Judy Dunaway

Ilja Komarov

Trixa Arnold


An international collaboration yielding both humor and angst, the art-noise-rock trio SHAR features the post-punk harsh-psychedelic latex balloon instruments of Judy Dunaway combined with the brilliant yet quirky musical duo Ilja Komarov (bass) and Trixa Arnold (drums).   

Judy Dunaway is well-known and controversial for her avant-garde compositions and improvisations for balloons as musical instruments.  Over the past 25 years she has presented this work extensively at many major venues throughout North America and Europe.  She has released CDs of her work on the CRI and Innova labels, among others.  Kenneth Goldsmith (New York Press/WFMU) says of her work "If someone didn't tell you the primary instrument was a balloon, you'd never know; she gets a phenomenal range of sounds out of them, most of which sound more electric than acoustic...She makes her instrument sound like a cross between Hendrix's feedback-drenched guitar, the moans of Albert Ayler's sax and the high wail of a Jewish's hard to believe it's all done with balloons."   Her awards/grants/residencies include the New York State Music Fund. the Aaron Copland Fund Recording Grant, the American Composers Forum's Composers Commissioning Fund, ZKM, Harvestworks, EMS Elektronmusikstudion Stockholm and the National Endowment for the Arts.  For more information about her work, visit her website:

Born in Tallinn, Estonia and now residing in Switzerland, Ilja Komarov is best known as the bass player for the legendary Estonian avant-prog band “Ne Zhdali,” which the All Music Guide calls “one of the most exciting rock bands to rise from the soviet underground following the fall of the Communist regime.”  He has been artistically collaborating with (and married to) Swiss turntablist/drummer Trixa Arnold since the late 1990’s.  Their band “Les Halmas” recorded four albums on the ReR label and toured throughout Europe.  They have also recorded and performed with various collaborators, including the projects “Miners of Banal” and “Las Kalugas.”  They are two time winners of the Lucerne Music Prize for their work, and in 2001 the Swiss government awarded the duo a two-year artistic residency in St. Petersburg, Russia.  In recent years they have achieved renown in Switzerland for their multimedia projects for contemporary dance, theater, cinema and video, including composing and staging the operas "Der Amphibienmensch” (2006), "Tell, ein heroisches Singspiel” (2015) and “Karl Marx” (2017).

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