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Sound Energy

Boston, MA      

What   is   sound   energy? 

energy produced by
       vibrating sound waves 

energy created from the 
       disturbance of matter

a dynamic string trio committed to
       exploring the energy of sound


MICAH RINGHAM, a native of Hamilton, NZ, has performed extensively across Canada and the United States. Growing up in Vancouver, British Columbia, Micah studied primarily with Marka Wilcox-Akins, and was named the youngest concertmaster of the Vancouver Youth Symphony Orchestra. Micah graduated from the Interlochen Arts Academy in 2006, with an award for Musical Excellence in Violin Performance. She holds a bachelors degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music, and a masters degree from Rice University, where she studied with Kenneth Goldsmith. Mrs Brightwell is currently working towards a masters of science in arts administration from the Metropolitan College at Boston University. 

As a specialist in contemporary music, she has appeared in concert with the Callithumpian Consort, Ludovico Ensemble, Acoustic Uproar, Collage New Music, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Sound Energy Trio, ensemblenewSRQ, and the Rice University based New Music Ensemble, as well as with members of the Bang on a Can All- Stars, eighth blackbird, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Mark Morris Dance Group, and Ensemble Modern. Micah is also a classical chamber musician, having worked with artists such as Norman Fischer, Ivo-Jan van der Werff, Thomas Jaber, Brian Connelly, and Kenneth Goldsmith. Other chamber music studies include Mark Sokol, Donald Weilerstein, Peter Salaff and Samuel Rhodes, as well as members of the Cavani String Quartet. 

Mrs Brightwell attended the Tanglewood Music Center as an orchestral fellow and a member of the Fromm String Quartet, the Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice at the New England Conservatory, and the Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival, in residence at MassMOCA. She has worked with composers Marti Epstein, John Williams, Gunther Schuller, Jo Kondo, Jonathan Dawes, Alvin Lucier, Sean Shepherd, Jeffrey Mumford, Felipe Lara, Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Nicholas Vines, Roger Miller, and Oliver Knussen.

ASHLEIGH GORDON as performed throughout North America, Europe, and Hong Kong, ranging from chamber and orchestral music settings to off-Broadway and new music productions. 

Passionate about contemporary music, Ashleigh performs regularly with Boston’s Callithumpian Consort, NYC’s  ECCE Ensemble, Providence’s Ensemble Parallex and is founder and violist of Sound Energy. Her work in the late 20th and 21st century new music world has led her to work and record with Switzerland’s Ensemble Proton, Germany’s Ensemble Modern and Boston’s BMOP. Excited by collaborations, Ashleigh enjoys working with living composers and has worked with Beat Furrer, Thomas Adès, Heinz Holliger, Luca Francesconi, Chaya Czernowin, Steve Reich, Matthias Pintscher and Jeffrey Mumford among many others. Comfortable on an international stage, Ashleigh has performed in Jordan Hall and Symphony Hall (Boston), the DiMenna Center (NYC), SEAMUS Conference for electronic music (Virginia Tech), Konzerthaus Berlin and Oper Frankfurt  (Germany), Gare du Nord and Dampfzentrale Bern(Switzerland), Centre Pompidou (Paris), the Lee Hysan Concert Hall (Hong Kong) , and throughout Sofia, Bulgaria as part of the second annual multi-disciplinary 180 Degrees Festival. This season, she will return to Germany to perform with Ensemble Modern at the Darmstadt biannual festival for new music and to Switzerland for Ensemble InterContemporain’s Lucerne Festival.

Equally invested as an arts entrepreneur, Ashleigh is Artistic Director and violist of Castle of our Skins,  a Boston-based concert and educational series devoted to celebrating Black Artistry through music. With Castle of our Skins, she has helped create thought-provoking concert experiences that blend music and spoken word with history and culture at the Museum of African American History and Roxbury Community College. As a teaching artist, she has co-designed and led educational workshops for over 1,000 youths in the Greater Boston area primary schools and community centers. In recognition for her innovative advocacy of social and cultural awareness, she has given presentations at IDEAS UMass Boston and 180 Degrees Festival in Sofia, and has been featured in print and on air in the June 2015
International Musician Magazine, the Boston Globe and All Ears podcast.

Ashleigh attended the International Ensemble Modern Academy (IEMA) at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Frankfurt, a year-long program in Germany focused on the study and performance of contemporary music. As the sole IEMA violist, she studied and performed with members of Ensemble Modern with highlight appearances at IRCAM (Paris),Royaumont Abbeye (France), and the Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie Karlsruhe (Germany). Continuing her new music passion throughout her summers, Ashleigh has participated in numerous festivals in Germany, Austria, France, England and North America including the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme and 46 Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik in Darmstadt, Germany studying with the Arditti Quartet, Ensemble Modern and Le Nouvel Ensemble Moderne among others. Along with receiving a Master of Contemporary Music degree from IEMA, Ashleigh received degrees in viola performance from the New England Conservatory and Baldwin Wallace University Conservatory of Music. Her primary teachers include Carol Rodland and Louise Zeitlin with supplemental solo and chamber music studies with Stephen Drury, Eric Rosenblith and Mai Motobuchi of the Borromeo String Quartet. She is a 2015 St. Botolph Emerging Artist Award recipient and can be heard on chamber music and orchestral recordings under the Mode, Siemens, BMOP/Sound, Navona and Musiques-Suisse record labels.www.violashe.com

Cellist BENJAMIN SWARTZ hails from Richmond, VA, and has concertized extensively in the United States and Europe with a particular emphasis on historically-informed performance, electroacoustic collaboration, and the exposure of neglected repertoire.  Equally at home on cello, Baroque cello, and viola da gamba, he is gaining increased recognition for multi-instrumental virtuosity spanning the Ars Subtilior to the present day.

An honors graduate of the double-degree program at Johns Hopkins University (BA/MA, American history) and Peabody Conservatory (BMus, cello), Ben was a recipient of both the Peabody Career Grant and the Johns Hopkins Woodrow Wilson Undergraduate Research Fellowship.  As a Woodrow Wilson Fellow, he studied the historically-informed performance practice of the Bach Cello Suites with Anner Bijlsma and Pieter Wispelweij on period and modern instruments, respectively, in Amsterdam, Holland.  Ben later earned his postgraduate degree at the Royal Academy of Music in London (MMus with Merit in cello and historical performance) where he was awarded the coveted Nancy Nuttall Early Music Prize.  Ben recently returned from a year in Karlsruhe, Germany, as a Deutsche Akademische Austauschdienst Stipendiat (DAAD Scholar) where he researched music theory (proportional ratio systems of extended Just Intonation) and performed as a chamber musician throughout Europe.  

As an advocate for 21st-century music, Ben maintains close working relationships with many living composers, including Tom Williams, Noam Faingold, Daniel J. Miller, Alex Brusentsev, Marti Epstein, and Jeffrey Mumford.  Performances of electroacoustic repertoire include Tom Williams’ “Dart” (2013) at the International Festival for Artistic Innovation in Leeds, the boombox works of Jacob ter Veldhuis, and a recent performance of Steve Reich’s “Different Trains” in London.  A continuing project is to develop the repertoire and performance practice for Icelandic instrument-builder Halldór Úlfarsson’s “Halldorophone #5.”  In the acoustic realm, Ben’s London-based piano trio gave the British premieres of several works by Nikolai Kapustin, and he recently recorded the complete Cello Suites by Benjamin Britten to commemorate fifty years since the premiere of the First Suite in 1965.  An active studio artist, he has two dozen film & video game soundtrack credits to his name, and has recorded albums with the Ben Levin Group and Tredici Bacci.

He has performed as a member of the Aspen Philharmonic Orchestra, Atlantic Symphony, Baltimore Baroque Band, Bridgeport Symphony, Peabody Concert Orchestra, Royal Academy Symphony Orchestra, Royal Academy Viol Consort, Richmond Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Video Game Orchestra (Boston) in venues such as Boston’s Symphony Hall, the Duke’s Hall at the Royal Academy, the Kennedy Center, the Kimmel Center, and Ozawa Hall (Tanglewood). His festival credits include Aspen, Tanglewood, Kneisel Hall, London Master Classes, Aurora, and Manchester, and he has studied chamber music with members of the Juilliard, Brentano, Shanghai, Amaryllis, and Fauré quartets.  Ben’s major teachers have been Alison Wells and John Moran in Baltimore, Mats Lidström and Jonathan Manson in London, and Anner Bijlsma and Pieter Wispelweij in Amsterdam. For more information, please visit www.benswartz.net

Marti Epstein: Barcarolle (1999)

Recorded by Sound Energy (www.Sound-Energy.org) at Movimiento Gallery, Boston by Scott Quade

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Jeffrey Mumford: in soft echoes…a world awaits (2008)

Recorded by Sound Energy (www.Sound-Energy.org) at Movimiento Gallery, Boston by Scott Quade

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Giacinto Scelsi: Trio per Archi (1958), mov’ts 1 & 2

Recorded by Sound Energy (www.Sound-Energy.org) at Movimiento Gallery, Boston by Scott Quade

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