Berkeley New Music Project (BNMP) featuring the Eco Ensemble

Berkeley New Music Project (BNMP) featuring the Eco Ensemble

UC Berkeley's acclaimed ensemble in residence

Background image: The UC Berkeley Eco Ensemble

Description and History

The Berkeley New Music Project is a group dedicated to the performance of new music by the graduate student composers in UC Berkeley’s Department of Music. Supported by funding from the Department of Music, Townsend Center and the Graduate Assembly, BNMP presents at least two concerts per year as part of the Hertz Hall evening concert series featuring new compositions by graduate student and faculty composers.

Led by music director and conductor David Milnes, BNMP concerts feature the Eco Ensemble, a new ensemble-in-residence sponsored by Cal Performances; the Department of Music; and the Center for New Music and Audio Technologies (CNMAT). As UC Berkeley’s principal performance outlet for performers and composers of new music, the Eco Ensemble commissions and premieres works from Berkeley’s composers. Members of the ensemble work extensively with undergraduate and graduate musicians in new music studies and are developing a comprehensive program for new music performance.

A member of the eco ensemble performsThis premiere group is comprised of prominent Bay Area musicians who are passionate about exploring and performing contemporary works. Its mission is to enrich and serve the Bay Area’s cultural life through the creation, performance, and dissemination of new music by composers from Berkeley and around the world.

The Eco Ensemble’s unique collaboration with CNMAT inspires works that are informed by contemporary explorations into the intersection between science and music. The ensemble seeks to expand the possibilities for new music by working with CNMAT faculty, students and researchers to develop new instruments, new applications of technologies for composition and performance, and new modes of expression. With a focus on education for both experienced audiences and novices, the Eco Ensemble’s public outreach efforts include lectures, demonstrations, workshops, and composer residencies.

What does "eco" stand for?

Like other art forms, new music doesn’t exist in a vacuum — it is part of the fabric that makes up our cultural landscape. The San Francisco Bay Area generally (and Berkeley in particular) plays an essential role in the Eco Ensemble’s formation: our musicians, composers, media and audience are all part of the region’s vibrant cultural scene. We are both influenced by — and exert influence on — the artistic ecology within which we exist. The name Eco acknowledges this ecology and locates our work as part of the Bay Area’s abundant cultural community.

The Eco Ensemble