A/Tonal was founded by musicians who are deeply passionate about playing music of the past and present. The ensemble has made its mark commissioning and recording music by local composers in its founding city, Louisville. Its debut album, Starting Point, features the music of local composer Daniel Gilliam and the ensemble’s composer-in-residence, Erich Stem. It will soon add local composers Jeremy Beck and Frederick Speck to the list of recordings on an upcoming release of commissioned works by clarinetist Carrie RavenStem. Noted as an ensemble that is “breaking new ground” (Insider Louisville), A/Tonal has also performed music by 30 living composers from around the world, including notable composers Mason Bates, Michael Torke, Jennifer Higdon, Missy Mazzoli, and Grawenmeyer award-winning composers Joel Bons and Sebastian Currier.
Since its inception, A/Tonal has been featured as artists on the “Kentucky Center Presents” series, 21c Museum Hotel’s “Dress Up, Speak Up” exhibition, and the University of Louisville’s New Music Festival. In 2016, A/tonal recorded Erich Stem’s arrangement of NPR’s Morning Edition theme, which was subsequently aired on WYPR in Baltimore. The ensemble will continue its unique collaborative partnership with 21c’s latest exhibit, Labor & Materials as part of WUOL’s newly-formed New Lens series. A/Tonal will also be a newly-featured ensemble at the nationally-known Speed Art Museum during the 2019-20 season.
As part of its educational mission, A/Tonal has performed and held residencies with the University of Louisville School of Music, The Kentucky Center Governor’s School for the Arts, and Indiana University Southeast. A/tonal collaborated with students in the performances of their works at its most recent residency with the University of Louisville and will soon embark on more residencies with colleges across the State. In addition to its founding members, Carrie RavenStem (clarinet) and Jessica Dorman (piano), A/Tonal has collaborated with many local artists and regularly performs with Jon Silpayamanant (Cello), Chad Sloan (baritone), Tanner Leonardo (Percussion), Robert Simonds (violin), Paola Manrique-Land (violin), Kaelah McMonigle (flute), Sheri Davino (flute), and Charlotte Roth (flute).