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 vielles, harps, psaltery, gittern, 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, Alkemie is based in Brooklyn and also performs nationally; since 2018 they have maintained a partnership with the Medieval Studies program at Fordham University. In addition to growing a series in NYC, Alkemie has been presented by the Amherst Early Music Festival, Arizona Early Music Society, Cambridge Society for Early Music, Capitol Early Music Series, Five Boroughs Music Festival, Johns Hopkins Program in Arts, Humanities & Health, Music Before 1800, and the European Early Music Network virtual Early Music Day festival. Alkemie also curated, recorded, and composed the music for the videogame Pentiment.
This season, Alkemie looks forward to debuting new programs featuring a collaboration with the Grammy-nominated duo Chapter House featuring 12th-century repertoire and the fables of Marie de France ("Call Me Marie"); an indie-rock troubadour collaboration with Charles Mueller and his band table tennis (“Fine Companion”); and a collaboration with medieval luminary and composer Shira Kammen that focuses on the works of Guillaume DuFay ("Awesome is this Place").
Alkemie’s members are also committed to the lively teaching of medieval and Renaissance performance practice and history. Alkemie has been in residence at Fairmont State University and has created workshops and educational outreach programs for the Capitol Early Music Series, Ramaz High School (NYC), and at Fordham University. Alkemie members teach collegiate and amateur students at Case Western Reserve University, Fordham University, the Strathmore Arts Center, Amherst Early Music Festival, Pinewoods, the Baroque Performance Institute at Oberlin, and through the Early Music Access Project.
Staff & Ensemble
Board of Directors
Carrie Henneman Shaw
Andrew Albin, PhD
Associate Professor of English and Medieval Studies, Fordham University
Friends of the High Line
Loren Ludwig, PhD
Johns Hopkins Program in Arts, Humanities & Health
Co-Artistic Director, Variant 6; General Manager, TENET
Alkemie’s primary operations occur on the occupied land of the Lenape people, Lenapehoking. We are grateful to be on this land, and recognize the inherent violence of our occupation of it, as well as respect the imperative for environmental stewardship. For more information, please visit the Lenape Center.