About Fred Israel

Fred wrote his first song at 6, recorded others at 13 and eventually discovered Stravinsky and Gary Burton, among others, which lead him down paths of new music lineages. Oberlin Conservatory & College introduced deeper worlds of music in theory, practice, and genre, and offered a supportive environment where he could hone skills as an improviser on piano and saxophone. His ears were later opened up by LaMonte Young with whom he spent time in NYC learning to hear inside a note, a sound, and studied Kirana style Indian vocals. He took this world into electronic music at U. Cal. Northridge and immersed his focus on a Synclavier 1.

Years later these various approaches seemed to come together in an album released in Scandinavia, where he was teaching improvisation and performing with various jazz and improvisational groups. The LP, Fashions of Moon, used styles/genres as though they were musical notes or phrases, fused into a singular statement. It was received positively in MM magazine, a leading music publication there.

In the early 80s Fred returned to the states, spending time in L.A. where he began electronic music collaborations with choreographers as a composer and as an improvisational pianist for U.C.L.A's department of dance. In the mid 80s he moved back to the New York Metro area, his place of birth and where he currently resides.

Fred has since composed short film soundtracks, performed locally, produced a wide range of recordings, and continues to explore the integration of ambient and composed music through compositions, and the meeting of improvisation and composition as an overdub recording artist, and continues to develop what he calls "resonant piano", a tamboura-like/gamelan-like approach that strives to produce audible overtone waves and interference patterns from the piano strings through polyrhythm, dynamics, finger independence, and pedals. Music for Fingers is a self produced CD/Download that features 6 such tracks.

Recent residencies at the Visby International Composer's Center in Sweden have been both a constructive and rewarding way to support this music.

Since 2018, a major focus has been the recording and release of jazz oriented album projects using the recording studio as an instrument, mixing multi-instrumental performance on acoustic instruments with electronic and sample-oriented devices, and composition with improvisation. Featuring pianos, keyboards, and saxophones; adding performances on drums, drumpads and bass, the resulting tracks intend to give the impression, at times, of a live band performance. Achieving this requires a give and take swing between improvisation and composition. An EP was self-released in 2019 and a new full album project is expected to be released in spring/summer 2021.