[[The word liminal comes from the Latin word limen, meaning threshold – any point or place of entering or beginning. A liminal space is the time between the ‘what was’ and the ‘next.’ It is a place of transition, waiting, and not knowing. Classical music audiences have been dwindling for generations due to loss of interest in 2021’s fast paced world. Liminal Space Ensemble leans into this rapid change and offers a new model for enjoying classical music with the belief that the future of our industry is in reflecting programming choices for diverse audiences, and showing that classical music is by and for everyone.]]
Based in Buffalo, NY, Liminal Space Ensemble was founded in August 2019 by Nicole Murray (flute) and Hope Wilk (harp) and features a core artist lineup of the top chamber musicians in the area; Nicole Murray (flute), Josh Lauretig (oboe), Spencer Reese (clarinet), Hope Wilk (harp), Madeline Olsen (harp), Ben Havey (piano), Juan Herrera (percussion), John Smigielski (percussion), Evan Courtin (violin), Shannon Reilly (violin), Isa Constanza (viola), Bob Donowick (viola), Alex Cousins (cello), and Jonathan Borden (bass). When not performing with LSE, members can be found performing with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Buffalo Chamber Players, and several other prestigious ensembles. LSE’s musicians represent the top music conservatories in the world including Curtis, Juilliard, Peabody, Manhattan School of Music, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, New England Conservatory, and the Glenn Gould School of Music at the Royal Conservatory.
LSE has performed extensively in the Buffalo area and was invited to San Francisco to perform at the Hot Air Music Festival. Their virtual concert, (Sub)Liminal Messages, sponsored by the Arts Services Initiative of Western New York, is available for view online.
In June 2020, Liminal Space Ensemble launched their first commissioning and recording project, Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great. The project is in collaboration with Green Buffalo Productions and will commission a total of five writers and five composers to create a multidisciplinary production in celebration of local figure, Elbert Hubbard.
our commitment to diversity, equity,
As part of the new music community in the United States, we recognize the ways in which White supremacy and anti-blackness foster grave inequities in our field. We recognize our collective responsibility to change that. We acknowledge the historical exclusion that people of color have faced in the new music ecosystem, the systems of oppression that have perpetuated this exclusion, and, in spite of all this, the profound impact that artists of color have had on new music. To rectify this legacy of White supremacy and racism, the resulting inequities and injustices, and to actively participate in its replacement with a more diverse and equitable future, we join New Music Equity Action in making the following pledges:
We immediately commit ourselves to the work of dismantling the inequitable status quo in new music, and will specifically make doing so part of our mission statement, artist statement, and/or organizational goals.
We pledge to engage in active support of disenfranchised communities and individuals when they are faced with structural exclusion or targeted retribution by institutions or individuals within our field.
We commit ourselves to embodying a new culture of transparency in new music by publicly and consistently providing relevant demographic information regarding programming, commissioning, collaborating artists, personnel, et cetera.
We recognize that the perpetuation of exclusion is in part due to institutionally-reinforced ignorance. We commit to actively broadening our awareness of artists and repertoire from excluded communities, and make an ongoing commitment to the development and improvement of the skills we need to effectively engage in antiracism work.
We commit to disrupting cycles of privilege by evaluating the resources (financial and otherwise) that we have access to and developing strategies to share, leverage, or redirect resources to benefit historically disinvested communities.
We commit to treating these pledges as a first step, and will continue to participate in the ongoing fight against racism and inequity in the field of new music by remaining engaged with our peers as part of a continuing collaborative coalition for justice -- reaching out for help when we need it and providing support to others when we can.