Classical 91.5

Something New: Soundspace in Rochester

Jul 21, 2017

Jessica Best

There’s a new “new music” company in town: Soundspace.  It is the creation of two Rochester-based musicians who are involved in projects both here at home and around the country: Jessica Best and Evan Meccarello.  The first concert is July 25th at the South Wedge Mission – and they plan more concerts bringing new music throughout the region, especially in new and unexpected venues.  Jessica Best agreed to share some thoughts on what Soundspace will be and what they hope to accomplish. ~Mona

One busy day in May, Evan and I sat down for coffee and discussed our passion for contemporary classical music. We had both recently been featured on a concert at our alma mater, Nazareth College, and it was that evening that we realized we were both making a career in contemporary classical music. After further discussion, we decided to take action!

Evan and I noticed that a bustling artistic community like Rochester needed to have a home for new music and its musicians. A welcoming space; a Soundspace. We wanted to give people an opportunity to hear some exciting and current classical sounds from the people who are on the road creating them and those here at home. We hoped for people to have new artistic experiences and be part of creative fusions across multiple disciplines….and we wanted people to have the freedom to create. As an opera singer, I love dreaming up new visions and conceptualizing what new stories we can tell. Now here at Soundspace, people can have a place to share their stories and their heart.

Evan Mecarello

Evan inspires me with his vast knowledge of new music. His experience at Bowling Green State University, working as a conductor and violinist with the MidAmerican Center for Contemporary Music, really gives him a broad knowledge of the modern repertoire. Pairing his talents with my my contemporary opera career, we are able to engage with a wide compass of the world of new music.  We both see that a presenting company like Soundspace can bring high level artistry to Rochester in a form of music rarely heard here outside the conservatory.


Madison Greenstone, clarinets

And so it happened that Evan knew of two incredible musicians who we are fortunate to be able to bring in and feature on our first concert. T. J. Borden and Madison Greenstone. Together, they partner in a group called kraam.  kraam is a “clarinet/cello/experimental performance duo whose artistic-musical fluency ranges from “new complexity” to “new discipline” to noisy improvisation.” Madison Greenstone (clarinets) and T. J. Borden (cello) are both based in San Diego, but have roots at the Eastman School of Music.

I am also delighted on this premiere performance to share two contemporary arias that have defined my career in contemporary opera, one by Ernst Toch and the other by Michael Ching. I am honored to collaborate with the amazing Dr. Beverly Smoker on these pieces that live on the emotional extremes.

So, there you have it! Soundspace is here and we are thrilled to connect with you. You can expect to hearing about more Soundspace events this fall. If you are a musician looking to produce some contemporary classical music, or are seeking to bring your work to a welcoming space, we would love to connect with you. You can find us through the Soundspace Facebook page. Just send us a message!

The future of music is ours to create, friends!