Advisors + Director

Advisors: artistically, spiritually, and otherwise

Dave Ruder

Dave Ruder is a creative type who’s based in Brooklyn.  Recently, Dave has been writing, playing, and programming for the composers’ collective Sweat Lodge and helping run the nascent Performers Forum, both based at Exapno on Flatbush Avenue.  Dave has curated the Flowering Inconsistencies performance series since late 2009, and has been performing with Gamelan Kusuma Laras, NYC’s only Javanese Gamelan, since 2009 as well (this includes a period of intense study in Central Java with Sri Joko Raharjo in the summer of 2010).  Why Lie?, the name of both an interactive chamber music project and a two-person band of Aliza Simons & Dave Ruder, released The Cities Who Walk in Spring 2011, and both projects are actively performing around NYC.  In 2011, Dave has collaborated with Panoply Performance Laboratory on Institute_Institut and on TIME: A complete explanation in 3 parts (co-created and presented with thingNY).  Dave is also proud to be part of Varispeed, a collective which will present Robert Ashley’s Perfect Lives as part of PERFORMA in November of 2011.

Dave holds an BA in Music from Wesleyan University and an MM in Composition from Brooklyn College.  Much more info at

Joe White

Joe White was born in Canada at the age of 2, in 1981. Showing remarkable musical potential, he was enrolled in the Juilliard pre-prep-extension at age 6, and began writing mature works by his tenth birthday. After a feature in the NPR weekend series “It’s a Wise Child,” White quickly attracted the attention of Pulitzer-prize winning Swedish composer Stad Olmsvandlek, and began private lessons. He has since completed several doctorates at the Gudgeon Institute of Thought, where he studied with Dieter Hans Fang,  at IRCAM, and the prestigious Hochschule von der Schwantz in Cologne, where he is professor emeritus.

White’s works have been played at major new-music festivals and venues in Europe and North America alike. In the autumn of 1979, his controversial oratorio “In these Times” premiered in Hamburg. The 7 hour work, which is based on a fictional encounter between Pope Gregory IX, Gandhi, and Ed Gain, garnered the Hapsburg Music Festival’s highest honor, the  Palm B’or. Additional notable works have included the West End sensation “Daddy Don’t Tell Mommy,” the string quintet “Passages,” and the electronic work “Synchron Mod 76.”

Mr. White has recorded for K, Top Hat, Nonesuch, and Suckbangge records. His music has received radio play in Switzerland, Belgium, and Michigan.

Ian Munro 

I was born in Harleysville, Pennsylvania on December 28, 1987 (I had a lot of combined Christmas/birthday gifts as a kid). I currently reside in Brooklyn where I am a Masters student at Brooklyn College. I study there with Tania Leon and Doug Geers. In brooklyn, I like to hang out with the Sweat Lodge and Duke Holiday (projects including myself, Dave Ruder and Joe White) My music has been performed by Network For New Music, Randall Scarlata, Susan Narucki, Argento Chamber Ensemble, the BACK Duo, Areon Flutes, The Aeolus Quartet, The Boston New Music Initiative, and I am currently writing for the Definiens Project.

Amirtha Kidambi

Amirtha Kidambi, mezzo-soprano is invested in the performance and promotion of new and innovative music across a diverse array of styles and genres.  As a performer, educator and researcher, she strives to draw connections between seemingly disparate musical areas and communities.  Whether in new music, experimental rock, jazz or Indian music, Amirtha believes an audience should be challenged but not alienated.  She engages diverse audiences through expression in order to communicate complex musical ideas to a wider range of listeners.  As a soloist and ensemble member in projects such as the BACK voice and percussion duo and the band Seaven Teares, Amirtha performs in a variety of non-traditional venues throughout New York City and Brooklyn including Issue Project Room, Roulette, Zebulon, Northeast Kingdom, Pianos, Death by Audio, Silent Barn, Whitman Hall and the Baruch Center for the Performing Arts.  In all of her musical activities, Amirtha is deeply committed outreach and is working to create a service organization for musicians who would like to help those in need through musical uplift and education.

Ellen O’Meara

Ellen O’Meara is a Brooklyn based composer and multi-instrumentalist.  She has recently collaborated with the Panoply Performance Laboratory and Varispeed and has had works performed by members from Dal Niente, I.C.E., the Verdehr Trio, CUBE ensemble and the Iktus Percussion Ensemble.   She is currently pursuing graduate  studies in music  composition at Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music.

Executive Director
Cory Bracken



Yeah!  Whoa.  This is awesome.  I’m very proud to be working/thinking/drinking with the above personages.  This forum existed in my mind for many years, and it came to life with their help in the summer of 2011.

I am a percussionist by trade, having studied at Purchase College with Dr. Dominic Donato, Tomas Kolor, and Ted Piltzecker, and moved along to Brooklyn College in 2008 to study with Frank Cassara, Matt Ward, and our dear friend and mentor Ursula Oppens.  I busted ass pretty hard at BC, and I am grateful that my efforts have been recognized in a variety of ways including the Presidential Scholarship in 2008, “Award for Outstanding Accomplishments in Music Performance” in 2010, Robert Starer Award for performing works of living composers in 2011, and the distinguished Brooklyn College Alumni Association award for outstanding contributions to the music community.

As a performer, I am the founder and percussionist of the BACK Voice + Percussion Duo with the endlessly amazing vocalist (and forum advisor!) Amirtha Kidambi, a percussionist and program coordinator with the Iktus Percussion Quartet, and I have been lucky enough to appear with such awesome groups as the Electric Eel Multimedia Ensemble, One World Symphony, the String Orchestra of Brooklyn, and the Brooklyn Symphony.

Brooklyn is an incredible place to be a musician.  I’ve tried to take full advantage of this fact, and in the process I have coordinated, programmed and performed in shows and concerts all over New York including Symphony Space, the Stone, Issue Project Room, Pianos, the Tank, Death By Audio, Zebulon Cafe, Northeast Kingdom, 1012 Willoughby, St. Ann’s Church, and the Thalia Cafe at Symphony Space. I recently performed works by Iannis Xenakis, Philippe Hurel, and James Tenney in concerts at the Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice at the New England Conservatory in June 2011, which was very awesome.

Take a moment to check out my other project, Stellar Frequencies, dedicated to performing works of avant-garde in non-traditional venues to broad audiences.

I hope to see you at a Performers Forum jam.  Drink a beer with me, it’ll be a deep hang.