Ghost Ensemble: REWILD in Amherst, MA

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We regret to announce that

this event has been POSTPONED

due to the winter storm. 

We will announce a rescheduled event date soon.

Ghost Ensemble: REWILD

Friday, December 16, 2022


Bezanson Hall, UMass-Amherst

Randolph C. Bromery Center for the Performing Arts 

151 Presidents Dr.

Amherst, MA 01003

Ghost Ensemble's Massachusetts concert debut features the world premiere of ensemble director and Amherst local Ben Richter’s Rewild alongside recent works by ensemble oboist Sky Macklay, Amherst local and UMass professor Miriam Piilonen, and the late iconic experimental composer and ensemble mentor Pauline Oliveros.

Admission is free. Reservations are recommended.

Optional donations in support of Ghost Ensemble are gratefully accepted. 

Ghost Ensemble is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization and contributions are tax-deductible.

Ghost Ensemble fosters groundbreaking music that blurs borders of genre, style, and scene, expanding perceptual horizons through shared immersive experience. Collaboration with living composers is its primary focus. Since its 2012 inception, the ensemble has performed over 100 works and commissioned 34 new compositions by a diverse range of highly original composers who share a belief in music’s potential for individual and community transformation. Rethinking the norms of composer/performer collaboration, Ghost Ensemble conducts innovative workshops to nurture adventurous new music over the course of multiple seasons. The resulting work often straddles contemporary classical, experimental chamber music, avant-garde jazz, sound art, and territories in between.

Pauline Oliveros’s Mountain Air asks the musicians to create extremely soft sounds, “at threshold, almost sounding, almost not sounding,” while moving around the performance space very slowly, “playing very close to the ears of audience members at times … This requires very concentrated listening and musical bravery.” Ghost Ensemble, which collaborated closely with Oliveros in 2013-16 and released Mountain Air’s premiere recording in 2021, is joined by an array of guest artists to realize this landmark immersive orchestral work.

Pauline Oliveros (1932-2016) was a composer, accordionist, humanitarian, electronic music pioneer, and founder of Deep Listening.

Miriam Piilonen's Sharp Diamonis a modular work for any combination of flute, harp, vibraphone, electronics, and accent percussion. It explores extra-tonal music spaces and evokes shimmering clouds, a misty forest where diamond eyes sparkle in the distance, and light refracted through a prism. 

A music theorist, composer, and multi-instrumentalist, Miriam Piilonen teaches music theory and aural musicianship at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Sky Macklay’s Harmonifriends features two of the composer’s inflating “harmonitree” sculptures, which use vinyl, fans, and dozens of deconstructed harmonicas to create vibrating tree-shaped free-reed sound creatures. The ensemble interacts in sonic and kinetic counterpoint with the moving and sounding sculptures as they rise, sing, tremble, and fall in a visceral aural and visual experience that is whimsical yet intense. 

Sky Macklay is Ghost Ensemble's founding oboist, a 2021 Guggenheim Fellow, and serves on the composition faculty of the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins

Ben Richter’s Rewild traces the fragile evolution of a shadow biosphere, stretching acoustic elements across perceptual thresholds to exotic orders of magnitude — the quantum foam susurrations of yoctomusic; the cosmological flux of yottamusic. The pulsing, breathing sonic ecosystem orients temporal perception toward global listening and virtuosic concentration in a sound-world of constant transformation that marks humanity’s fragile, transient, yet vital role within the immensity of geologic time. 

Ghost Ensemble's founding director and accordionist, Ben Richter creates lush, immersive, gradually evolving soundscapes that have been hailed as “likely to offer a profound impact on the very nature of listening” (Stephen Smoliar, The Rehearsal Studio).

“Prodigious ... a thrilling listen ... well-crafted and eloquent work.”

Christian Carey, Sequenza21

“Wonderful work ... serene, rippling waves and stirring, ominous surges of sound … 

a warped ride both exhilarating and a bit scary.”

Peter Margasak, Bandcamp Daily: The 10 Best Contemporary Classical Albums of 2018

“Very fine ensemble playing — excellent listening to one another … 

cloudy, mysterious, and dark … Beckettian in its slow spread … 

certainly a group to keep an eye on.”

Brian Olewnick, Just Outside

“Beautifully performed … a body-felt sound mass … 

a multifaceted texture that evokes the primeval.”

Meghanne Wilhoite, Meg’s New Music Blog

“Ghost Ensemble embodies the spirit of rugged independence … all these pieces use sound to seek an altered consciousness, from a meditative awareness to a look, perhaps, into a different dimension … the music sounds like something incomprehensibly massive is passing by, slowly. Not a weak link in the bunch … Strong music, made with a singular spirit.”

George Grella, New York Classical Review

Ghost Ensemble’s concerts with premieres by Catherine Lamb, Sky Macklay, and Miya Masaoka are presented

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