Blind Glass: NEC Wildcard Honors Ensemble
Each year, an audition committee of professional musicians and faculty selects a few exceptional student ensembles to represent the NEC Honors Ensemble Program. The ensembles work with a faculty coach and are given an opportunity to perform a spring recital in NEC's Jordan Hall.
Blind Glass, this year's Wildcard Honors ensemble, is coached by Frank Carlberg and Dominique Eade.
Their program is entitled "All This and Not Ordinary."
This is an in-person event with a public live stream.
- Zion Dyson, voice
- Aaron Kaufman-Levine, saxophone
- Caroline Jesalva, voice, violin
- Bram Fisher and Julian Seney, viola
- Solomon Caldwell, bass
- Noah Mark, drums
- Frank Carlberg, coach
- Dominique Eade, coach
ALL THIS AND NOT ORDINARY
A Carafe that is a Blind Glass
Sound Museum (part one)
Dream Cycle (Dance a clean dream, and an Extravagant Turn Up)
Red Spiral Staircase
Annette Peacock (arr. Zion Dyson)
Dreams if time weren’t
The World is Round…is Round….is Round
Zion Dyson (Poem by Zion Dyson)
To Hold the World
Bram Fisher from Bram’s Mom’s Songs
The Difference is Spreading
Naomi in the Living Room
The Velvet Underground (arr. Zion Dyson)
I’m Sticking with You
A Burst of Mixed Music
Orangutans are Orange Firestarters in the Night
I Don't Feel the Same
To Choose it is Ended
Sound Museum (part two)
About Blind Glass
Blind Glass explores an eclectic musical landscape, combining spoken word, improvisation and performance art within a multi-dimensional aesthetic world. Our goal is to re-imagine traditional performance in the following ways:
*Improvisation – As improvisation begins in the language with which one is most familiar, we seek to explore the improvisational elements within the musical languages of our ensemble musicians.
*Sensations – According to Kandinsky, “music is the ultimate teacher;” we seek to produce performances that evoke both visual and theatrical elements. We are fascinated by how sound activates and interacts with the visual world.
*Poetry – We aim to explore how language and its natural rhythms influence musical sound. We are inspired by the poetic forms that come out of the Dadaist movement, and seek to move past the constraints of linguistic syntax.
*Storytelling – Storytelling is the center of our vision–both from a musical and from an aesthetic standpoint. Our repertoire captures and intertwines a wide array of themes, such as the awe of the natural world and the whimsy of childhood. We vacillate between spoken word, sung text, wordless melodies, and traditional instrumental forms – juxtaposing order and chaos. We hope our audiences will come away from our performances reconsidering what music, language, and art can mean.
The name “Blind Glass” comes from the book Tender Buttons by Gertrude Stein.
Zion Dyson is a senior at New England Conservatory where she studies Jazz Vocal Performance with a Concentration in Music Education. In 2019, she performed at the Monterey Jazz Festival both as a soloist and as the vocalist of the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra. Next year, she plans to attend the Harvard Graduate School of Education where she will explore research-informed approaches to music education. She believes music has the power to tell engaging, emotive stories, a concept which is paramount to the mission of Blind Glass.
Aaron Kaufman-Levine is a fourth-year undergraduate Jazz Saxophone major. Aaron has performed with the CYSO Jazz Orchestra and the nationally acclaimed 2018 Jazz Band of America and has won multiple awards for his playing including the Woody Herman Jazz Award, Outstanding Wind runner-up at Birch Creek, Outstanding Soloist honors at the Purdue Jazz Competition, 2nd prize in the Luminarts cultural foundation improvisation competition, and the Kiewit Wang Mentorship Award from the Jazz Institute of Chicago. Aaron has performed at the 2020 Chicago Jazz Fest, Constellation, Andy’s Jazz Club, Chicago Jazz Showcase, Distler Hall (Tufts), Killian Hall (MIT), Jordan Hall (NEC) and more. He is currently a presidential scholar at New England Conservatory.
Caroline Jesalva is a fourth-year undergraduate at New England Conservatory studying violin performance with Nicholas Kitchen. Caroline was the 2018 Rising Young Artist of the Chapel Hill Philharmonia Young Artist Competition, a two- time winner of the Philharmonic Association Concerto Competition, and a finalist in the Ronald Sachs International Music Competition. She is an alumna of the Brevard Music Festival, the Meadowmount School of Music, and has held fellowships with YellowBarn Young Artists, Bang-on-A Can, and Black House Collective. She founded Blind Glass ensemble in 2020 with the intention to create a collaborative space for musicians of all shapes and kinds. She loves making music and exploring the possibilities of sound with her amazing friends in Blind Glass.
Bram Fisher is an undergraduate student at New England Conservatory, studying viola with Martha Strongin Katz and Melissa Reardon, as well as composition with Stratis Minakakis. Previously, Bram studied at Eastman School of Music, where he received the Bernard Rogers Memorial Prize in composition. Bram plays a viola made by Douglas Cox, on generous loan from the Virtu Foundation. He is inspired by music which is surprising and multi-faceted and has loved collaborating and exchanging ideas with the unordinary friends who make up Blind Glass.
Violist Julian Seney has performed in venues such as Walt Disney Concert Hall, Carnegie Hall, the Beijing Concert Hall, and the Seoul Arts Center, under conductors Jeffrey Kahane, Michael Tilson Thomas, and Gustavo Dudamel, among many others. He is an alumnus of the Perlman Music Program, Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival, and Carnegie Hall’s National Youth Orchestra. He plays regularly with Callithumpian Consort and freelances as an improviser. He graduated from New England Conservatory, studying with Kim Kashkashian, and his previous mentors were Cindy Wu and Paul Coletti.
Solomon Caldwell is a Boston-based artist and musician who strives to live at the intersection of improvisation and composition creating something wholly new! As an avid chamber musician, Solomon has performed in places such as Alaska and Germany. As a bassist, Solomon’s musical roots stem from an upbringing in classical music, having played in a variety of ensemble settings including: opera, ballet, film scoring and experimental. Solomon also has experience in other genres such as: jazz, rock,folk, and latin, all of which inform his musical language today as an improviser. Solomon is currently finishing his master’s degree at New England Conservatory studying Contemporary Improvisation with Joe Morris and Carla Kihlstedt. Complimenting his performing work, Solomon also works as a teaching artist in the Boston area, focusing on cello and bass.
Noah Mark is a second-year Jazz drums major who, when not playing with Blind Glass, is making computer music, writing poetry, or playing the drums in various configurations and modes in Boston, Seattle, or elsewhere.