Experience the work of any of our past Flame Keepers by clicking on snapshots.
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.
Molly Joyce was recently deemed one of the “most versatile, prolific and intriguing composers working under the vast new-music dome” by The Washington Post. Her music has additionally been described as “serene power” (New York Times), written to “superb effect” (The Wire), and “unwavering” and “enveloping” (Vulture). Her work is concerned with disability as a creative source. She has an impaired left hand from a previous car accident, and the primary vehicle in her pursuit is her electric vintage toy organ, an instrument she bought on eBay which suits her body and engages her disability on a compositional and performative level.
Jenny Beck is a composer of chamber, orchestral, electronic, vocal, and found-sound music, as well as music for dance. She grew up in rural Pennsylvania where the sounds of the woods stirred her imagination at a young age, and has gone on to write music that invites listeners into alternative modes of awareness. Working in an intensely distilled musical language, her work reflects her interests in nature, meditation, ambience, and ambiguity.
Eschewing the collection of traditional titles that describe single elements of her body of work, Elizabeth refers to herself as a “New Renaissance Artist” that embraces a constant stream of change and rebirth in practice, which expands into a variety of media, chiefly an exploration of how sonic and spatial worlds can be manipulated to personify a variety of philosophies and principles both tangible as well as intangible. Elizabeth has received international recognition from press, scholars, and the public for her conceptual compositions and commitment to inclusive programming. Fanfare Magazine proclaimed in Fall 2019 “Perhaps Baker will be the Pauline Oliveros of her generation, and perhaps she will be more than that.”
Mike Ladouceur is among the most exciting and significant talents emerging today‚ with many high-profile film and TV projects to his name. Renowned on both sides of the Atlantic, his musical style blends orchestral and ambient electronic textures, and has been described as “like listening to a beautiful impressionist painting”. Mike’s distinctive sound is constructed from many intricate lines and textures that combine to create a rapturous force. He employs a diverse sonic palette which allows the listener to become entranced in a meditative state, often triggering deeply emotional responses.
Phong Tran is a Brooklyn-based composer, electronic musician, and visual artist. Much of his work is developed through late night wikipedia dives while obsessing over things like simulation theory, abstract story structure, Dungeons & Dragons, and vaporwave eccojams. Phong actively performs in MEDIAQUEER, a synthesizer and violin duo formed in 2018 with Darian Thomas. His work has been released through people | places | records and slashsound.
Portland-based composer Ryan Francis spent most of the 2000s composing piano music, and most of the 2010s composing with synthesizers. Francis has collaborated with Metropolis Ensemble for over a decade, most recently as a co-curator of the Free Assembly online festival. Other collaborations include 2 ballets with choreographer Pontus Lidberg, the video piece I AM NOT TAME with artist Nancy Davidson, and the score for the video game Namco High with artist/writer Andrew Hussie. His piano music performed by Vicky Chow is available from Tzadik Records.
Paula Matthusen (live-electronics) & Olivia Valentine (live-textiles) have collaborated for the past five years under the project between systems and grounds. The project exists through shared space and time, in which sound and textile are woven together simultaneously. The materials presented here are short loops from excerpts of durational events, traversing field recording, multiple layers of feedback, idiosyncratic synths, and, of course, weaving. For more information, please visit https://betweensystemsandgrounds.com
Darian Donovan Thomas is a Brooklyn based interdisciplinary artist interested in the intersections of medium, genre, and audience. He uses violin, electronics, and extra-musical materials in his works to discuss matters of racism in the US, uphold ancient indigenous stories, and create abstract nature-scapes. Darian is currently touring with Moses Sumney and Balùn, and is a Bang on a Can Summer Festival Composition Fellow, Sō Percussion Summer Institute Fellow, and New Amsterdam Records Composer Lab Fellow.
Alessandro is an Italian composer, musical sound designer and music editor based in London, working in Film, Tv and Advertising. In the last few years he worked on a number of projects ranging from short films to
advertisements, animations and documentaries that have been broadcasted by the BBC, ITV, Netflix, Sky, the Italian national television, and shown in countless festivals around the world.
He is also assisting composer Carly Paradis on BBC’s Line of Duty. He graduated from the Royal College of Music in 2015 with a master’s degree in Composition for
Combining training in European classical music with influences from free jazz and electroacoustic music, Impromptuo is an improvisation-focused duo of violinist Katherine Kyu Hyeon Lim and pianist Joey Chang. They are recipients of Chamber Music America’s Ensemble Forward Grant and currently are mentored by Tyshawn Sorey.
Nnux is a composer, producer and keyboard player from Mexico City. Her music is based on the digital processing of found sounds, voices, instruments, electronic beats and synthesizers. Influenced by pop, experimental and electronic music, Nnux creates music that aims to be emotional and vulnerable while being experimental and imaginative.
Adam Cuthbert (b. 1988) is a Detroit-based composer, mix engineer, and sound designer whose sometimes spare, sometimes brutal music has been described as an “eerie dreamscape” (Alex Ross, The New Yorker) and “the lead-footed revving of double decker buses” (Acid Ted).
Their work fuses acoustic instruments with control voltage to create immersive sonic environments, drawing inspiration from the infinite palette of synthesized electronic sound, and the flow-state experience of open-world video games, garnering notice from The New York Times, NPR, Backstage Magazine, and the San Francisco Chronicle, which finds it “hard to resist the vigor and inventiveness of his writing.”
Smart, transcendent, and immersive, Kirsten Volness’ emotive soundscapes integrate electronics and modern composition techniques with jazz and pop influences. “Irresistible” (San Francisco Chronicle) and “nothing short of gorgeous.” (New York Arts), each of her compositions reveals “an exquisite sound world” (New Classic LA) inspired by nature, myth, spirituality, and environmental and sociopolitical issues. With commissions from the World Future Council Foundation, ASCAP/SEAMUS, BMI Foundation, and The American Opera Project, Volness received MacColl Johnson and RISCA Fellowships. She holds composition degrees from the Universities of Michigan and Minnesota, and is Visiting Assistant Professor at Reed College. • kirstenvolness.com
Cassie Wieland (pronounced ˈkæ-si ˈwee-lənd) is an Illinois-born and Brooklyn-based composer. Praised by The New York Times as “sweetly shimmering,” Wieland masterfully experiments with timbre and texture by exploring intimate and fragile sounds to achieve the “hand-made” sound she is often looking for: imperfect, but intentional.
David Bird is a composer and multimedia artist based in New York City. His work explores the dramatic potential of electroacoustic and multimedia environments, often highlighting the relationships between technology and the individual. He is a founding member of the New York-based chamber ensemble TAK, and an artistic-director with Qubit New Music, a non-profit group that curates and produces experimental music events in New York City.
Adam Holmes is a Brooklyn-based musician and artist who makes music for humans and computers. He is an avid percussionist, drummer, and composer interested in creating and discovering sounds for himself and others.
Adrianne Munden-Dixon is a violinist, improviser, and composer based in New York and Montreal. Her work explores timbre and texture and she often incorporates electronics and field recordings to expand the sonic and expressive capabilities of the violin.
Arone Dyer is a musician, composer & founding member of duos Buke and Gase & Mistresses, the producer of Dronechoir (Patreon), a project which examines social dis/comfort through long-durational choral performance, and a non-stop collaborator with an extensive resume of appearances.
Critically acclaimed, “a clear technical virtuoso”, “a rare talent”, and “a true Wunderkind,” Chicago born Jeremy Jordan burst onto the music scene at age 9 playing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in a live televised performance. Jordan was born into a musical family where his mother and father were his first instructors. They ensured that his burgeoning talent was nurtured by providing a strong foundation in classical training and also encouraged his study of improvised music and composition. Jordan went on to appear on the acclaimed radio program From The Top and From The Top: Live from Carnegie Hall performing Liszt. Since then Jordan has made his solo Carnegie Hall debut performing Chopin, Liszt, Schubert, and Wagner.
Osaka-born and New York-based pianist Erika Dohi is a multi-faceted artist with an eclectic musical background. From highly polished traditional classical to bold improvisation, she is a dynamic performer whose timeless style and unidiomatic technique sets her apart in contemporary NYC avant-garde circles. Dohi’s vast repertory is impressive, but what makes her truly such a barrier-defying artist is what lies ahead.
Jack Gjaja (b. 2005) is a composer and pianist from New York City. They currently study piano and composition at Manhattan School of Music Precollege and previously studied at the Preparatory Division of Mannes School of Music. During the summer of 2020, they joined composers from around the world at the Virtual Young Women’s Composers Camp, where their piece Icy climb with a side of Mockingtrack was premiered by saxophonist Kristen McKeon. Jack draws inspiration from Ravel, Tchaikovsky’s Queen of Spades, Scriabin, Kelly Moran’s Don’t Trust Mirrors, and playwrights such as Ionesco and Martin McDonagh. Their works include small ensemble acoustic works, pieces for voice, solo works, electronic soundscapes, and pieces for period instruments. They've studied composition and piano with the following wonderful people: Mary Kouyoumdjian, David Bird, Tamar Muskal, Elena Leonova, Adrienne Kim. In addition to composition, they've performed in Montreal, Rovinj, Cremona, Bennington, and New York.
Susanna Hancock is an Asian-American composer whose music explores color, process, and acoustic phenomena. Plurality, ambiguity, juxtaposition, transience, and impermanence are currents that move throughout Susanna’s work as a reflection on identity and “place” - or lack thereof.
Susanna’s compositions have been performed by the JACK Quartet, ZAFA Collective, Metropolis Ensemble, and members of the LA Philharmonic and St. Louis Symphony, among others. Susanna’s work has been recognized by such organizations as ASCAP and United States Artists, and has been featured in concerts and festivals across the world including the Bang on a Can Marathon and the Dimitria Festival in Thessaloniki, Greece.
The New York Times describes Ricardo Romaneiro's work as “a blissful and compelling mix of minimalist-derived rhythmic ecstasy and nightclub beats”. A graduate of The Juilliard School, Ricardo’s music synthesizes his major musical influences & passions: classical music & electronic music. His music has been featured, performed and commissioned in eclectic range of ensembles, institutions, festivals, & film. His work has been featured in publications such as the Wall Street Journal, Vice/Creators Project, Esquire Magazine, Brooklyn Magazine, Untapped Cities, Vogue & Edible Manhattan.
Recent works include Nat Geo & Disney+ commission for “Secrets of The Whales” live performance at National Sawdust, and Kennedy Center’s live scoring of Thomas Edison’s silent film “A Christmas Carol” performed by Metropolis Ensemble.
Guitarist and singer Grey Mcmurray has been called “simultaneously chilling and moving”(The Deli Magazine), “sublimely odd”(New York Magazine), and “the world’s least obtrusive guitarist”(The Guardian). He has performed/recorded with artists including Gil-Scott Heron, Meshell Ndegeocello, Tyondai Braxton, Alarm Will Sound, Du Yun, Skuli Sverrisson, Beth Orton, Colin Stetson, Sam Amidon, Ali Sethi, John Cale and Laraaji among others. He released his solo debut, Stay Up, on Shahzad Ismaily’s Figureight Records in September 2019. The new collaborative quartet of Grey, Melvin Gibbs, Greg Fox and Sasha Frere-Jones, Body Meπa, released their “transient oasis, heady but cautiously optimistic”(Robert Christgau) debut in December 2020. He hopes everyday to provoke joyful tears in strangers' eyes.
Tristan Kasten-Krause is a bassist and composer living in Brooklyn, NY, praised for providing his “low-end authority to vital New York institutions” (The New Yorker) such as Argento Chamber Ensemble, Wet Ink, Ensemble Signal and Contemporaneous. As a composer his music has been described as “heavenly” (the Guardian), “beguilingly frictionless” (Steve Smith) and full of “beautiful, unearthly soundscapes” (WNYC’s New Sounds). As a bassist he has performed and recorded music with artists such as Alvin Lucier, Steve Reich, Caroline Shaw, Kid Millions and David Lang. His most recent album, Potential Landscapes, showcases transcendental, sample-based collaborations with artists such as Eliza Bagg (Lisel), Jayson Gerycz (Cloud Nothings), Matt Evans, Brendon Randall-Myers and Carol Johnson.
George Cory Todd is a multimedia artist and engineer based in the Bay Area. Combining programming, audio and video frameworks, and other experimental practices, he explores an array of approaches to digital production, from sound and visual design & engineering to installation work, performances, and composition. His experience has lended him to national and international tours with renown artists of various disciplines, collaboration in a multitude of settings, and extensive studio work. Projects have been featured in Pitchfork, NPR, Bandcamp Daily, The Quietus, NTS Radio, Dublab, and more.
"Composer and performer Cristina Spinei (pronounced spin-AY) has written for orchestra (Racine Symphony Orchestra, Lafayette Symphony Orchestra) and chamber ensemble (New York Piano Quartet, Intersection) but she is most known for her work with dance, having been commissioned by Nashville Ballet, the New York Choreographic Institute, Parsons Dance, the Pacific Northwest Ballet, and many more. Growing up with dreams of becoming a ballerina, Spinei has channeled her love for dance into a devotion to musical movement, resulting in a style infused with “lyricism and rhythmic vitality.” (Nashville Scene)
Cristina has made her home in Nashville since 2014, and has since established herself as one of Music City’s most versatile, forward-thinking musicians: Nashville Arts dubbed her “gifted and engaging”, while The East Nashvillian praises her “adventuresome imagination.” Self-described as “minimalish,” Cristina anchors her musical ideas in melody, movement, and loops."
Clara Warnaar is a NYC based drummer, percussionist and composer. Clara performs regularly with the International Contemporary Ensemble and American Modern Ensemble, and has guest performed with So Percussion and Yarn/Wire. Recent premieres and recordings include: Ted Hearne (PLACE), Missy Mazzoli (Proving Up), Steve Reich (Reich/Richter) and Ellen Reid (Run/Playground). Clara’s own compositional style merges field recordings, classical music and electronics. She is the curator of the series “A New Age for New Age” which aims to re-imagine and critique New Age music. Clara plays drums in the post-rock band Infinity Shred, and the antiphonal chamber metal band Real Loud.
Sonya Belaya is a Russian-American pianist, singer, composer, and improviser, who divides her time between Michigan and New York. Committed to multiplicity, she is a diverse music-maker invested in vulnerable art and the development intimate, meaningful collaborations. Her work explores the integration of women’s trauma and the immigrant experience as musical narrative by centering power-sharing and storytelling as a symbol of vulnerability. Sonya’s awards include the 2021 American Composers Forum Create Award and the 2020-2021 Resident Artist at Roulette Intermedium, made possible by the Jerome Foundation.
Hallie Smith is a musician based in the Bay area. Her practice is oriented towards building soft circuits/sensors, coding, installations, and emotional music. Hallie’s pieces have been featured in festivals such as the Yellow Barn Young Artists’ Program, Summer Institute of Contemporary Performance Practice, the SPLICE Institute, and the Valencia International Performance Academy.
Previous and upcoming collaborations for Hallie include: the Eco Ensemble at UC Berkeley, Splinter Reeds, the SMASH ensemble, saxophonist Drew Whiting, The Boston Conservatory Contemporary Performance Ensemble, and producer Felix M. Hallie currently produces and releases music on New York -based Geryon Label.