Daniel Fishkin (USA)

He has performed as a soloist on the modular synthesizer with the American Symphony Orchestra, developed sound installations in abandoned concert halls, and played innumerable basement punk shows. Fishkin’s lifework investigating the aesthetics of hearing damage has received international press (Nature Journal, 2014); as an ally in the search for a cure, he has been awarded the title of “tinnitus ambassador” by the Deutsche Tinnitus-Stiftung. He is the only luthier that studied with the daxophone’s inventor, Hans Reichel; Daniel’s instruments have traveled the world, and are played every day by players based in Canada, California, Norway, Germany, France, Japan, Kazakhstan, and Australia. Fishkin received his MA in Music Composition from Wesleyan University and has taught analog synthesis at Bard College. He is currently a PhD Candidate in Composition and Computer Music at the University of Virginia and teaches Musical Instrument Design at the Cooper Union, NYC.

In 1998, Fishkin saw the anime series, “Neon Genesis Evangelion.” Its resolute commitment to avant-garde aesthetics, to not giving direct answers, as well as its pessimistic portrayal of love between humans, influenced Fishkin’s worldview. Like a tattoo on his aesthetic body, it is indelible—all his future works in music reference it. For this installation, Fishkin designed daxophone tongues based on the shapes of monsters from Eva, as well emblazoned with poetic text from the characters of the show. Their sounds are heard alongside the installation.

Daxophone: An instrument invented in the 1980s by German avant-garde guitarist Hans Reichel (1949-2011).