||This article may be written from a fan's point of view, rather than a neutral point of view. (April 2012)|
Gene "Sxip" Shirey (pronounced "skip") is an American electric-acoustic composer, performer, and story-teller. He grew up in Athens, Ohio and currently resides in New York City. Shirey started experimenting with found sound composition and extended instrument techniques when asked to compose music for Ohio University’s modern dance department. This eventually took him to New York City and he has been performing in venues ranging from underground clubs in Brooklyn to a TED, to Europe and to the Sydney Opera House.
His music sounds like stories. He works in the places where noise becomes music and does things that make you realize there are no boundaries between noise and music—or not like you imagine"
—Neil Gaiman in The Wall Street Journal
Shirey work utilizes found objects, traditional instruments, computer and modified instruments such as Industrial Flutes, Bullhorn Harmonicas, Regurgitated Music Box, Triple Extended Pennywhistles, Miniature Handbells, and other curious objects.
At the request of the American Music Center, Shirey developed composing workshops that drew inspiration from Ann Bogart’s Viewpoints, Foley techniques and deep listening. These workshops allow composers to develop strategies to use voice, found objects and found sounds, and extended techniques for traditional instruments to create new work.
Shirey was invited to be a guest lecturer at the Norwegian Institute of Art in February 2012 and September 2013. The English National Opera ran his workshop for young composers (and composing music for a short film) in March 2012. He has also run his workshop at Trinity College, Oxford England and for the animation department at Harvard.
Among Shirey's compositions are:
- scoring of a short film for Neil Gaiman which was featured in an 11 part series for Sky TV in the United Kingdom.
- “Song for Lizzie”, which was premiered by The Boston Pops at Symphony Hall on New Years Day[when?].
- Collaboration with choreographer Heid Latsky and disabled dancers on "GIMP "which had a Boston Premier at The Institute of Contemporary Art.
- Scoring for the feature film Hotel Gramercy Park by director Douglas Keeve.
- collaboratION with composerRachelle Garniez to create and perform the work "Shadowland" for MOMA's Tribute to Salvador Dalí.
- Composition and music direction for "Marsupial Girl” at The Minneapolis Children's Theater.
- Composition for five George Meilies silent films including "A Trip to the Moon" for The Museum of The Moving Image in Queens
- music for director puppeteer Theodora Skipitaras' for Women of Troy and Lysistrata at La Mama.
- Composition and performance of music for Strut & Fret Productions' Circus Cabaret show, Limbo.
Previous performance highlights include Featured presenter at TED, support act for Dresden Dolls US tour, Ashley Capp's Big Ears Festival, Edinburgh Fringe, Adelaide Fringe Festival in Australia, Floyd Fest, Joe's Pub, The Knitting Factory and CBGB's in New York City.
Shirey has played exploding circus organ for the Daredevil Opera Company at the Sydney Opera House and the Kennedy Center, industrial flutes for acrobats at The New Victory Theater on Broadway, tamponophone with The Bindlestiff Family Cirkus at Bonaroo, hillbilly music for gypsies in Transylvania.
Shirey also hosted and curated the multi-part Charm Sessions featuring live international music from NYC for Radio Scotland. Shirey has toured Ireland and Wales as a duo, "Sxip and Rhi" with Rhiannon Giddens of the Carolina Chocolate Drops.
Shirey has released three solo albums, three albums with The Luminescent Orchestrii and one EP on Nonesuch records as a collaboration between Luminescent Orchestrii and the Carolina Chocolate Drops. He has had two songs featured as NPR's Song of the Day.
He is the host and producer of Sxip's Hour of Charm, a variety show of cabaret acts. Hour of Charm regularly occurs in New York City, usually at Joe's Pub, but has been taken on the road to the American Repertory Theatre, the Rothbury Music Festival and other venues.
Musicians, artists, and sound generators who have performed with Shirey include:
- Amanda Palmer,
- Jason Webley,
- Reggie Watts,
- Corn Mo,
- Bora Yoon,
- Project Jenny, Project Jan,
- Elyas Khan,
- Brian Viglione,
- Curtis Eller,
- The Red Bastard,
- Una Mimnagh,
- Greg Walloch,
- Scotty The Blue Bunny,
- Jonathan Nosan,
- AJ Silver.
Toured with Féloche. and Evelyn Evelyn for whom he provided an elaborate shadow puppet show. In a band called Gentlemen & Assassins with another member of Dresden Dolls, Brian Viglione and Elyas Khan of Nervous Cabaret. They performed a show at Theater Dortmund with Sonic Youth and Dresden Dolls producer Martin Bisi
Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer made a musical instrument, called the "Sxipenspiel" for Shirey's birthday. It is made of a candlestick, pipe and bicycle bells. A sample of Neil and Sxip playing it features at the beginning of Shirey's former Gentlemen & Assassins bandmate Elyas Khan's single, "Bells". 
- "From Brooklyn to Balkans: Luniniscent Orchestrii's Gypsy Punk".[dead link]
- "Sxip Shirey - About".
- "Limbo - Strut & Fret Productions". http://www.strutnfret.com.
- "Past Productions: SXIP'S HOUR OF CHARM". Archived from the original on 2008-04-05. Retrieved 2008-06-22.
- "Rothbury Music Festival - Circus and Theatre". Retrieved 2008-06-23.
- "Sxip's Hour of Charm and Sonic New York".
- "Wir präsentieren: Féloche auf Tour!", FastForward Magazine, September 2010
- "One Night With Evelyn Evelyn, Amanda Palmer’s Conjoined-Twin Creation", New York Magazine, June 14, 2010
- "Arte Gentlemen & Assassins". http://arte.kulturkurier.de/.
- "Gentlemen & Assassins". www.posthof.at.
- "The Daredevil Opera Company".
- "Luminescent Orchestrii".
- "Luminescent Orchestrii - BROOKLYN, NEW YORK - Folk / Punk / Classical".
- "The origins of the Sxipenspiel". http://www.sxipshirey.com.
- ""Bells" by Elyas Khan, featuring The Sxipenspiel". http://www.bbemusic.com.