Mnemosyne Quartet is: Michael Miller, Russell Thorpe, Eli Hougland and Ted King-Smith.
Michael Miller is a composer and performer who currently resides in the Kansas City area. As a bass clarinetist, he has performed with ensembles and as a soloist throughout The United States, Europe, and South America. As a result, his compositions are strongly informed by a performative perspective. Michael strongly believes in the aesthetic of the composer-performer; a synergy equally evident in jazz, rock, Persian dastgāh, contemporary concert, death metal, hip hop, and every fusional suggenre in between. One of his ensembles, The Socially Awkward Composers, was featured on Barry Nolan’s Night Beat, and was proclaimed “the wave of music to come” by The Big Screen at Boston’s Fenway Park.
Elizabeth (Eli) Hougland is a composer, violinist and violist currently residing in Kansas City, Missouri. She is also an avid collaborator, and has participated in several ArtSounds. Eli has had works recorded by Quadrivium and NewEar. As a performer, she has played in groups such as Musica Nova, RIP ensemble, and Black House Collective.
Russell Thorpe has lived and worked in KC since 2005. He has been involved with a number of bands and project throughout his years here, most notably the Black House Collective and his band, the Phonologotronic. He writes and produces music for a wide variety of ensembles and instrumentations, from small combo to full orchestra. Among his most recent performances are the premiere of his chamber opera Dark Price, written as part of Black House Collective’s Rites of Being project, and a night of all original music as part of the Black Lab New Music Festival. He plays saxophones and bass clarinet. Look for his newest large scale work as part of Mnemosyne Duo coming in the spring of 2014.
Ted King-Smith’s music is a hybrid of vernacular and contemporary music, exploring the vast sonic space between an energetic drive and a surreal stillness. Hailing from the Hudson Valley of New York, Ted began his studies in music on the saxophone at age 8. After performing with dozens of ensembles in the region ranging from improvisatory rock bands to jazz ensembles he went on to attend and graduate from the Hartt School of Music in 2010, and Washington State University in 2012. He is currently pursuing his DMA in composition at the University of Missouri – Kansas City where his current teachers include Chen Yi and James Mobberley. Previous teachers include Stephen Gryc, Larry Alan Smith, Ryan Hare, Scott Blasco, and Aleksander Sternfeld-Dunn, as well as Carrie Koffman and Greg Yasinitsky on saxophone.
Awards for Ted’s music include the 2012 Washington-Idaho Symphony Young Artist Competition and 2011 Sinfonian Saxes Composition Competition, as well as selected performances at the College Music Society Conferences in Vancouver, British Columbia and Knoxville, Tennessee. Notable performers and ensembles include the Saxophilia Saxophone Quartet, Washington State University Wind Ensemble, University of Tennessee Symphony Band, flutist Meerenai Shim, and others.
In addition to music Ted enjoys biking and hiking, as well as an excellent hoppy beverage.