Joe Snape (1989) mixes conventional and homemade instruments with light, text and video to make unusual and emotive performances. His work has been presented at places like The Kitchen (New York), Café Oto (London), and Wonder Site (Tokyo), and also at places like the Elbphilharmonie (Hamburg) and Aldeburgh Music. The Quietus calls Joe’s music ‘goofy, melancholy, irreverent fun – very, very singularly itself.’ Fluid Radio thinks it’s ‘joyous and beautiful’, and one time in The Guardian Nico Muhly called it ‘organized, disorganized fun’. In front of a small audience, the AACM’s George Lewis described Joe’s work as ‘some seriously unartful sh*t,’ and everybody agreed. Joe is a former UK Young Artist, has been nominated for the Arts Foundation’s Creative Producer fellowship, and has helped commission new work from almost twenty young composers on both sides of the Atlantic. He is a recipient of the 2021-22 Paul Hamlyn Foundation’s Award for Artists in Composition and was a 2020-21 composer-in-residence at the beautiful Sage Gateshead.


Joe studied music at Cambridge, Oxford, and the Institute of Sonology, spent time at University of California Berkeley, and has a dual-track PhD in ethnomusicology and composition from New York University, where he wrote about musical weirdness and the philosophy of weirdness more generally under the guidance of J. Martin Daughtry, Jaime Oliver La Rosa, Brigid Cohen, and eldritch Priest, and spent a lot of time scheming up fun pursuits to follow with his students and professors there. In the future there may be a book about it, or a radio programme, or–more likely–strange pieces of musical theatre. Since 2010, he’s been playing really weird rock and roll that happily is often mistaken for classical music. He hails from the great merchant city of Birmingham and today lives in England’s North East.

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j [dot] f [dot] snape [at] gmail [dot] com