Random Access Music (RAM) is one of the most active collectives of composers and performers in the country presenting a wide array of contemporary music from the Americas. Since its inception in 2005, RAM has premiered more than 100 works by diverse musical voices, in intimate and formal settings throughout the metropolitan area. These concerts include music by its member composers, the annual call for scores winner, invited guest composers, and others. Collaborating ensembles and the RAM Players are featured on programs each year. RAM further expands the presence of living composers’ music to new audiences through the Queens New Music Festival, a 5-day festival of 8 unique concerts by artists and ensembles from the across the U.S.
– Allan Kozinn, The New York Times
To promote and produce high caliber composition and performance of music by living American composers in a variety of venues throughout New York City, with an emphasis in Queens; to continue the tradition of chamber music in the 21st century; to foster a fully-engaged and fruitful collaborative spirit between composers and performers; to nurture connections with its audience through media outreach and engaging productions; to build new audiences for new music by bringing greater awareness to the general public through outreach, education, and scholarship.
Having been praised as evocative, highly inventive, and of undeniable power, the composers of RAM represent a broad spectrum of American aesthetics, styles, and voices and revel in music of all types. The RAM composers believe in the music of their fellow musicians and are committed to supporting and presenting one another’s music, both in and outside of RAM. RAM’s eclectic combination of composers reflects the rich and varied landscape that is American music in the 21st century. The RAM composers are Guy Barash, David Fetherolf, Gilbert Galindo, Kamala Sankaram, B. Allen Schulz, and Frances White.
The RAM Players are high caliber New York musicians who specialize in new music dedicated to delivering exciting performances of works by living American composers. Musicians in the RAM Players have been described as passionate, brilliant, sensitive, and energetic in their careers as ensemble performers and as soloists with orchestras from around the world. The RAM Players are seasoned performers of music by RAM composers and share in the supportive and collaborative spirit of RAM. The RAM Players are clarinetist Thomas Piercy; pianists Tristan McKay and Marija Ilic; guitarist Nadav Lev; voices soprano Risa Renae Harman, mezzo Tammy Coil, baritone Seth Gilman; violinists Sabina Torosjan and Maya Bennardo; violist Liuh-Wen Ting, and cellist Kate Dillingham.
Queens New Music Festival
RAM also supports the creation and performance of new music through the Queens New Music Festival. This festival, which was first produced in 2012, is an annual event that brings new music front and center into Queens. Each year, RAM invites ensembles to participate and accepts dozens of concert proposals from various artists. RAM then selects and curates the proposals along with invited ensembles to create a 5-day festival celebrating the diversity of styles and voices in new music today.
Call for Scores
Each year, RAM collaborates with an ensemble to present a concert of world premieres. As part of this collaboration, RAM conducts an anonymous call for scores on which the winning composition is included.
RAM began as solely a composers’ collective under the aegis of the Astoria Symphony in 2005 in order to give its member-composers performance opportunities with new music ensembles and individuals that hoped to share in a more collaborative creative process. Composers and musicians hoped for a process that was on-going, fully-engaged, and fruitful for both composer and performers. Encouraged by its growth over the next 3 years, RAM incorporated into its own 501(c)3 in 2009 and has been growing ever since. In 2012, RAM expanded its operations to produce the first ever Queens New Music Festival, presenting ensembles from around the country. In 2014, RAM formed the RAM Players, a roster of musicians dedicated to and seasoned in the music of RAM composers. RAM is one of the most active composer-performer consortiums in America presenting 3 concert programs every season and the Queens New Music Festival. In the past RAM has collaborated with groups such as the the Anubis Saxophone Quartet, Cadillac Moon Ensemble, Iktus Percussion, Lost Dog New Music Ensemble, and Parthenia, among others; as well as individual performers as the Svrček-Ojeda piano duo (Susan Svrček & Nelson Ojeda-Valdes), (h)artDrive electric guitar duo (Giacomo Baldelli & Nadav Lev), pianist Laura Barger, cellist Emily Brausa, violinist and violist Miranda Cuckson, and violinist Jessica Mathaes.