Patrick Higgins

  Described by The New Yorker magazine as one of the "prime movers of the local avant-garde", and an "exacting avant-classical guitarist" by TimeOut NY, Patrick Higgins is a New York based composer/performer of experimental music. Higgins has composed works for some of the nation's leading ensembles, ranging from chamber orchestra works, percussion cycles, and string quartets to smaller ensembles and soloists. He has scored works for television, museum exhibitions, and films both short-form and feature-length. Higgins plays guitar and composes in ZS, hailed by the New York Times as "one of the strongest avant-garde bands in New York."

As a soloist, he performs both classical acoustic and electric guitar in genre-bending contexts, utilizing extended technique and electronic processing. A work of "visionary [...] master-craftsmanship on guitar" (Tiny Mix Tapes), his record of quadraphonic guitar compositions STEREO was named to the Best of 2012 by Impose Magazine, and his electro-acoustic project Bachanalia has received numerous plaudits for its re-interpretation of the Baroque master's work. A unique double LP of Higgins' String Quartet No.2 and its electro-acoustic "remix" Glacia is out on Ex Cathedra Records - called "stunning" by Experimedia. Social Death Mixtape - a record of assorted experimental composition, is now available on NNA Records. Zs' most recent relase Xe was named no.3 avant record of the year by Rolling Stone, and listed as one of the best records of 2015 by the LA Times.

Patrick Higgins' music has been performed internationally in over 20 countries, including performances at some of the world's leading concert venues and music festivals: Unsound Festival (Poland), Big Ears Festival, The Queense Museum (NY), Merkin Concert Hall (Ecstatic Music Fest), Issue Project Room, Roulette, The Stone, (le) Poisson Rouge, Tribeca Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, ICA Boston, Hopscoth Festival, le Guess Who? (Holland), Club Unit (Tokyo), Vacant Gallery (Tokyo), Donau Festival (Austria), Incubate (Netherlands), Berghain (Germany), Magazin 4 (Belgium), Sonic (France), Puxian Grand Theater (China), Miami Art Basel, Paula Cooper Gallery, SF MOMA and many more.

Upcoming projects and collaborations include a new record of solo guitar and sampled percussion, a new record featuing Josh Modney of ICE and Wet Ink, a double LP of the TOCSIN cycle, a new long form composition for string orchestra to premiere in Holland, a forthcoming record of Bach's lute music, some hand-bound editions of scores, and an on-going project of nomadic symphonic/installation works with Wild Dogs INTL.

Higgins will be on tour in Europe this November. He is endorsed by Albert Augustine guitar strings

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Selected Press:

"Higgins is one of the most gifted guitarists working right now" -The Quietus

"a pioneer of modern experimental music" -East Village Radio

"Mr. Higgins made his guitar chords chime and scrape and judder [...] it was also bright, severe, and specific." - New York Times

"Higgins is a formidable concert-music composer" - The Boston Globe

"classical composer [...] well known as a gifted guitarist" - The New Yorker

"In a few years Patrick Higgins will be called a legend and Bachanalia a masterpiece." - The Big Takeover

At South-by-Southwest: "it wouldn't be entirely unreasonable to name Patrick Higgins the best guitarist of the 2013 event. By some combination of talent and a well-conceived rig, he makes breakneck playing look effortless." -Premier Guitar Magazine

"polyglot NYC composer" and "out-of-the-box classical guitarist"
part of "New York's generation of up-and-coming composers" - Time Out NY

Higgins "guitar gets positively Merzbow-ish" - The Wire

"The overwhelming, assiduous strength Higgins instilled into each picking was palpable" - Downbeat Magazine

"superb [...] meticulous high-velocity guitar patterns [...] it knocked me out" - Chicago Reader

"DO NOT overlook the very limited and stunning Patrick Higgins record! I cannot recommend this record enough!! ...HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION" - Experimedia

"[Bachanalia] is almost unstoppable. Relentlessly pretty. And sounding as though it's been Patrick Higgins' lifetime-achievement goal to sound flawless on guitar [...] Just, the most important part is performance. Watching the flow of [Higgins] music through their entire body floods your senses." - Tiny Mix Tapes

String Quartet No.2  "[Higgins'] ear for sound and craft of vibrating wood presents tremendous composure within a piece teetering on the brink of madness." - Tiny Mix Tapes

STEREO: "The level of ambition and execution in this three-part, 40 minute long composition are powerfully matched, and the level of technique and the sheer amount of polyphony in this piece are actually stunning." -IMPOSE Magazine

"Hearing the musicians bring forth these harsh, fascinating sounds, you could only wonder what [Higgins'] score must look like. I imagined bars of music flecked with metal shavings and rust." - The Brooklyn Rail

"truthfully inhabits the personas of both shredder and composer. We're talking shredder in the Yngwie/Satch paradigm [...yet] Higgins is a legit modern classical entity" -Ad Hoc

String Quartet No.2 is "a seriously well delivered set of ideas, with a lot more emphasis on taste applied to the given thematic material, rather than being programmatic or systematic about breaking established form with juxtapositions. In which sense, it is much more 'now' than the period historically associated with the 'avant-garde'." -Freq UK

"one of our day's most consistent torchbearers of experimental guitar playing, and more generally experimental music and composition." -Boston Hassle

On Glacia:"The result is unnerving, terrifying, yet somehow beautiful, like the manifestation of a conjured deity." - The Big Takeover Magazine

The Art of the Fugue: "In an arrangement by Patrick Higgins, it dramatically calls attention to Bach's advanced sense of time and musical architecture." - WQXR

"the prolific composer and guitarist Patrick Higgins, whose work alternates between strangely delicate contemporary chamber music and the noisy excursions of his project Zs" - Chronogram

Social Death Mixtape - 4 stars - "Higgins' masterful brand of 'de-composition' also entails the imperfection of codified rationality" - Tiny Mix Tapes

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Patrick Higgins