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  • Sharon Cheslow

Born October 5, 1961 in Los Angeles, California, Sharon Cheslow is a musician, composer and artist. In 1981, she formed Chalk Circle, Washington, D.C.’s first all-female punk band. She was also in Bloody Mannequin Orchestra in the early 1980s and their recordings came out on WGNS. BMO combined hardcore punk with noise rock, no wave, and improvisation. With Cynthia Connolly and Leslie Clague, she compiled the photographic punk oral history book Banned In DC in 1988. It was one of the first books to document a regional American hardcore scene. In the 1990s she was in Suture (with Dug E. Bird of Beefeater and Kathleen Hanna), Red Eye (with Tim Green of Nation of Ulysses), The Electrolettes (with Julianna Bright), and a one-off project with Fugazi’s Joe Lally. Her recordings came out on Dischord Records, Kill Rock Stars, and her label Decomposition.

She started studying intermedia arts at Mills College in the music department when she moved to San Francisco in 1990, and later began performing and exhibiting experimental music, sound art and installations. Her sound collages and explorations are documented on the CD, Lullabye from the Sky, released in 2002 on Decomposition under the name Sharon Cheslow and Coterie Exchange. It featured collaborations with Tim Green, Julianna Bright and members of Deerhoof among others. The project was the audio component from sound installations she had been performing. In 2003 Fan Music: Winds of Change was featured at Lincoln Center Out of Doors. Her videos to the tracks Dream/Construct and September Son are on two Kill Rock Stars video compilations. In 2004 she toured and collaborated with Yellow Swans, Inca Ore, and Chuck Bettis. More recently she has collaborated with Weasel Walter, Christina Carter, and Elisa Ambrogio (Magik Markers).

She is also a writer and publishes Interrobang?!. In 2000 she edited an issue which featured writings by Pauline Oliveros, Maggi Payne, Nicole Panter, Public Works, and Allison Wolfe. She is a contributor to Thurston Moore’s book Mix Tape: The Art of Cassette Culture.


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