Organization Member

Contact Information

(612) 741-2025, (612) 741-2025

sian@alkemie.org

Primary Contact

Type of Organization

Performing Ensemble

Biography

Alkemie exists to explore and share the life-affirming and alternative perspectives to be experienced in the sounds of centuries past. Comprised of singer-performers playing over a dozen instruments (including vieles, harps, psaltery, recorders, douçaines, and percussion), the ensemble has a particular interest in the porous boundaries between the court and folk music of the medieval period. Grounded in historical performance practice and fed by a love of experimentation, Alkemie’s performance on the Indianapolis Early Music Festival in June 2018 was lauded as “enchanting” and “indicating [the] future health” of the field of early music.”

Founded in 2013 and incorporated as non-profit since 2018, Alkemie is based in Brooklyn and also performs nationally. In 2018-2019, Alkemie inaugurated an ongoing partnership with the Medieval Studies program at Fordham University, and made their debut on the Music Before 1800 concert series in New York. Alkemie has also appeared at the Amherst Early Music Festival (New London, CT), Amherst Glebe Arts Response (AGAR – Amherst, VA), Beacon Hill Concert Series (Stroudsburg, PA), the Capitol Early Music Series (Washington, DC), Gotham Early Music Scene (GEMS – New York City), and the War Memorial Arts Initiative (Baltimore). In 2019-2020, Alkemie and Elliot Cole premiered a new setting of the fourteenth-century Morte Arthur on the Five Boroughs Music Series (New York). was also featured on the Cambridge Society for Early Music series (MA). Alkemie presented “Sweet Friendship” (a new program of late 15th-century French and Italian songs, dances, and poetry, including period dancing) at Fordham University in January 2020. In 2020-2021 Alkemie looks forward to premiering new programs featuring medieval German Jewish repertoire and the music of Hildegard von Bingen, as well as to the launch of the NYC-based initiative "Alkemie & Friends." 

Alkemie’s members are also committed to the lively teaching of medieval and Renaissance performance practice and history. Alkemie was in residence at Fairmont State University in 2016-2017, and has presented workshops and educational outreach programs at the Capitol Early Music Series (VA), Ramaz High School (NY), and at Fordham University (NY). Alkemie members teach collegiate and amateur students at Case Western Reserve University (OH), Fordham University (NY), the Strathmore Arts Center (MD), Amherst Early Music Festival (CT), the Baroque Performance Institute at Oberlin (OH) and through the Early Music Access Project (VA). 

Alkemie's 2020-2021 concerts are as follows. For more information, please visit www.alkemie.org.

-Alkemie & Friends – Blood, Booze, and Betrayal: Music for an Extremely Broken Consort – August 29, 2020 – livestream

Mirroring the Other: Reflecting Jewish Experience in Medieval Germany – December 6, 2020  – broadcast and live Q&A – co-presented by Alkemie & Amherst Glebe Arts Reponse

Alkemie & FriendsFlorilegium: Plant Strains from Across the English Channel – January 23, 2021 – broadcast and live Q&A

Sweet Friendship: Courtly Songs & Dances from 15th-century France & Italy – February 14, 2021 – Arizona Early Music Society – broadcast and live Q&A

Sweet Friendship: Courtly Songs & Dances from 15th-century France & Italy – March 12, 2021 (concert) and March 13, 2021 (workshop) – Capitol Early Music – broadcast and live Q&A and educational workshop

Verdant Medicine: Hildegard’s Resonant Apothecary – May, 2021 (tbc) – livestream co-presented by Alkemie, Johns Hopkins University, and Music at Redeemer

Alkemie & Friends – June 2021 (tbc) – broadcast and live Q & A

Events

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