A central figure in the avant-garde music scene in New York City for nearly forty years, Elliott Sharp leads the projects Orchestra Carbon, Tectonics, and Terraplane. He has pioneered ways of applying fractal geometry, chaos theory, and genetic metaphors to musical composition and interaction. His collaborators have included Ensemble Modern, Qawwali singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Radio-Sinfonie Frankfurt, pop singer Debbie Harry, blues legends Hubert Sumlin and Pops Staples, jazz greats Jack deJohnette and Sonny Sharrock, turntable innovator Christian Marclay, and Bachir Attar, leader of the Master Musicians of Jahjouka. Sharp's Polymerae was commissioned by the Frankfurter Stiftung and premiered in April 2008 by the Ensemble Modern.
His work was featured in the 2008 New Music Stockholm Festival with the premiere of Sidebands and at Frankfurt's Klangbiennale in May 2007 with the premiere of On Corlear's Hook for the Radio-Sinfonie-Orchester Frankfurt and his solo performance Momentum Anomaly. His music-theater work EmPyre was premiered at the 2006 Venice Biennale. His scores for film and theater include Toni Dove’s sci-fi feature Spectropia, the feature-documentary Commune by Jonathan Berman, and Yellowman and Raw Boys, both plays by Dael Orlandersmith. Sharp's music-theater work Binibon premiered in May 2009 at The Kitchen in New York City. Sharp was curator for Contemporary Music 2004-2006 for WPS1.org as well as for the important sound-art exhibition Volume: Bed of sound for PS1 Contemporary Art Center in 2001.