Flame Keepers


Flame Keepers is a perpetual music installation based on Jakub Ciupinski's concept and design. Commissioned, created, and launched by Metropolis Ensemble in response to COVID-19, Flame Keepers runs uninterrupted in real time, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

Invited artists are commissioned weekly to supply new original material every seven hours. As a result, the piece will evolve as an open-ended collective composition designed to run forever.

We intend the Flame Keepers experience to be a virtual bonfire shared by a group of strangers worldwide, a concert that never ends, made in, and especially for, times of hardship and social isolation.


Current Artist

Arturo Capur

Compositor, improvisador, diseñador sonoro y contrabajista mexicano, Arturo Capur
escribe música para contrabajo y electrónica, así como música de cámara. Sus
composiciones han sido interpretadas en lugares como la Biblioteca Vasconcelos, el
Foro de Música Nueva (Ciudad de México), la Universidad DePaul (Chicago), el
Auditorio Blas Galindo y New Music on the Point. Ha participado en talleres con
conjuntos y músicos como el Quinteto de Vientos de la Ciudad de México, Wapiti
Ensemble, Irvine Arditti, JACK Quartet y el ensemble de música creativa dirigido por
Dana Jessen en New Music on the Point 2023.

La banda sonora del documental 'Raíces' se lanzó a finales de 2021. "Cuando no
está pasando mucho todo lo que sucede importa" es una pieza para contrabajo y
electrónica lanzada en 2022. Además, "Jardín de Piedras" es un video de 30 minutos
con improvisaciones yuxtapuestas grabadas en el jardín de rocas en Mexiquillo,
Durango, también lanzado en 2022. "Mutualismo" es una pieza para ensemble de
cuerdas y solista diseñada para un edificio específico en la Ciudad de México, donde
el ensemble está distribuido en tres niveles y cada módulo improvisatorio se activa
cuando dos jugadores adicionales tiran de cintas VHS sujetas a cada cuerda. Es
exalumno de OneBeat Virtual 5.


Mexican composer, improviser, sound designer, and double bassist, Arturo Capur
writes music for double bass and electronics, as well as chamber music. His
compositions have been performed at venues such as Biblioteca Vasconcelos, New
Music Forum (Mexico City), DePaul University (Chicago), Auditorio Blas Galindo, and
New Music on the Point. He has participated in workshops with ensembles and
performers including the Mexico City Woodwind Quintet, Wapiti Ensemble, Irvine
Arditti, JACK Quartet, and Dana Jessen's creative music ensemble at New Music on
the Point 2023.

The soundtrack from the documentary 'Raíces' was released in late 2021. "Cuando
no está pasando mucho todo lo que sucede importa" (When not much is happening,
everything that happens matters) is a piece for double bass and electronics released
in 2022. Additionally, "Jardín de Piedras" is a 30-minute video featuring juxtaposed
improvisations recorded in the rock garden in Mexiquillo, Durango, also released in 2022.

"Mutualismo" is a piece for string ensemble and soloist designed for a specific
building in Mexico City, where the ensemble is distributed across three stories and
each improvisatory module is activated when two additional players pull VHS tapes
attached to each string. He is an alum of OneBeat Virtual 5.

Flash Back in time to any of our prior artists

How It Works

On this page, seven musical ideas, or streams, loop simultaneously in real-time.

As the streams repeat, the musical experience will never be or sound the same because the individual loops run asynchronously and their durations are divergent.

As a result, the seven streams shift and realign into subtle new configurations continuously.

The perpetual metamorphosis of this composition is catalyzed by a commissioned prompt: every seven hours, a select artist serving as the Flame Keeper is given the chance to replace any existing stream with a single new one.

The moment a new stream is introduced, the system enters a seven-hour lockdown, during which the composition cannot be altered by human hands. After the given seven hour lockdown is over, the Flame Keeper may swap another stream and the cycle begins anew.

Passing the Torch

At the beginning of the week, the new Flame Keeper inherits the state of the installation from the previous one. Due to the seven hour lockdown mechanism, it is impossible to swap all seven streams in less than forty-nine hours.

During this three day transition, the new Flame Keeper builds within the composition created by the previous artist, gradually making it their own.

Ghost Streams

If the Keeper misses any of the upload windows, the system engages a fail-safe algorithm that replaces any one of the streams with one randomly selected from the historical archive of musical streams of all former Flame Keepers. The results might be harmonious, cacophonous, anodyne, or expressive, yet always surprising.

If left completely abandoned, the composition will evolve with unpredictable results, continuously.

Flash Back

Use this feature to travel back in time to experience any artist's work.

Meet The Team

Jakub Ciupinski

Composer and Creator of Flame Keepers

Jakub Ciupinski is a Polish composer living in New York City. Although his music is often associated with electronics and interactive performances, he has written numerous pieces for traditional acoustic forces, varying in scope from solo miniatures to symphonic works. Jakub has collaborated with Metropolis Ensemble since 2009.

Andrew Cyr

Founder/Artistic Director, Metropolis Ensemble

Grammy-nominated conductor Andrew Cyr (“a prominent influence in the world of newly emerging music”, The Washington Post) founded Metropolis Ensemble in 2006 to support ascending contemporary composers and performers through the creation of new work.

Avneesh Sarwate


Avneesh Sarwate is a programmer, musician, and multimedia artist working in the fields of audiovisual performance, installations, and interface design.

Ryan Rose


Ryan Rose is a software engineer and saxophonist living in Cambridge, MA. His work explores musical expression through robots, physical installations, connected web experiences, and more.

Daniel McKemie


Daniel McKemie is an electronic musician, percussionist, and composer based in New York City. Currently, he is focusing on technology that seeks to utilize the internet and browser technology to realize a more accessible platform for multimedia art.