Joseph Branciforte is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, sound artist, and recording engineer based out of New York City. His wide-ranging musical interests have situated him at the intersection of several of New York’s most fertile progressive music scenes — from jazz and improvised music, to chamber music and algorithmic composition; from ambient and sound art, to experimental forms of rock and pop. At the bottom of these seemingly discrete threads lies an undying fascination with sound as a profound emotional medium — organized through musical form, articulated by a careful selection of sound sources, and framed through the act of recording.
Branciforte’s recent work as a performer centers around the Fender Rhodes piano, augmented with modular synthesizers, custom digital processing, tape loops, and found objects. In this format, he has performed solo and with artists including Ryuichi Sakamoto, Taylor Deupree, and Theo Bleckmann. He is also the co-leader and drummer of The Cellar and Point, a “garage-chamber” ensemble whose debut record Ambit was called “one of 2014's finest albums of challenging, engaging, and genre-defying contemporary music” by AllMusic and was included on WNYC New Sounds’ Top Ten Albums of 2014.
As composer, Branciforte has developed a unique process of algorithmic composition for acoustic instruments using custom software of his own design. His ongoing collaboration with electronic musician and composer Kenneth Kirschner explores digital, generative, and procedural methods of composing for chamber ensemble, and will see its debut recording — featuring members of Flux Quartet, Talea Ensemble, and Mivos Quartet — released on greyfade in September 2019.
Equally well-known as a recording and mixing engineer, Branciforte has lent his sonic touch to over 200 releases, working with some of the most well-respected names in creative jazz along the way: Kurt Rosenwinkel, Ben Monder, Vijay Iyer, Nels Cline, Steve Lehman, Tim Berne, Marc Ribot, Eliane Elias, Mary Halvorson, and Nir Felder. Albums he has produced, engineered, and/or mixed have been included in the NPR Jazz Critics’ Poll Top 10 and Downbeat Magazine's Albums of the Year. His engineering and production can be heard on ECM, Sony, Pi Recordings, New Amsterdam, Sunnyside, Cantaloupe Music, and Naxos.