The Atlantic String Machine was formed in April 2015 and is based on Prince Edward Island. The group is made up of five musicians with considerable professional experience in a number of musical genres, having performed worldwide with internationally recognized symphony and chamber orchestras, ensembles, bands and individual artists. They have recently joined together to present a wide range of music from classical to jazz, pop, world music and their own compositions.
Since their inception, the Atlantic String Machine have performed numerous concerts including sold out houses at the Watermark Theatre in Rustico, Harrington House in Rice Point and the Haviland Club in Charlottetown. The first year’s feature performances included collaborations with well-known Newfoundland jazz guitarist Duane Andrews, Charlottetown’s dynamic vocal ensemble Sirens and clarinetist Dr. Karem Simon, as part of the UPEI Recital Series. Since then, ASM has produced its own concert series in both 2015-16 and 2016-17, has collaborated with several Island musicians, including Paper Lions, Nathan Wiley, and Kelley Mooney, and has performed concerts with Atlantic musicians such as The Once and Matthew Byrne in the Indian River Festival and the PEI Mutual Festival of Small Halls. The 2016-17 ‘Passport Series’ of concerts has featured music of Russia, France, Italy and the United Kingdom, and the group looks forward to another summer of exciting collaborations with new artists.
In 2016, having been awarded a creation and production grant from the Arts Council of Prince Edward Island, the ASM worked with Juno award winning producer John D.S. Adams of Stonehouse Sound to record their debut CD, ‘Lost Time’, which was released in September. The CD includes the eclectic mix of repertoire for which the ASM has become known. The ASM was also awarded a small business grant from Music PEI to aid in the production of a professional promotional video, which was released on the night of the CD release concert on September 18, 2016. ‘Lost Time’ was nominated for a 2017 East Coast Music Award for best classical album, as well as the title composition being nominated with its composer Sean Kemp for best classical composition. The Atlantic String Machine was nominated for and won the 2016 Music PEI award for Achievement in Classical or Jazz, and is nominated again in 2017, as well as being included for Group Recording of the Year and New Artist of the Year.
Members of the ASM have performed / recorded with:
English Chamber Orchestra, Academy of St. Martin’s in the Fields,
London Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Royal Scottish National and Scottish Chamber Orchestras,
BBC Concert Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra, English National Ballet Orchestra,
English Touring Opera Co. Orchestra, Saskia Piano Trio
National Arts Centre Orchestra of Canada, Canadian Opera Company Orchestra, National Ballet of Canada Orchestra, Hamilton Philharmonic, Kitchener- Waterloo Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra London (Canada), Symphony Nova Scotia,
Spirit of the Dance, Charlottetown Festival Orchestra,
Phantom of the Opera: London (UK) and Toronto Productions
London (UK) Productions: Carmen Jones, My Fair Lady, Carousel,
Toronto Productions: Crazy for You, The Lion King and Sound of Music
Some of the Individual Artists that ASM Members have performed / recorded with include:
Anne Murray, Barbara Streisand, Elaine Page, Sarah Slean, Chantel Kreviazuk, Steven Page, Ray Price, Ron Sexsmith, Lenny Gallant, The Three Tenors, Shirley Bassey, Moody Blues, Andrea Bocelli
The Atlantic String Machine are…
… committed to bringing quality classical music to the audiences of Prince Edward Island and beyond. The members have been performing as professional musicians for many years in various different provinces and countries, and they bring a great love of the art form to their work.
… working with living composers, songwriters and the many outstanding arts organizations in the Maritimes in order to bring original arrangements and innovative new works to our audiences.
… teachers in the maritime region who put great value in this important role of the professional musician. They are currently working with other community members to increase opportunities for the ASM to reach more music students across the Maritimes.
… connecting and partnering with local business to help support and sustain the future of classical music performance and education on Prince Edward Island.
… inspired to bring music to many outlying communities in Prince Edward Island and beyond.
The Atlantic String Machine features:
Sean Kemp, violinist, has performed across the world with a multitude of groups and ensembles including The English Chamber Orchestra, The Academy of St. Martin’s in the Fields, The National Arts Centre Orchestra, Spirit of the Dance, Anne Murray, Barbara Streisand and multiple East Coast Music Award Winner/Juno Nominee Lennie Gallant. He was nominated for the East Coast Music Award for Best Instrumental Album for his debut album Moscow Madness. Sean is in growing demand as a composer/arranger, most recently preparing sound tracks for CBC, TV5 and the National Film Board of Canada.
You can download songs by Sean at iTunes: https://itun.es/ca/JQuI4 – Fairy Tale Stuff by the Sean Kemp Band.
Karen Graves, violinist, has played with many orchestras across Canada and the UK, including the National Ballet Orchestra (Canada), the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra, the Windsor Symphony Orchestra, the Charlottetown Festival Orchestra, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra (Edinburgh) and the Ulster Orchestra (Belfast) as well as performing in the pit orchestras of several Toronto musical; Crazy for You, The Lion King and The Sound of Music. She also performs with many pop and rock artists, from Ray Price to Ron Sexsmith. She is currently a member of Chantal Kreviazuk’s touring band, and also tours with Steven Page in his band.
Visit Karen’s website at www.karengraves.ca for more information about Karen, her musical exploits and her new publishing business!
Violist Jeffrey Bazett-Jones is a recent addition to the Maritime provinces. Schulich scholar and graduate of the McGill Schulich School of Music, Jeffrey now teaches for Sistema New Brunswick in Moncton, and performs with Symphony New Brunswich and Tutta Musica as well as, most recently, The Atlantic String Machine.
Natalie Williams Calhoun, cellist, currently freelances with the Prince Edward Island Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Nova Scotia and the Charlottetown Festival Orchestra. Prior to living on PEI, Natalie worked with the National Ballet Orchestra (Canada), the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra, the Brantford Symphony Orchestra and Orchestra London Canada, as well as performing in England with the Saskia Piano Trio and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra while completing her Master of Music degree. Natalie directs the Senior Singing Strings Orchestra in Charlottetown, is a member of the Royal Conservatory of Music College of Examiners, is a sessional lecturer with the University of Prince Edward Island Department of Music and is also a member of the PEI Registered Music Teachers.
Bassist Louis Garson has performed with the Windsor Symphony, Hamilton Philharmonic and Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestras as well as performing in the Phantom of the Opera orchestra in Toronto. In 1991, he moved to London, UK, where he worked with a variety of orchestras including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, the London Philharmonic, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the English National Ballet Orchestra and the BBC Concert Orchestra.
Visit Louis’ website at www.resultsinmusic.com for more information on Louis’ teaching and online instruction in double bass.