Meet the cast: Zac Larson

In our upcoming February 23-24th show Renaissance Time Lords – a story about Renaissance composers time-traveling to the 21st century – guitarist and stand-up comic Zac Larson portrays the Renaissance composer John Dowland…with a twist. The historical John Dowland is generally remembered as a gloomy guy with a bit of a persecution complex (it’s said he may have even been the inspiration for Shakespeare’s Hamlet!), but our John Dowland, though he occasionally shows his depressed side, is also a hard-partying comedian who likes to annoy his fellow time-travelers with terrible jokes…Here’s what Zac has to say about playing John Dowland in Renaissance Time Lords:


Composer Spotlight: Carlos Bandera

Meet Carlos Bandera, one of four composers who will be featured on our February 24th concert, Renaissance Time Lords!

Carlos Bandera “is fascinated by musical architecture and by the music of the past. His recent music explores these fascinations by often placing a musical quotation, be it a phrase, scale, or sonority.”

With these interests, Carlos was a perfect match for our Renaissance Time Lords project. His new work in pace, written specifically for Nebula Ensemble, is “an attempt to obtain a feeling of tranquility while also looking back to and deconstructing Orlande de Lassus’ motet for three voices of the same name.” Click here to learn more about Carlos Bandera’s Renaissance-inspired piece for Nebula Ensemble, read more about the composer here, and have a listen to his in distans below for a taste of the haunting sonorities that characterize Carlos’ work:

To learn more about his music, please visit

February 24th Concert: Renaissance Time Lords

Musical theater meets contemporary classical music in a funny and thought-provoking tale of time-traveling composers setting the universe right! Features the music of Renaissance composer John Dowland alongside new works by young composers from the U.S. and Europe, and a script by Denver composer and writer Sarah Perske. This is one Nebula concert experience you won’t want to miss!
Saturday, 2/24/18, 7:30 PM                                 Hamilton Recital Hall, Lamont School of Music                         FREE ADMISSION

Early in the 14th century, lute strings made from a volatile extraterrestrial substance somehow find their way to Europe. Though identical to ordinary strings in all other respects (including the tendency to be always out-of-tune), these Strings of the Spheres have the power to transport the player to distant times and lands if just the right combination of notes are sounded in conjunction with a particular alignment of the stars. The result: a number of hapless Renaissance composers find themselves transported to 21st-century Colorado, where unknown dangers lurk behind green-leafed storefronts, strange sounds emerge from new instruments called “laptops,” and a rugged landscape of red rocks and ancient peaks seem to show them a perilous pathway back to their own time…

click here to learn more about the composers and their music


Mirror Age: Poppet with Nebula Ensemble

When: Thursday, 11/30/17,  7:30 PM
Where: Massif Studios, 2191 South Broadway, Denver, Colorado 80210
Buy Tickets

On November 30th, Nebula Ensemble is joining Poppet – the alter-ego of California raised musician Molly Raney – for an unusual collaborative concert featuring musical works, installations, and film.

Here’s what you can expect to experience, in Poppet’s words:

A music video premiere. A record drop. A mysterious figure laden with birds. Artificial landscapes. Live video editing. Virtual Reality. Sincerity. A reflection through an age of mirrors. A caged human mind, exposed.

A multi-verse performance featuring the musical works of Poppet, Jasper Schmich Kinney, and Stephen Bailey, with installations by Mark Fitzsimmons, Drew Austin, and Marianna Crespin and film by Daniel Sharkey.

Limited tickets available via Brown Paper Tickets online starting 11/10 @$15/ticket. Online sales end 11/26. Tickets will be available at the door @$20/ticket. Reserve now! You will only gain entry with a ticket. All proceeds go to artists and performers.

For more information about Poppet, visit

Verse//Chorus//Nova: Photo Gallery

Our October 28th concert was one of our most exciting and well-attended yet! We performed an eclectic batch of pop-influenced works by composers Edmund Scott Miller, Stephen Bailey, Sarah Perske, and Jasper Schmich Kinney.

Photos by Marilyn Brock

Jackson Polcaro, Calvin Green, Olympia “19” Vida, and Ryan Spencer perform Edmund Scott Miller’s “At that point again.” Click here to watch the composer talk about the piece.

Kyle Hughes, Sarah Perske, and Zachary Larson perform selections from Perske’s forthcoming album “Ancient Dreams and Visions.” Click here to hear rehearsal clips and the composer’s thoughts on the piece.

Calvin Green, Stephen Bailey, and Emily Gradowski performing Bailey’s “Rain Bell.” Click here to learn more about Bailey’s piece.

Jackson Polcaro, Calvin Green, Olympia “19” Vida, Ryan Spencer, and Zachary Larson prepare to perform Jasper Schmich Kinney’s “TRUMP THE FUNK OUT.” Click here to watch  a clip from the accompanying film.

View the full photo gallery

Don’t miss our next concert, Renaissance Time Lords, on February 24th, 2017!


Make Music Great Again

We’ve never performed anything quite like this new piece by Jasper Schmich Kinney (aka THE LIVELY ROBOT), but we’re confident that our performance will be the greatest thing ever. Come hear it on our October 28th concert, VERSE//CHORUS//NOVA!

Here’s what the composer has to say about the work:

“Ladies and gentlemen, the president of the United States of America, most distinguished master president, ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Donald Trump. Get ready to make America great again: we are about to get down to some bumpin’ Trump Funk, a new genre of popular concert music pioneered by the lively robot. TRUMP THE FUNK OUT is a set of seven funk, hip-hop, and pop tunes, with our commander in chief as the lead vocalist. Now, Trump may not be as sexy as Adam Levine or Katy Perry, but for what he lacks, he makes up in charisma, stamima, and vocal agility. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, but please remember to tweet out #music2MAGA.”


鐘の雨 (Rain Bell)

Rain BellStephen Bailey’s new piece 鐘の雨 (Rain Bell) will be performed on our October 28th concert, VERSE//CHORUS//NOVA. Here’s what the composer has to say about the work:

Rain Bell takes its inspiration and text from a haiku by the 18th century poet Kobayashi Issa…The text essentially talks about the clanging of a temple bell in the mountains which, as it decays, is soon swallowed up in the sound of a spring rain…The goal of Rain Bell is to treat this haiku in much the same way that the haiku treats its own subject matter: by stretching the aesthetic environment of the work out over time to allow the listener to experience, exist in, and contemplate a single emotional space (however complex) for a longer period of time than usual…READ MORE

Text and Translation
山の鐘も一ッ ッッッ春の雨
(yama no kane mo hitotsu hibike haru no ame)
clang once more
mountain temple bell!
spring rain
Kobayashi Issa (1763-1828)
translation by David G. Lanoue


At that point (again)

At that point (again)Edmund Scott Miller’s new piece At that point (again) will be performed on our October 28th concert, VERSE//CHORUS//NOVA. Here’s what the composer has to say about the work:

At that point (again) is a quartet for the unusual instrumentation of tenor saxophone, trumpet, viola, and cello. Much of the material was drawn from “That’s What I Like” by Bruno Mars…The harmony follows the song’s chord progression, but is manipulated to create complex sonorities based on overtones and microtonal inversions…” READ MORE


Excerpt from the score of Miller’s At that point (again)


VERSE//CHORUS//NOVA on October 28th!

Saturday, 10/28/17, 7:30 PM                                 Hamilton Recital Hall, Lamont School of Music                                         FREE ADMISSION

Nebula Ensemble is blurring the lines between classical music and pop in this fun-filled evening of concert music inspired by Billboard Hot 100 hits. C’mon and get down to an eclectic batch of toe-tapping, zeitgeist-y numbers that will tickle your brain and put a smile back on your face!

click the images to learn more


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