Fonema Consort

consort : a group of instrumentalists and singers performing together
fonema : (Spanish, phoneme) the smallest unit of speech, which distinguishes words according to their sonic quality.

These concepts define the essence of Fonema Consort as they commission, perform, and record new music that explores the possibilities of the human voice in an avant garde chamber setting. Known for their “enthusiastic embrace of daring new music” (Chicago Reader), Fonema is driven by a fascination with music that fosters a rich interplay of voices and instruments and that are characterized by deep expressivity. The ensemble is highly committed to presenting works by Latin American composers to US audiences, and encouraging musical exchange between these regions.

Fonema Consort was founded in 2011 by singer Nina Dante and composers Pablo Santiago Chin and Edward Hamel. Since its founding, the ensemble has traveled widely across the United States, and abroad to perform for audiences in France, Ecuador, Mexico, and Costa Rica. Performance highlights include appearances with Harvard University (Boston), the Mexican Cultural Institute of Washington DC, the Instituto Cervantes (Chicago), the Frequency Festival (Chicago), Oberlin Conservatory, the Foro de música nueva (Mexico City), the Visiones sonoras festival (Morelia), Teatro Sucre (Quito), National Sawdust (NYC), and Northwestern University. They have collaborated with celebrated visionaries including Julio Estrada, Mesias Maiguashca, Peter Ablinger, and James Dillon; and have worked closely with rising luminaries including Bethany Younge, Marisol Jimenez, Fernanda Aoki Navarro, Tiffany Skidmore, Iván Sparrow Ayub, Joan Arnau Pámies, and Clara Olivares. They have released three albums: Pasos en otra calle (New Focus Recordings), FIFTH TABLEAU (Parlour Tapes+) and Vistas furtivas: the music of Juan Campoverde (New Focus Recordings). Fonema’s work has been supported by organizations including the Ernst vons Siemens Foundation, the Aaron Copland Foundation, the Amphion Foundation, the French American Cultural Exchange Foundation, the Goethe Institut, and the City of Chicago’s DCASE.