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Reconstructed: The New Americana

New works for 8 women's voices by 4 emerging composers, joining American tradition and contemporary perspective.

The Latest Update

Reconstructed Video in review

Posted on December 23, 2014 by Lorelei Ensemble

Such a joy to look back on this wonderful project with so many brilliant musicians. Watch here for clips of rehearsals and performance from our November concert series in Boston – recorded and edited by Daniel Carman. Thank you to Josh, Josh, Scott, and Mary for writing amazing pieces that add significantly to the repertoire for women’s voices, Shaw Pong and Ashley for guesting so gracefully with us, and our audience/supporters for making this possible. 

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Review from Matthew Guerrieri in New Music Box

Posted on December 23, 2014 by Lorelei Ensemble

Great thanks to Matthew Guerrieri for this fantastically written review of our November 2 “Reconstructed” concert in Boston, written for New Music Box. Also, thrilled to share this review with our friends at Roomful of Teeth! 

Concerts and Recording completed!

Posted on November 17, 2014 by Lorelei Ensemble

We have just come off of this project with great success. In just a few short weeks, Lorelei performed two concerts (and delivered four world premieres!) at Boston University’s Marsh Chapel. Both concerts were well-received, with glowing reviews from The Boston Globe, The Boston Music Intelligencer, and Boston Classical.

Ten days later, we recorded the full repertoire at Church of the Redeemer in Chestnut hill with engineer Michael Culler. Editing of the recorded tracks will begin in December, with a projected release date in the spring of 2015. We can’t wait to share this adventurous yet inherently familiar rep with our vitual audience.

Nov 10-12 we had the opportunity to take this program on the road to Pittsburg State University in Kansas, performing for a fantastic audience at the Sharon Kay Dean Recital Hall as a part of PSU’s Solo and Chamber Series. A lovely trip, and a great chance to perform this program that sits so close to our hearts once again!

Many thanks to our awesome composers – Joshua Shank, Joshua Bornfield, Mary Koppel, and Scott Ordway – for writing us outstanding pieces that suit us so well, and showcase us in such different, yet equally poignant ways. 

Onward! Look out for a video of concert clips in the coming days.


Lorelei Ensemble presents Reconstructed: The New Americana, a vibrant project paying tribute to the relics of American music that continue to shape contemporary musical rhetoric and the American experience. Through concerts and a live recording, Reconstructed will challenge performers and audiences alike to reexamine the concept of Americana through a contemporary lens. This project boldly and poignantly juxtaposes the sacred and secular, traditional and contemporary, folk and art music, hinged on early American tunes and original compositions by colonial composer William Billings and his contemporaries (arr. by Adam Simon and Artistic Director Beth Willer). Through partnerships with cutting-edge artists and composers, the project capitalizes on collaboration to create an accessible and relevant musical experience for a diverse audience. Consistent with Lorelei’s mission to expand the repertoire for women’s voices, Reconstructed will include new works by four emerging composers, each presenting a distinct perspective on historical and/or contemporary subject matter, incorporating elements of existing American style, text, and/or genre. Each work will be scored for 8 women’s voices with optional flute and/or violin.

Joshua Bornfield‘s Reconstruction serves as the backbone of the program/album. A five-movement work structured as an American “Mass”, it draws on original materials from the Sacred Harp Song Book, the Battle Hymn of the Republic, and Appalachian folk tradition. Capturing the native stories and melodies of the Native American Ojibwe tribe, Mary Montgomery Koppel writes an original work, “Nokomis’ Fall”, depicting the female perspective of Hiawatha and the mythical birth her mother Nokomis. Joshua Shank’s  “Saro”explores the concept of immigration through the text and melody, adapting and arranging “Pretty Saro”, the English folk ballad reclaimed and preserved by Appalachian oral traditions since the early 20th century. Scott Ordway‘s “North Woods” is a three-movement work on an adapted text by Tacitus (98 A.D.), celebrating and inspired by the northern extremities in this world – for Ordway, the north woods of Maine, and for Tacitus, the northern limits of England and Germany.

Lorelei is thrilled to welcome two exceptional Boston-based instrumentalists into the ensemble for the project. Flutist Orlando Cela lends his intrepid musical spirit and extensive experience in classical, jazz and contemporary genres. Violinist and collaborative artist Shaw Pong Liu, lends expertise in classical and folk genres as a performer, in addition to her work as a composer for Lorelei for a project in May 2015. Orlando and Shaw Pong each add a new dimension to Lorelei’s typically all-vocal timbre and styling.

Performers and composers will begin collaborative rehearsals for Reconstructed on October 25, 2014 in Boston. The program will be presented live as the opening series in Lorelei Ensemble’s 2014-15 season with concerts on October 31 and Nov 2. A series of recording sessions will follow (November 10-12), engineered by Michael Culler (Boston University). A second live performance is planned at Pittsburg State University on November 15, as a part of a residency at the School of Music. Commercial release of the album is slated for the Spring of 2015.

Project Media

Farewell (Long Time Travelin’) by Joshua Bornfield
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Completed movement from Reconstruction
Commissioned and premiered by Lorelei Ensemble, May 2012

Know what is above you by Steve Reich

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Features: Lorelei Ensemble

Friday, February 14, 2013, Macalester College, St. Paul, MN

Start and End Dates



Boston, Massachusetts

3 updates
Last update on December 23, 2014

Project Created By

Boston, Massachusetts
MISSION. Lorelei Ensemble creates and champions bold artistic work that points toward a new normal for women in music. We are deeply committed to crafting musical experiences that are transformative —for us, our audience, and our art form. Through commissioning,performance, and education, Lorelei is carving out a boundless new space for women to be among, and…

In Collaboration With

Arlington, Massachusetts
Boston, Massachusetts
Austin, Texas
Baltimore, Maryland
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


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