Founders is a songwriting collective comprised of five members, Ben Russell, Brandon Ridenour, Hamilton Berry, Yoonah Kim, and Kris Saebo, that flourishes in combining classical and folk music with original compositions and pop arrangements. With songs ranging from Appalachian-themed originals to Radiohead covers to art songs using famous poetry, Founders is reimagining the boundaries of musical styles. As the New York Music Daily states, "Their excellent debut album, You & Who, is unlike anything else out there right now."
Sacred Space (NY Premiere) - Founders performs the NY premier of Sacred Space, a 7-song cycle of original works featuring the poetry of Edgar Allan Poe. Combining musical styles of plainchant, West Coast jazz, and neoclassicism, this cycle is a somber yet unorthodox exploration of spiritual life. The title, Sacred Space, alludes to the interweaving of religion, reverence, and death -- some of the most central themes in Poe's writings.
Quintet for Radio Time (World Premiere) - Founders will premiere their own re-imagining of Olivier Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time, bringing together this pivotal 20th century work with the contemporary influence of Radiohead from arrangers Brandon Ridenour and Ben Russell.
"I've always been fascinated and drawn to Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time. I wish more people, not just classical musicians/listeners, knew about this deeply powerful composition. While this may still be a work in progress, pairing movements from this monumental piece with one of my favorite bands (Radiohead) is hopefully a way to introduce the brilliance of Messiaen to a non-classical audience. Also....playing Radiohead is fun too."
Merging the talents of five conservatory-trained musicians from New York City, Founders brings a fresh perspective on songwriting. Each musician has worked with acclaimed songwriters such as James Taylor, Sufjan Stevens, Sting, and Björk, as well as with elite classical ensembles such as Canadian Brass, A Far Cry, and Mahler Chamber Orchestra. They have been featured on the stages of Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Walt Disney Hall, and Lincoln Center as well as on television broadcasts such as The Late Show, and SNL. With acoustic instruments and their unique musical vision, Founders is forging a new path for audiences around the world.