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Traced Upon Cinders

Nina C. Young's debut portrait album with Ensemble Échappé on innova Recordings


New music sinfonietta Ensemble Échappé (EÉ) and composer Nina C. Young come together to produce a portrait album – the first commercial recording of Young’s notated, instrumental music.  A long overdue endeavor, this project is the capstone of a two-year composer-in-residence position that Young held with the ensemble from 2015-17.  The musicians of Ensemble Échappé have grown intimately familiar with Young’s musical idiom and are uniquely equipped to record a definitive interpretation of her work, to be released on record label Innova Recordings in spring of 2020.  Tying together her work in acoustic and electronic idioms, Young is working with producer and engineer Ryan Streber to sculpt this project beyond mere documentation, but into a fully produced studio narrative concept album.  Traced Upon Cinders, is being recorded at Oktaven Audio.

The album includes works (full track listing below) that EÉ has recently performed.  The album opens with Marilyn Nonken performing the sensuous and wave-like arpeggios piano arpeggios of Nina’s solo piano scordatura piece, À bout de souffle (2016).  Nina’s dark and brooding piano quartet Spero Lucem (2015), written in the Finnish countryside in January, expands the instrumental color, whetting the listener’s ears as one transitions from darkness to light. Capricious playfulness ensues with her bassoon pocket concerto Fleeting Musings and Restless Pause (2015), commissioned by Brad Balliett. l’heure bleue (2013) returns to vestiges of darkness, as the dueting flute and viola journey together through the ephemeral emotions of the blue hour that are peppered with moments hinting at prog metal. Tensions rise in Tethered Within (2013) an octet based on strain of predicament and constriction. Following sonically colorful and acrobatic EarPlay, the album pauses for a moment of prayerful introspection with Meditation (2013) a duet for scordatura violin and cello.  The album closes with Nina’s tour-de-force Traced Upon Cinders (2014), a simultaneously muscular and nuanced piece that looks at time, childhood memories, and little rock-and-roll.

Track Listing:

  • À bout de souffle (2016) for piano scordatura [guest soloist: Marilyn Nonken]
  • Spero Lucem (2015) for piano quartet
  • Fleeting Musings and Restless Pause: A Bassoon Pocket Concerto (2015) for solo bassoon (Brad Balliett), flute, harp, viola, bass
  • L’heure bleue (2013) for flute and viola (with guest Margaret Lancaster, flute)
  • Tethered Within (2013) for eight musicians
  • Vestigia Flammae (2014) for fifteen musicians
  • Meditation (2013) for violin and cello, scordatura
  • Traced Upon Cinders (2014) for thirteen musicians


All works composed by Nina C. Young, performed by Ensemble Échappé (with guests).


4 recording sessions took place in January 2019 at Oktaven Audio, with the remaining 2 sessions scheduled for May.  Editing will be completed by the end of the summer, followed by mixing and mastering.  The album will be released with Innova Recordings in Spring 2020 (~April 20, 2020).

Project Media

À bout de souffle (2016) for piano scordatura
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Live recording of Nina C. Young’s piece preformed by Marilyn Nonken at the NY premiere at (le) Poisson Rouge – May 2016.
(Studio recording took place on January 16th, but is still being edited.)

Traced Upon Cinders (2013) for 13 musicians
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Live Recording of Ensemble Échappé performing Nina C. Young’s “Traced Upon Cinders”
Échappé Unleashed | Symphony Space
February 25, 2016
Jeffrey Milarsky conducting Ensemble Échappé.
(Studio recording took place on January 16th, but is still being edited.)

l’heure bleue (2013) for flute and viola
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Studio recording (06/2015) of Nina C. Young’s “l’heure bleue” – Margaret Lancaster, flute; Jocelin Pan, viola.
This is the edit to be used in the album, but it has not yet been mastered.

Start and End Dates



New York, New York

Project Created By

New York, New York
Mission Statement Based in New York City, Ensemble Échappé (EÉ) is a versatile group of soloists dedicated to presenting an eclectic spectrum of 20th and 21st century music, under the artistic direction of Ben Grow and Nina C. Young. Undefined by genre or style, EÉ is a sinfonietta that consists of 23 core members are distinguished…

In Collaboration With

New York, New York
Yonkers, New York
St. Paul, Minnesota
liner notes
Troy, New York
New York, New York


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