Nief-Norf is a multi-tiered contemporary music organization devoted to fostering creative collaboration among musical interpreters, composers, and scholars.
Formed in 2005, Nief-Norf was created by Illinois natives Andrew Bliss and Kerry O’Brien, who took their ensemble's name from a descriptor of strange sounds. Some say "bleep-blop”; they prefer “nief-norf.” During their undergraduate years as percussionists, the “nief-norf” moniker came to stand for any music that was experimental or weird. Now based in Knoxville, Nief-Norf celebrates experimental music through their annual Summer Festival and Call for Scores. Since its inception in the summer of 2011, the Summer Festival’s performance and composition seminars have attracted undergraduates, graduates, and professionals from dozens of institutions across the United States and abroad. In 2012, the organization also launched the Research Summit, an embedded academic conference on special topics surrounding the experimental music tradition. The creation of this summit represented the third pillar for Nief-Norf, creating annual opportunities for discourse and collaboration between scholars, performers, and composers.