Hailed as a “bassoon virtuoso” (Chicago Reader), Dana Jessen tirelessly seeks to expand the boundaries of her instrument through original compositions, improvisations, and collaborative work with innovative artists. Over the past decade, she has presented dozens of world premiere performances throughout North America and Europe while maintaining equal footing in the creative music community as an improviser. Her solo performances are almost entirely grounded in electroacoustic composition that highlight her distinct musical language. As a chamber musician, Dana is the co-founder of the contemporary reed quintet Splinter Reeds, and has performed with Alarm Will Sound, Amsterdam’s DOEK Collective, the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, and the TriCentric Ensemble, among many others. A dedicated educator, Dana teaches at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and has presented masterclasses and workshops to a range of students from across the globe.
Stephan Haluska constantly pushes the harp to new limits through his innovative approaches to the instrument in improvisations, compositions, and collaborations. He draws inspiration from the harp’s unique textural, harmonic, percussive, and kinetic qualities. He often focuses on non-traditional harp techniques to expand his sound palette, playing the instrument with a collection of tools and using assorted materials to prepare the harp.The harp has developed a mystical identity in western culture as the sound of angels in heaven, magic, and dream sequences. Considering these stereotypes, Haluska attempts to expand the instrument beyond these preconceived notions, to create new roles and opportunities for it, and to (de)mystify the harp.