About us

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 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 (New London, CT), Amherst Glebe Arts Response (AGAR – Amherst, VA), Arizona Early Music Society (AZ), Cambridge Society for Early Music (Cambridge, MA), Capitol Early Music Series (Washington, DC), Five Boroughs Music Series (NYC) Gotham Early Music Scene (NYC), Johns Hopkins Program for Arts, Humanities & Health, Music Before 1800 series (NYC), Williams College Museum of Art, and European Early Music Network virtual Early Music Day festival.


This season, Alkemie has presented concerts featuring new arrangements of works by Hildegard von Bingen for electro/acoustic instruments; 15th-century French works exploring the feminine and non-binary perspective; and a reprise of their “Verdant Medicine: Hildegard’s Resonant Apothecary” program with pre-eminent vielle player and composer Shira Kammen.


Next season, Alkemie looks forward to performing their “Like a Woman” program on the San Francisco Early Music Series; as well as debuting new programs featuring a collaboration with the Grammy-nominated duo Chapter House; a CD-release concert for their newly-recorded indie-troubadour album “Fine Companion”; and another collaboration with guest artist Shira Kammen
that focuses on the works of Guillaume du Fay.


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 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), Pinewoods (MA), and through the Early Music Access Project (VA).

Staff & Ensemble
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Tracy Cowart
Co-Founder; Co-Managing Director
Voice, Harps, Percussion, Dance
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David McCormick
Co-Founder
Vielle
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Sian Ricketts
Co-Founder; Co-Managing Director
Voice, Recorders, Douçaines
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Elena Mullins
Co-Founder
Voice, Harp, Percussion,Dance
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Ben Matus
Core Member
Voice, Recorders, Dulcians, Hümmelchen
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Niccolo Seligmann
Co-Founder
Vielles, Scheitholt, Gittern, Psaltery, Percussion
Collaborators
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Jim Hopkins
Harmonium, Organetto, Synths
Caitlin Hedge
Voice, Vielle
Elliot Cole
Composer, Harmonium, Guitar
Harrison Hintzsche
Baritone, Percussion
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Karl Ronneburg
Percussion
Shira Kammen
Composer, Vielle
Charles Mueller
Composer, Electric guitars, Synths
Audio/Visual Engineer
Alexander Ronneburg
Engraver
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Peter & Sarah Walker
Chapter House
Storyteller, Voice, Pipes, Fiddle
Spiff Wiegand
Guitars, Jaw harp, Percussion
Ellie Sutherland
Voice, Violin, Videographer
Corey Shotwell
Tenor, Admin-at-large
Board of Directors

Joey Quigley

President

Carrie Henneman Shaw

Vice President

John Carey

Treasurer
 

Jim Hopkins

Secretary

Jessamyn Conrad

Advisory Board

Andrew Albin, PhD

Associate Professor of English and Medieval Studies · Fordham University

Jesse Blumberg

Founder, 5BMF

Kristen Gelinas

Friends of the High Line

 

Loren Ludwig, PhD

Johns Hopkins Program in Arts, Humanities & Health

    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.