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    Ghost Ensemble

    Ghost Ensemble's 2018 Season!

    Ghost Ensemble's biggest season ever, creating immersive experimental musical experiences in our first-ever California concert series.

     United States
    This is a Fiscally-Sponsored Project

    Fiscally Sponsored by Fractured Atlas

    Tour Update Number 2


    Thank you so much for following our tour! Check out the Ghost Ensemble Facebook page to see pictures!
     
     Andrew C. Smith on KZSC:
     Ghost Ensemble composer Andrew Christopher Smith talked on KZSC about his work with Ghost Ensemble and our new album, We Who Walk Again! You can listen here: http://www.artistsonart.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/indexical.mp3
     
     Tour Day 4:
     We traveled to the California Central Coast and got settled in Paso Robles with our gracious host Ravi Kittappa of Permutations. Our show was at Lafondusac Winery and we had a full house and super-engaged crowd!
     
     Tour Day 5:
     Day 5 was our day off! We drove to Quail Lake, a magical oasis at the intersection of desert and mountains north of Valencia. Composer Wolfgang Von Schweinitz and artist Cecile Bouchier hosted us at their compound and served us a delicious feast. We enjoyed happy hour in the museum, which features much of Cecile's sculpture work. Cecile uses taxidermy techniques on dead animals that she finds on the compound and creates surreal new creatures ensconced in unexpected scenes in custom-lit terrariums. You can learn more about her work here: http://www.cecilebouchier.com/1.intro.htm
     
    Wolfgang is a much-admired composer by many Ghost Ensemble members and he took the time to give us a mini-lecture about historical tunings. Beginning in August, our own band leader and accordionist Ben Richter will be living on the compound and beginning his DMA at CalArts, where Wolfgang is a professor. Wolfgang also took us on a hike around the compound and introduced us to the flora and fauna.
     https://www.facebook.com/ghostensemble/photos/pcb.1699947660093332/1699947466760018/?type=3&theater
     
     Tour Day 6:
     We drove to Los Angeles and played for a small but mighty audience at Basic Flowers. Basic Flowers is a quirky art space with an eerie aesthetic, so we fit right in!
     
     Now on to San Diego for our final show of the tour! 

    Tour Update Number 1


    Thank you so much for following our tour! Check out the Ghost Ensemble Facebook page to see pictures!

    Tour Day 1:
    We converged at the Center for New Music in downtown San Francisco and played our first show to a full house. The Center for New Music is an important space for the contemporary music community in the bay area and we also enjoyed playing the musical bench installations. After the show we packed up the vans and drove to Santa Cruz.

    Tour Day 2: 
    We had a full rehearsal day at UC Santa Cruz digging into Liisa Hirsch's delicate and magical piece Imprint (see above video for a clip). We also brushed up on the tricky rhythms in Andrew C. Smith's piece.We east-coasters aren't used to all the sun and nature we encountered in Santa Cruz...we're appreciating it! One of our host families is even raising adorable baby quails! 

    Tour Day 3:
    We loaded in to Wind River; a gorgeous musical venue and recording studio in the redwoods. During the day we made a recording of Teodora Stepancic's piece Harps N' Ropes No. 4. In this piece fishing line is suspended through the harp and, in the climax of the piece, pulled tight and bowed by the string players. The fishing line makes the harp strings vibrate and then our harpist Lucia changes the pedals, creating subtle harmonic shifts.

    In the evening we played our concert to a sold-out house at Wind River and enjoyed fellowship with the many serious experimental music fans of Santa Cruz.

    Today we're off to Paso Robles; more updates coming soon!

    Sincerely,

    Ghost Ensemble

    Elizabeth Adams on working with Ghost Ensemble

    Working with Ghost Ensemble came as an enormous relief – that working with a sizable ensemble in an experimental way was possible, without my having to convene that ensemble myself. I use the word experimental when I talk about music that takes the risk of not knowing what will happen before trying it. It is very unusual to find a group of working musicians who actively seek this out. Under capitalism, conditions make us so averse to this kind of risk. The other kind of risk Ghost takes that is so unusual these days is centering the experience of listening while playing, refusing not only to merely go through the motions with performative conviction, but to listen in a vulnerable way in performance, drawing the audience into what's at stake for each of us. For this we have to thank Pauline, and Ghost for bringing her practice into our work. My collaboration with Ghost was so meaningful, generative, and affirming. I hope this campaign will afford experiences as worthwhile and fulfilling as mine to other listeners, and other composers.

    With deep gratitude,
    Elizabeth Adams

    California Tour Poster Now Online!

    These beautiful limited-edition letterpressed tour posters from Indexical are available as perks for our donors — check it out!
    Ghost Ensemble - Tour Poster - web.jpg 606.81 KB

    Harpist Lucia Stavros on Ghost Ensemble


    Harpist Lucia Stavros says, "I love playing in Ghost Ensemble. I always feel like I'm communicating on a high level with these performers ... that's something I think we really capture on our recording, and I'm so excited to share this music on the west coast with your support."
    Ghost Ensemble is deeply grateful to those who have contributed to our campaign so far: Miya Masaoka, White Wave, Kristen Reed, Thomas Buckner, Helena Martin, Raymond Martin, Teodora Stepancic, Andrew Smith, and five anonymous donors.
    Your generosity helps us create immersive musical experiences that explore the healing potential of community listening. Thanks so much for believing in our mission, and please continue to spread the word!
    Although our crowdfunding campaign has concluded, Ghost Ensemble is still accepting donations toward our 2018 season on Fractured Atlas; contributions for the purposes of Ghost Ensemble are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.

    Our Mission

    Ghost Ensemble is dedicated to long-term experimental collaborations with composers, creating immersive musical experiences that explore the act of listening and shift our mode of perception or experience of time. By expanding our horizons and perceptions and encouraging immersive experience, this music demonstrates its potential as a real healing force.

    The 2018 season is set to be Ghost Ensemble’s biggest ever by far, beginning with the release of our debut LP, We Who Walk Again, followed by our first-ever California concert series. This tour will let us bring our unique approach to a wide array of new venues and audiences, and we’re hoping to share the healing potential of experimental music with people who have never heard anything like it. What’s more, we have several newly commissioned works coming soon, including a new piece by Liisa Hirsch for this tour, and we’ll also be performing up to thirteen new works that we’ve selected through our Call for Scores. The season will bring an incredible variety of perspectives and approaches — we received so many fantastic and inventive works for the call that we’ll be increasing our concert schedule significantly just to have the opportunity to play them all!

    We need to raise $12,000 by May 15 to bring our ensemble to California and create these new connections in San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Paso Robles, Los Angeles, and San Diego. Further support will help Ghost Ensemble present an ambitious series of repertoire new to the ensemble in New York this fall, including works by our Call for Scores winners Alyssa Aska, Anthony Green, Kittie Cooper, Kevin Kay, Daniel Grantham, and Guy Klucevsek.

    Our calling is clear, and this season’s projects are helping us spring forward and achieve it together, but we can’t do this without your help. If you believe in Ghost Ensemble’s mission and would like to be a part of it, your contribution can make this happen.

    All donations to Ghost Ensemble are eligible for tax deduction, and we have a fantastic list of rewards we have prepared to thank you for your generosity — please take a look. Thank you so much for your support!

    Our Team

    Ghost Ensemble’s California tour will include works by Sky Macklay, Pauline Oliveros, Ben Richter, Andrew C Smith, Liisa Hirsch, and Teodora Stepancic, performed by:

    Margaret Lancaster, flute
    Sky Macklay, oboe
    Ben Richter, accordion
    Chris Nappi, percussion
    Lucia Stavros, harp
    Carrie Frey, viola
    TJ Borden, cello
    James Ilgenfritz, bass
    Kyle Motl, bass
    Carl Bettendorf, conductor

    Our 2018 season will also feature flutists Martha Cargo and Alice Jones, cellists Lester St. Louis, Maria Hadge, and Meaghan Burke, and bassists Rebekah Griffin Greene and Shayna Dulberger.

    What makes Ghost Ensemble special?

    “I love Ghost Ensemble because they really combine fabulous musicianship with an openness to trying new things and to experiment with new ways of writing and new ways of creating music.” 
    — Andrew C Smith, composer and producer of We Who Walk Again

    “I think music is ultimately for healing … celebrating being alive and together by creating something that’s never been heard before. This is part of what sets Ghost Ensemble apart from other contemporary music groups — we share on some level this healing motivation and a sense of how experimental, explorative music can be so valuable in that way. The feeling of really being in a moment of discovery is what makes Ghost Ensemble so exciting for me.” 
    — Ben Richter, Ghost Ensemble founder, accordionist, and composer

    “One of my favorite things about Ghost Ensemble is that we seek out and program and perform music by lesser-known living composers that need to be heard more … In this upcoming season, I’m super excited to play the works we recorded in June in many live performances on our California tour, so that we can reach the next level of musicality and unity and transcendence.” 
    — Sky Macklay, Ghost Ensemble oboist and composer

    “We are an experiential ensemble, which means that deep listening is a core component to our work. I have worked on a number of projects in New York over the last decade or so, and none are quite like Ghost. 
    I remember once we performed some Pauline Oliveros meditations as part of Make Music New York late in the afternoon, at the caves in Fort Tryon Park. I remember the coolness of the rocks, the semi-darkness as dusk fell, the sounds of the environment. 
    An awareness of one’s own heartbeat and being is at the core of Ghost Ensemble’s process. I think it is a grounding mode of work, much like yoga is for the body. 
    In many ways I have committed part of my musical work to Ghost Ensemble just as I have committed part of my bodywork to yoga: psychologically necessary to my sense of self.” 
    — Martha Cargo, Ghost Ensemble flutist

    Ghost Ensemble “use sound to seek an altered consciousness, from a meditative awareness to a look, perhaps, into a different dimension.
    … trying to crack open the fabric of reality … sound waves yawing across a space that sounds like an ego-destroying abyss … 
    … the music sounds like something incomprehensibly massive is passing by, slowly.
    strong music, made with a singular spirit.” 
    — George Grella, The New York Classical Review

    Our History

    Ghost Ensemble began in 2012, dedicated to new perspectives that explore the experience of listening. The music we create and perform realizes a wide spectrum of sonic spaces and engages performance practices between and beyond improvisation and fully measured notation; the common thread is an aim to shift our attention, perception, or experience of time. This practice entails long-term exploration and collaboration between outstanding performers and composers.

    We traverse these waters because there seems something magic in them. We have grown into our niche as a boundlessly experimental group open to diverse methods, developing works in this long-term workshop fashion, with a focus on music that explores fragile and liminal sounds, intuitive processes, and the physicality of sonic phenomena. Ghost Ensemble’s wide-open approach and unique instrumentation has inspired composers around the world to create music for the group; the ensemble has previously premiered new works written for Ghost by Sky Macklay, Ben Richter, Elizabeth Adams, Teodora Stepancic, Andrew C Smith, Kristina Wolfe, John Rot, Leonie Roessler, Kyle Gann, Lucie Vítkova, and Somna M Bulist.

    The Deep Listening philosophy of Pauline Oliveros has also been central to the ensemble’s identity since its conception. Among other collaborations, in 2013, Ghost Ensemble, Oliveros, and the Deep Listening Institute presented the 2013 release event of her Anthology of Text Scores together at Eyebeam. Her warm, generous, fearless, and mischievous spirit helped instill in many of us a boundlessly liberating outlook — as she asks in Imaginary Meditations, “Can you imagine listening beyond the edge of your own imagination?”

    Since its inception, the group has performed in concert halls, churches, galleries, and chamber music venues across New York City, and explored outdoor soundscapes from the courtyards of Wall Street to the caves at Inwood Hill Park. Ghost Ensemble has been featured at the East Bank Music Series, Queens New Music Festival, and Musical Ecologies, among others; the 2015-2016 season began with a double-header at Pioneer Works in Red Hook with the experimental gamelan group Lightbulb Ensemble. Ghost Ensemble collaborates frequently with record label and concert producers Indexical, including a 2016 commissioning project culminating in an evening of premiere performances at Brooklyn’s Invisible Dog Art Center. Ghost’s debut LP, We Who Walk Again, is forthcoming in April 2018 from Indexical Records. We Who Walk Again introduces the core of Ghost Ensemble’s repertoire and the diverse practices our approach hopes to unite. The title invokes the Icelandic legend of the draugr, or aptrgangr, a ghostly being with the power to morph into many shapes, gaze into the future, and enter dreams to bestow gifts on the living — something like a collection of the magical properties, perhaps, of music.

    Rewards

    Featured

    Personalized Healing Sound Bath Album

    Donate $433.00 or more

    Amount over $50.00 is tax-deductible.

    A personalized 30-minute multi-instrumental healing sound bath album for your ears only, composed and recorded by Ben Richter.
    Multiple works can be requested for multiples of the reward donation amount!
    (This reward also includes daily video tour updates, exclusive download, and acknowledgment on our site and programs as a donor.)

    Thank you for your contribution!

    Donate $10.00 or more

    Amount is fully tax-deductible.

    You'll be listed on our website and 2018-2019 concert programs as a Ghost Ensemble donor.

    Postcard Pen Pal

    Donate $25.00 or more

    Amount over $1.00 is tax-deductible.

    You'll receive daily video updates and a personalized handwritten postcard from our California tour!

    Exclusive Tour Package

    Donate $50.00 or more

    Amount over $5.00 is tax-deductible.

    You'll receive daily video updates including a personal shout-out to you, a personalized handwritten postcard and signed printed photo from our California tour, plus an exclusive download of new works recorded in California!

    Deluxe Tour Package

    Donate $100.00 or more

    Amount over $15.00 is tax-deductible.

    You'll receive a handmade, letterpressed, limited-edition poster from the California tour, daily video updates including a personal shout-out to you, a personalized handwritten postcard and signed printed photo, plus an exclusive download of new works recorded in California!

    Personalized Original Composition

    Donate $100.00 or more

    Amount over $10.00 is tax-deductible.

    Your choice of:
    1. A personalized 1-minute electroacoustic recorded work on the inspiration of your choice, composed and recorded by Sky Macklay,
    or
    2. A personalized 4-minute accordion improvisation on the theme of your choice, performed and recorded by Ben Richter.
    Multiple works can be requested for multiples of the reward donation amount!
    (This reward also includes daily video tour updates, exclusive download, and acknowledgment on our site and programs as a donor.)

    Private Workshops for Musicians & Listeners

    Donate $250.00 or more

    Amount over $75.00 is tax-deductible.

    Your choice of:
    1. A Deep Listening sonic meditation workshop session with composer and certified Deep Listening instructor Kristina Wolfe
    2. A 90-minute in-depth lesson/session in composition or accordion by Ben
    3. A 90-minute in-depth lesson/session in composition or oboe by Sky
    4. A 90-minute in-depth lesson/session in voice or harp by Lucia
    (sessions can take place remotely or in person in New York [all], Chicago [Sky], Los Angeles [Ben], or Berlin [Ben].)
    (This reward also includes daily video tour updates, exclusive download, and acknowledgment on our site and programs as a donor.)

    Studio Session

    Donate $500.00 or more

    Amount over $100.00 is tax-deductible.

    Sky or Ben will be at your service for a two-hour session of recording work for your project on oboe (NYC, Chicago, or remote) or accordion (NYC, Los Angeles, Berlin, or remote).
    (This reward also includes daily video tour updates, exclusive download, and acknowledgment on our site and programs as a donor.)

    Solo Work Commission

    Donate $500.00 or more

    Amount over $150.00 is tax-deductible.

    A brand-new three-to-four-minute scored solo work for the instrument of your choice, dedicated to you, composed by Sky Macklay or Ben Richter.
    (This reward also includes daily video tour updates, exclusive download, and acknowledgment on our site and programs as a donor.)

    Harp Soirée

    Donate $1,000.00 or more

    Amount over $200.00 is tax-deductible.

    Two hours of live harp music for your New York City-area soirée, performed by Lucia Stavros.
    (This reward also includes daily video tour updates, exclusive download, and acknowledgment on our site and programs as a donor.)

    Mega Solo Work Commission

    Donate $1,000.00 or more

    Amount over $250.00 is tax-deductible.

    A brand-new ten-minute scored solo work for the instrument of your choice, dedicated to you, composed by Sky Macklay or Ben Richter.
    (This reward also includes daily video tour updates, exclusive download, and acknowledgment on our site and programs as a donor.)

    Official Sponsor of New Studio Recordings

    Donate $2,000.00 or more

    Amount is fully tax-deductible.

    Official sponsorship of video and sound recording of works by Liisa Hirsch and Teodora Stepancic at beautiful Wind River studio in Santa Cruz, with executive producer credit for digital EP, video release, and all future use of this recording.
    (This reward also includes daily video tour updates, exclusive download, and acknowledgment on our site and programs as a donor.)