Departure Duo is a Boston-based soprano/double bass duo comprised of Nina Guo and Edward Kass. Committed to expanding the repertoire for this “high-low” combination, Departure Duo commissions new works and breathes life into existing pieces. Guo and Kass are particularly interested in how extended technique and theatricality can expand the range of expression for players and engage audiences. The duo’s long-term goal, “30x’30”, is to have 30 hours of soprano/double bass repertoire written by 2030.
Pushback is a modular contemporary music ensemble founded in 2018 by Ben Roidl-Ward (bassoon) and Ally Smither (soprano). Their objective is to commission and present a new body of work featuring bassoon and soprano that explicitly advocates for groups that are underrepresented and oppressed, both in and outside of the world of music. This goal arose from a strong desire to play together in a small chamber setting, an interest in working closely with composers of their generation, and a growing frustration with what they see as an unnecessary and harmful dislocation of our artistic practice from the political and social realities of their lives.