Shelley Burgon is a harpist and sound artist based in New York. Her music centers around the sound of the harp, both as a traditional acoustic instrument in a chamber setting and as the primary sound source for her electronic music. Her sound art focuses on handmade electronic sound and light sculptures that combine scientific theories and mysticism.
Shelley received her MFA in Electronic Music from Mills College and studied with notable musicians such as Pauline Oliveros, Fred Frith, Alvin Curran and Maryanne Amacher. Since moving to New York, Shelley has had the pleasure to play and record the music of a broad range of artists that span many genres to include people such as Bjork, Zeena Parkins, Anthony Braxton, John Zorn, Butch Morris, Miho Hatori (Cibo Matto), Christian Marclay, Joan LaBarbara, Elliott Sharp and Maria Chavez along with bands such as Stars Like Fleas, Elysian Fields and Blondes. Shelley has also had the pleasure to perform at New York institutions such as the Whitney Museum, MoMA (Monday Nights), MoMA PS1 (Warm Up), Dia:Beacon, Chelsea Art Museum, White Box Gallery, Silver Shed Gallery and Eyebeam Art + Technology Center. Her music has been commissioned by The Merce Cunningham Dance Company for the Hudson Valley Project at the Dia Museum, Ne(x)tworks chamber ensemble for the MATA Festival and choreographer Katherine Behar.
In March of 2011, Shelley made her New York City gallery debut with her sound installation Eridanus – A Path Of Souls at Splatterpool Artspace. Her second sound chandelier, Lunar Maria: Sinus & Paludes, was shown during Armory Week 2012 at the Spring Break Art Fair, NYC. This year brought Shelley the opportunity to create her first sound and light installation titled The Powerful Bond shown at Old School in conjunction with The New Museum’s Ideas City Festival and Frieze Art Week 2013.
Recent projects have included performing harp and electronics with Roberto Lange at SCAD Museum of Art, solo for The Kitchen Live! at The Independent Armory Week 2013, solo for Morton Subotnick Celebrates 80!, and for a week at Grand Central Terminal for Nick Cave’s HEARD NY performance installation. Highlights of 2011 and 2012 include recording harp for Bjork’s release Biophilia, Anthony Braxton’s Trilium E, OMBRE and her band Family Dynamics along with performances at MoMA’s PS1 (Saturday Sessions), Casa da Musica in Porto, Portugal with Elliot Sharp, Roulette, Unsound Festival at Issue Project Room, Lincoln Center, New Museum and John Cage Centennial concerts for the Berliner Festpiele and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Shelley is a member of the chamber group Ne(x)tworks which features Joan La Barbara and performs solo under the name Rowan.