JACOB COOPER (Conceiver, Composer)
Jacob Cooper’s diverse compositions have earned him a Morton Gould Award from ASCAP, a Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a grant from the American Music Center’s Composer Assistance Program. He has held fellowships and residencies at the Bang on a Can Summer Institute, the Banff Centre for the Arts, and twice at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, as a composer and most recently as a video artist. His music has been performed by several ensembles across the continent, including the JACK Quartet, the NOW Ensemble, and the Minnesota Orchestra, and his works have appeared at the Wordless Music concert series at the Miller Theater in New York and at the Harold Golen Gallery in Miami.
MELLISSA HUGHES (Britney)
Most recently hailed as "A versatile soprano who excels in both standard classical repertory and modern works" (New York Times) of her leading role in Matt Mark's electronic opera The Little Death: Vol. 1, Soprano Mellissa Hughes enjoys a busy career in both contemporary and early music. Performances this season include concerts in Moscow with the Mark Morris Dance Group, soloist with the Brooklyn Philharmonic, a recording with Cantelope, Alarm Will Sound, and Louis Andriessen's De Staat under the baton of John Adams. A dedicated interpreter of living composers, Miss Hughes has worked closely with Julia Wolfe, Michael Gordon, David Lang, Steve Reich, Neil Rolnick, and has premiered works by Caleb Burhans, Missy Mazzoli, Ted Hearne, Jacob Cooper, Matt Marks, and Frederick Rzewski. Recently, Mellissa was invited to be an Artist in the Carnegie Hall Dawn Upshaw and Donnacha Dennehy Professional Training Workshop. In the classical concert hall she has performed Mozart's Vespers and Requiem under the baton of Sir Neville Marinner, Handel's Dixit Dominus with Sir David Willcocks, and the role of Dido under the direction of Andrew Lawrence King. Future engagements include Reich's Music for 18, Proverbs, and Tehillum with SIGNAL, Shelter a video opera by Bang on a Can composers Michael Gordon, Julia Wolfe, and Pulitzer Prize winner David Lang. Miss Hughes has recorded for Nonesuch, Cantelope, and Naxos Records, and performs regularly with ensembles Alarm Will Sound, The Wordless Music Series, Clarion Music Society, Newspeak, Vox Vocal Ensemble, Signal, The Long Count, and Trinity Wall Street. Ms. Hughes holds degrees from Westminster Choir College, Princeton; and Yale University.
TED HEARNE (Justin)
Ted Hearne (born 1982) is a composer, conductor and performer of new music. His work Katrina Ballads, recently released by New Amsterdam Records (with distribution through Naxos of America), is the recipient of the 2009 Gaudeamus Prize in composition and was recently praised by The New York Times as having "a tough edge and wildness of spirit" and "unbridled energy." Hearne’s music has been performed by the Minnesota Orchestra, the Calder Quartet, The Knights, Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble and the New York City Opera and has been heard at the MATA Festival, the Bang on a Can Marathon, Carlsbad Music Festival, and Le Poisson Rouge’s Sleeping Giant. Hearne has received commissions from Chicago's Third Coast Percussion, San Francisco's Volti Choral Arts Laboratory, Charleston's New Music Collective, Newspeak, the Huntsville Symphony, and the Albany Symphony. He has recently completed collaborations with composer J.G. Thirlwell and renowned filmmaker Bill Morrison. Upcoming commissions include works for the Dither Electric Guitar Quartet and the Toomai String Quintet and a work for the Yale Glee Club and Yale Symphony Orchestra to be premiered at Carnegie Hall in April 2011.
JAMES MOORE (Guitar)
James Moore is a versatile guitarist with many musical personalities, and a founding member of the electric guitar quartet Dither. Performing on a wide variety of acoustic and electric guitars, banjos, and home-made instruments, James combines the sensitivity and lyricism from his classical training with a healthy dose of improvisation, theatrics, and experimentation. James has performed at concert halls and experimental venues across the US and abroad, including shows with The Wulf (LA), the Bang on a Can Marathon (NY), the Fringe Theater (Hong Kong), the Performa Festival (NY), the Kitchen (NY), the Barbican Center (England), Northwestern University (IL) and the Whitney Museum (NY). In additional to his work with Dither, he is a member of the groups Oliphant, Passenger Fish, and Ensemble de Sade, and has performed with Bang on a Can, Alarm Will Sound, Clogs, and members of The National. His work with theater includes several productions with Object Collection (the resident ensemble at the Incubator Arts Project) and the upcoming production of Richard Maxwell's Neutral Hero. James grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and received degrees in guitar performance from UC-Santa Cruz and the Yale School of Music. He currently resides in Brooklyn, NY.
JOE MAGAR (Bass)
Hailing from the greater Detroit area, Joe Magar began playing the double bass in the fourth grade through his school string program and continued his studies at the University of Michigan with Stuart Sankey and Diana Gannett, and then at Yale with Donald Palma. Performing on both the double bass and the electric bass, Joe plays in a wide variety of styles, including classical, jazz, rock, folk, and is always working to try new things. As an orchestral musician, Joe performs with various orchestras throughout Connecticut. Joe's chamber music collaborations with various members of the New Haven, and Yale communities, more recently include performances at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, and Bard Colleges Summerscape festival. Joe currently lives in New Haven, CT and, when he is not playing bass, he can be found lurking in the basement of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, working with rare books old and new.
RON WILTROUT (Drumset)
Ron Wiltrout is a percussionist based in Charleston, South Carolina. He performs regularly in the regional Southeast with ensembles ranging from jazz to free improvisation to avant-garde classical music to professional stage shows and recording sessions. An avid performer of new music, he has premiered pieces by Ted Hearne, Ray Evanoff, Sam Sfirri, Mustafa Walker, Sean Friar, Philip White, and Nathan Koci in the recent past. Mr. Wiltrout is devoted to exploring the many sonic possibilities of percussion, with particular emphasis on the drum set as a multi-faceted, highly expressive instrument. He co-leads a few jazz groups, is currently co-artistic director for the New Music Collective, and has performed and/or recorded with Lewis/Gregory/Wiltrout, The Rudy Waltz, the Garage Cuban Band, Lee Barbour, Tommy Gill, Bert Ligon, Brad Moranz, Havanason, Duda Lucena, Kopaja, Your Bad Self, Katrina Ballads, Brazil, and the Opposite of a Train.
JAIME CASTEÑEDA (Director)
Jaime Castañeda’s director credits include Welcome to Arroyos (Summer Play Festival), One for the Road (DirectorFest) Crave, Closer, Momentahn, Blue/Orange, Nocturne, Sonnets for an Old Century (FireStarter Productions), Red Light Winter (Perseverance Theatre), Attack of the Asians (Kennedy Center-workshop), This is How it Goes, Credeaux Canvas, Just Because You’re Paranoid Doesn’t Mean They’re Not Out to Get You (Amphibian Stage Productions), and Lincolnesque, Chesapeake, A Very Merry Unauthorized Children’s Scientology Pageant (Circle Theatre). He has assistant directed Anon, Almost an Evening, Parlour Song (Atlantic Theater Company), Pig Farm (Old Globe Theatre), Going Gone (Cincinnati Playhouse), Two Unrelated Plays (Center Theatre Group), and, most recently, Speed the Plow on Broadway (Barrymore Theatre). He has received various Dallas/Fort Worth Critics Forum awards, a Live Theatre League award, a Drama League fall fellowship, and a 2008 Princess Grace Award. Jaime received his MFA in directing at the University of Texas at Austin and is the Producing Artistic Director and Founder of FireStarter Productions.
YUKA IGARASHI (Librettist)
Yuka Igarashi earned a B.A. in English literature from Yale University and has worked as a researcher, a copy writer and a book reviewer. She is currently pursuing an M.F.A. in fiction at Columbia University, where she also teaches undergraduate writing. Her work has been published in Quick Fiction and Gigantic magazine. She lives further out than you do in Brooklyn, NY.
Switch Pictures (Video Design)
SWITCH Pictures is an award-winning film production company based in NYC. SWITCH has produced the independent feature films H for Hunger (starring Henry Rollins) and The Sinking of Santa Isabel, as well as the award-winning shorts Two Tones (a YouTube homepage selection) and I Could Be With Anyone (Top 40 AOL Music Video charts). Festival credits include SXSW, Cinequest, and Moondance (Audience Award). SWITCH is active in the online video space and has produced several dozen comedic shorts with over 22 million total views on YouTube.
J.J. LIND (Director Emeritus)
J.J. Lind is a Brooklyn-based director, performer and artist. He is the Artistic Director of Immediate Medium (IM), a non-profit performance collaborative founded in 2000 and dedicated to engendering a community of artists through the creation of collaborative works of art utilizing live performance and multimedia. With IM, he has directed and performed works in venues as diverse as the Knitting Factory, P.S. 122, the Tank, the Flea, chashama, HERE, Nest and Clemente Soto Velez. Outside of IM, he has directed at the Flea Theater and the Tank in New York City, the Yale Repertory Theater in New Haven, CT and the Secret Theater in New London, CT. He has also collaborated with Joseph Maida on a video/photo installation entitled Celebrity, which was shown at Riva Gallery in Staged/Unstaged (cur. Lauri Firstenberg, Artists Space). He has been a member of the Bat Theater Company and has assistant directed for Jim Simpson at the Flea and Robert O'Hara at Partial Comfort Productions. J.J. is a graduate of Yale University with a degree in Theater Studies and is originally from Vinita, Oklahoma.