstein, Liam Kirby, Nina Wyllie, Steve Brett, Lea Piontek, Josh Rutner, Veronica Stocker, Iain Morrison, George McKenzie, Joseph Grounds, Matthew Austin, Zachary Cooper, Annakalmia Traver, Lauren Servin, Christopher Diasparra, Jon DeRosa, Harry Rosenblum, Cyprien Busolini, Blue Monsoon, Kathy Hinde, Emilie Friedlander, Loren Dempster, Jessica Pavone, Youen Cadiou, Jean Bordé, Deborah Walker, Eric Elterman, Fabrice Villard, Anaïs Moreau, Marie Tahon, Iván Solano, Pedro Bittencourt, and The String Orchestra of Brooklyn.

Duane used to...

- Skateboard professionally for Alien Workshop
- Play guitar in The Camera Obscura (of San Diego)