About the Artist/Ensemble
Presenting new music from a broad range of living classical composers, Fuse Ensemble is a unique modern chamber ensemble based in northern Virginia since 2008. With a fresh, new concept each season, they fearlessly create musical happenings with visual elements of live interactive videos, electronics, or kinetic installations, as they joyfully collaborate with sculptors, visual artists, instrument makers, poets, and analog and digital artists of all types.
Fuse Ensemble performs the music of living classical composers in a unique setting of acoustic instruments (strings, woodwinds, percussion, piano), DIY and found instruments, electric guitar and electronics. Each season a concept is presented, giving voice to new music composers and creating musical happenings with visual elements of live or interactive video, electronics, or kinetic installations. They joyfully collaborate with sculptors, visual artists, instrument makers, poets, and others.
Fuse Ensemble Presents Both Sides of the Mirror (through July 31, 2024)
Fuse Ensemble presents their newest season of work entitled Both Sides of the Mirror – a multimedia concert in two parts through summer 2024. Both Sides of the Mirror: Side A explores reflection, imitation and the current mirroring of our world through technology. We draw upon the ideas of Korean philosopher Byung-Chul Han, who posits that contemporary society is increasingly dominated by narcissism and self-reference, and “humans, in the place of building relationships with others, are increasingly mirroring themselves.”
In the second half of the concert, Both Sides of the Mirror: Side B examines the mystical, even psychedelic worlds that lie on the other side of the looking glass. Pulling inspiration from the ancient Chinese myth of the Fauna of Mirrors through “The Book of Imaginary Beings” (1957) by Jorge Luis Borges, music by Juan Carols Vasquez evokes the tale of when the mirror people invaded the earth, the magic arts of the Emperor imprisoned them in their mirrors and forced on them the task of repeating as though in a kind of dream, the actions of men.” They ponder the words of Lewis Caroll, “nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn’t…” and Cocteau’s poetic language, “Mirrors are the doors through which death comes and goes. Look at yourself in a mirror all your life and you’ll see death do its work.”
Modern-day reflection, self-reference, re/presentation and portals to mystical dimensions are richly explored in Both Sides of the Mirror as Fuse Ensemble calls upon the audience to contemplate and explore along with them. Premieres of new music by composers Gina Biver, Ethan Foote and Steve Antosca were commissioned by the ensemble for this season, recent works by Juan Carlos Vasquez and Sophia Jani and a vibraphone vs. artificial intelligence work by percussionist Scott Deal will be presented. In the visual realm, there will be an original film by the Also Sisters and an animation by Michael Edwards.
Fuse Ensemble Presents Nimbus (August 2024 – June 2025)
Nimbus, by Gina Biver, began as an artistic collaboration between the American Poet Colette Inez (1931-2018) and Fuse Ensemble Composer/Director Gina Biver in 2017 and continued even after Ms. Inez’s passing in January 2018. It is a set of seven miniatures for chamber ensemble — all based on poems that focus on the early life of Ms. Inez, the lovechild of a Catholic Priest and the French scholar assigned to assist him. The music includes audio recordings of Colette reading five of the seven poems she chose for Nimbus that were recorded at the her residence in New York City shortly before her death. Also woven into the piece are additional audio recordings of church bells, children, city sounds, and the interiors of churches were captured live in the town of Nerac, France and its environs in August 2018, while the composer stayed in the family home of the poet — that house on the river that Colette Inez mentions in her memoir “The Secret of M. Dulong” (University of Wisconsin Press).
Other works in the Fuse Ensemble Nimbus program include compositions by Caroline Shaw, Kevin Puts, Judith Shatin, Ethan Foote and others.
Contact Fuse Ensemble for technical riders.
Fuse Ensemble offers workshops and master classes in the following topics:
- The use of technology in classical music
- Interactive audio/video technology
- The use of AI machine learning for improvisation and performance (Percussionist Scott Deal)
- Widening the Circle: Fuse Ensemble discussion on finding and presenting the music of composers from underrepresented or systemically excluded groups within the classical music field.
- Multi-disciplinary creative performance projects involving the collaboration of artists such as poets, filmmakers, painters, instrument-makers, kinetic sculptors, etc.
Performance/Concert: $2,170 minimum
Educational Talk/Lecture: $500
Workshop/Master Class: $500+
Travel and accommodation expenses to be determined by service and location.