About Matthew Kiroff
Matthew Kiroff earned his Bachelor's and Master's degrees at The Cleveland Institute of Music where he studied composition with Eugene O'Brien and Donald Erb, and piano with Sarah-Theresa Murakami. He later earned a Doctorate from Cornell University studying composition with Karel Husa and jazz with Karlton Hester.
His dissertation, a spectrographic analysis of the music of Cecil Taylor and The Art Ensemble of Chicago, was published in Jazz Forschung, Graz, Austria. His quintet "Ombre" was performed at The International Society of Contemporary Music's World Music Days, Warsaw, Poland, by Jane Manning and her ensemble. He has received awards grants from The ASCAP foundation, The NEA, The Ford and Cleveland Foundations, The Bascom Little Fund, and The Ohio Arts Council.
His current ensemble "The Pith and Root of Sleep," which he has directed since 1997, is an amalgam of free jazz, improvised Avant Garde classical music, folk idioms, improvised modern dance, performance art, installation art and visual art in all forms, including constructivist sculptures, video art, video projections, site specific environmental works, and highly developed concepts for the use of props and costumes. In addition to collaborating with scores of other artists he often creates his own visual art for each concert. Virtually every concert includes Modern Dance. All members are encouraged to explore all available genres, as well as leave their own given discipline.
He plays two micro-tonally altered Wurlitzer electric pianos with an interlocking system of modes, which between them create the entire 24-note to the octave quarter tone scale. He also incorporates the use of virtual analogue synthesizers as well as a modernized adaption of the techniques of Musique Concrete. In addition, many of his performances also include the use of vocal techniques gleaned from avant garde popular music movements such as "No-Wave."
Currently he teaches music history, music theory, and orchestration at Cleveland State University and Lakeland Community College as well as maintaining a private teaching studio of 30 piano students. He lives on the outskirts of Cleveland with his cat Nico.