May 16, 2016 / 7pm
American Irish Historical Society / 991 Fifth Avenue NYC

What would a house sound like if it could sing?

On Monday, May 16, 2016 at 7pm, (Grammy-nominated) Metropolis Ensemble will invite an intimate number of guests to enjoy Brownstone, an experiential treasure-hunt of sound, taste, and color inside a five-story Beaux Arts limestone at 991 Fifth Avenue. Steps from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, visitors will be transported into a jewel-lit, multi-sensory exploration of interlinked “sound bites” co-curated by Brazilian-born composer and electronic artist Ricardo Romaneiro, and food prodigy Jonah Reider of Columbia University dorm pop-up Pith. The event is part of Metropolis’ expansive Resident Artist Series, presented in collaboration with Ricardo Romaneiro.

Throughout the night, rooms will reveal performers in an original, site-responsive set of electro-acoustic compositions. This enticing experiential path will link “soundbites” with dishes staged to evoke the acoustic texture of each room–from foam soup of purple cauli ower, to oyster in champagne gelée. Compositions then unfurl into the night, starting with Brownstone by Jakub Ciupinski. Memory Palace by Chris Cerrone will gather listeners on sprawling pillows under chandeliers for crickets and kick drums. The night will culminate in Romaniero’s The Coarse Air, which asks listeners to embed themselves throughout a chamber orchestra set up in a parlor overlooking Fifth Avenue. Featured musicians include percussionist Ian Rosenbaum and the “luminous,” “searingly painful and revealing” soprano Ariadne Greif (New York Times). A roving after-party with DJ set and additional snacks will follow.

“Brownstone is a culmination of a series of evolving collaborations that play with intimacy, space, and permission,” said conductor Andrew Cyr, Artistic Director Metropolis Ensemble. “Metropolis Ensemble is thrilled to expand the imagination of classical music to include innovative food design and 360-degree composition.”

All proceeds from the event will benefit Metropolis Ensemble, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that helps build the careers of young and emerging artists by producing, commissioning, and disseminating new works. 

Brownstone II

The Performers

Ian Rosenbaum, Solo Percussion
Ariadne Greif, Solo Soprano
Kristin Lee, Violin, Concertmaster
Vasko Dukovski, Clarinet
NoisoN, Live Electronics
Leo Leite, Engineer
Jonah Reider, Chef
Andrew Cyr, Conductor

The Composers

Chris Cerrone, Composer
Jakub Ciupinski, Composer
Ricardo Romaneiro, Composer

Metropolis Artists Appearing

Karen Kim, Violin
Siwoo Kim, Violin
Sean Lee, Violin
Michael Katz, Cello
Andrea Casarrubios, Cello
Jessica Han, Flute
James Riggs, Oboe
Brad Balliett, Bassoon
Jacqui Kerrod, Harp
Melanie Genin, Harp
Britton Matthews, Percussion
Sean Statser, Percussion

On the Program

Prelude: Sound Bites

Pairings of small plates, cocktails, and sound installations by composer Ricardo Romaneiro and chef Jonah Reider. Metropolis Ensemble commission

Jakub Ciupinski: Brownstone (2010)

Musicians will be scattered in solo and chamber music groupings throughout three floors while audience members freely wander and explore. An electronic soundscape will fill halls and stairways, creating a rhythmic and colorful sonic tapestry that blends with the various instruments differently depending on your location. For 10 musicians and electronics. Metropolis Ensemble commission

Chris Cerrone: Memory Palace (2012)
with Ian Rosenbaum, solo percussion

The title refers to an ancient technique of memorization that helped orators remember very long speeches by placing mental signposts in an imaginary location and 'walking' through it. Here, composer Chris Cerrone tasks the solo percussionist to construct each room's 'instrument' based a simple set of instructions. Electronic sounds are triggered and sampled live.

Ricardo Romaneiro: Coarse Air (2015)
with soprano Ariadne Greif

A dramatic work (commissioned by Metropolis Ensemble) for soprano Ariadne Greif backed by chamber ensemble, solo percussion, and electronics coupled with interactive visuals and projection mapping. The work is based on texts from poet Chris Cahill and builds on the instrumentations found in Brownstone and Memory Palace. Metropolis Ensemble commission


A roving after-party with a live electronic improvisation set with NoisoN (live electronic) and Vasko Dukovski (clarinets).

Resident Artist Series

Metropolis Ensemble’s Resident Artist Series offers a platform for Metropolis Ensemble core players and composers to co-curate concerts and commission new works, offering their young artists unique opportunities to explore their own voice and collaborate with those who inspire them. To date, 36 new works and pieces have been commissioned and premiered by artists including cellist Ashley Bathgate, harpist Bridget Kibbey, pianist David Kaplan, violinist Kristin Lee, bassoonist Brad Balliett, and composer/electronic artist Ricardo Romaneiro. Future projects are in development with violinist Rachel Lee Priday, pianist/composer Matthew Aucoin, percussionist Ian Rosenbaum, pianist Conor Hanick, among others.

The Venue

The American Irish Historical Society is a historical landmark located on Fifth Avenue on the Upper East Side, across from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, serves as a focal point for concerts, lectures, art exhibits, theatrical productions & special events. The Society hosts a wide array of events and artists who have included Patti Smith, Bono, Elvis Costello, as well as an ongoing chamber music concert series with The Juilliard School. The venue features a turn of the century historically preserved interior that offers an intimate experience and setting.