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Hans Fjellestad is a musician and filmmaker based in Los Angeles. He studied music composition and improvisation with George Lewis at University of California San Diego (UCSD), and classical piano with Krzysztof Brzuza. Fjellestad has composed for film, video, theater, dance and has presented his music, film and video art throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, Turkey, Afghanistan, Japan, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Argentina, and Brazil.
He has an extensive discography both as a solo artist and in collaboration with many legendary players on the international experimental music scene. An "innovative musician" (All About Jazz) and "master of analogue synthesis" (The Wire), his music has been described as "unbridled sonic freedom... raw, almost shamanic energy that embodies the true essence of unrestricted music" (XLR8R).
Fjellestad has performed and/or recorded with Muhal Richard Abrams, George Lewis, Peter Kowald, Lé Quan Ninh, Lisle Ellis, Haco, Miya Masaoka, Money Mark, G.E. Stinson, Yumiko Matsumura Ohno, Donkey, Yumiko Tanaka, Yoshimi P-We, Takayuki Kato, Saga Yuki, Kojima Takashi, Arai Minako, Susan Rawcliffe, Trummerflora Collective, Thomas Dimuzio, Tetsu Saitoh, David Scott Stone, Marcos Fernandes, Kio Griffith, Audrey Chen, David Slusser, Baiyon, Kazuhisa Uchihashi, Raymond MacDonald, Jakob Riis, P.O. Jørgens, Carl Bergstrøm-Nielsen, Aiyun Huang, Sean Griffin, Eamonn Doyle, Mike Keneally, Nortec Collective, among many others. His recordings are released on Hollywood Records, Accretions, Circumvention Music, Brain Escape Sandwich, Barely Auditable Records, Pan Handler, and Vinyl Communications.
Fjellestad (or his alter-ego, "33") has appeared with Tino Corp., The Album Leaf, Lee Ranaldo, Nels Cline, Jello Biafra, Pauline Oliveros, Pamelia Kurstin, KK Null, Carl Stone, Pamela Z, performing in such far-flung venues as The Stone (NYC), The Roxy (Prague), Shinjuku Pit Inn (Tokyo), Super Deluxe (Tokyo), UPLINK Factory (Tokyo), Urbanguild (Kyoto), Big Apple (Kobe), Centre for Contemporary Arts (Glasgow), Taipei Zhong-Shan Hall (Taiwan), The Venue (Kabul), Red Room (Baltimore), ABC No Rio (NYC), Bimbo's 365 Club (San Francisco), Steve Allen Theater (Hollywood), Velvet Jones (Santa Barbara), Jazzorca (Mexico City), Don Loope (Tijuana), SIGGRAPH (Los Angeles), Den Anden Opera (Copenhagen), Yokohama Triennale, Festival Beyond Innocence (Osaka), Yokohama Jazz Promenade, REDCAT NOW Festival (Los Angeles), Perform Chinatown (Los Angeles), Points In A Circle Festival (Brooklyn), San Francisco Electronic Music Festival, Big Sur Experimental Music Festival, Outsound New Music Summit (San Francisco), Spring Reverb Festival (San Diego/Tijuana), San Diego Repertory Theatre, and the Northwest Electroacoustic Music Festival (Portland).
His film and video work has shown at the London Institute of Contemporary Arts, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Tokyo's Shibuya Cinema Society, Yebisu Music Weekend (Tokyo), Los Angeles Grand Performances Series, BorDocs Foro Documental Tijuana, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, Point Loma Wastewater Plant, Cleveland Museum of Art, Chicago's Gene Siskel Film Center, Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Miami Art Central, Salina Art Center, IAF Videoart Festival Tijuana, and the São Paulo International Short Film Festival.
SUNSET STRIP, Fjellestad's recent documentary about the storied mile-and-a-half stretch of road in West Hollywood, premiered at SXSW 2012 where it was nominated for Best Music Documentary and won Best Documentary at the Catalina Film Festival. The Hollywood Reporter describes it as "entertaining almost to a fault, this color-packed doc boasts a lifetime's worth of glamour and sleaze," starring Johnny Depp, Ozzy Osbourne, Peter Fonda, Sharon Stone, Sofia Coppola, among numerous others.
Previously, Fjellestad directed WHEN THE WORLD BREAKS, an expansive film about Depression-era life and art, which premiered at the 2010 Doc Edge Festival in New Zealand. Fjellestad wrote and produced THE HEART IS A DRUM MACHINE (2009) featuring Elijah Wood, Juliette Lewis, Jason Schwartzman, and Ann Druyan. He also wrote the screenplay for the upcoming narrative feature LORDS OF CHAOS.
MOOG (2004) – Fjellestad's feature-length documentary on electronic music pioneer Robert Moog – was released theatrically across the U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia and Japan. Stephen Holden of the New York Times dubs MOOG a "compelling documentary portrait" of a "provocative, thoughtful and deeply sympathetic figure" and the London Daily Telegraph calls it "brilliantly inspiring on many levels."
MOOG was an Official Selection at numerous international film festivals including the Rotterdam International Film Festival (Netherlands 2005), Madrid International Film Festival (Spain 2005), Adelaide International Film Festival (Australia 2005), Naples Sintesi Festival (Italy 2005), Belo Horizonte INDIE Film Festival (Brazil 2005), Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (Czech Republic 2004), Sheffield International Film Festival (UK 2004), Dublin Electronic Arts Festival (Ireland 2004), Asheville Film Festival (North Carolina 2004), Bergen Ekko Festival (Norway 2004), and Barcelona In-Edit Film Festival (Spain 2004) where the film took home top honors at the Documentary Awards Ceremony.
His directorial debut FRONTIER LIFE (2002) found the filmmaker in Tijuana, Mexico for two years exploring the borderland's inventive art and music scene. Filmmaker Magazine calls the film a "fresh... quick-paced, smartly edited doc that boasts an innovative score." FRONTIER LIFE has screened in theaters across the U.S., Canada, Spain, Argentina and Mexico with support from the National Endowment for the Arts, Oregon Arts Council, Centro Cultural Tijuana, and El Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes.
FRONTIER LIFE was an Official Selection at the Mexico City International Film Festival (Mexico 2005), ARCO Madrid International Festival of Contemporary Art (Spain 2005), Barcelona Festival of Contemporary Mexican Art (Spain 2005), Sound Unseen Film & Music Festival (Minneapolis, MN 2003), Northwest Film Forum (Seattle, WA 2003), D.U.M.B.O. Arts Center Art Under the Bridge Festival (Brooklyn, NY 2003), San Antonio Cinefestival (New Mexico 2003), and Calgary International Film Festival (Canada 2002).
Fjellestad has appeared on ABC NEWS 20/20, NPR "Day to Day", WBAI New York, KUSF San Francisco, KXLU Los Angeles, BBC Radio 4 "Front Row", Canal 22 Mexico, MTV Latin America, ARTE "Kultur", Danmarks Radio "Klassisk", Prague Radio 1, and been featured in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Rolling Stone, Billboard, Keyboard Magazine, La Prensa, Japan Times, The Wire, Norway's Verdens Gang, International Herald Tribune and the Guardian UK.
He has given master classes and lectures at various academic institutions including Columbia University, San Francisco Art Institute, Amherst College, McGill University Montreal, Centro Universitario de Estudios Cinematográficos (el CUEC) and Universidad del Claustro de Sor Juana in Mexico City, Palomar College, Centro Cultural Tijuana (CECUT), University of California San Diego (UCSD), Center for Research in Computing & the Arts (CRCA) in La Jolla, and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego.
Fjellestad co-founded the Trummerflora Collective, and has worked as a curator/producer for the international art initiative, inSite_05. He was artist-in-residence at the Steve Allen Theater in Hollywood 2008-2011, where he curated and hosted the monthly music series ResBox. He restarted the ResBox series in June 2015.
Fjellestad is currently working on a new solo album and a documentary film/humanitarian project in Afghanistan. He is a lecturer at The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music.