Kyle Flens, (b.1991, Baltimore, MD), is a multi-faceted percussionist. Based in Chicago IL, he is a member of the chamber music collective Ensemble Dal Niente. As a performer Kyle gravitates to experimental music written by composers of our time. This gravitation has led to concerts across the Western Hemisphere. Concert highlights include the Foro Internacional de Música Nueva Manuel Enriquez (Mexico City, Mexico), the MetLiveArts concert series at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), the LA Philharmonic’s Noon to Midnight Festival at Walt Disney Concert Hall (Los Angeles), the 5th International Festival of Percussion Ensembles (San José, Costa Rica), Institutio Inhotim (Minas Gerais, Brazil), and the Phillips Collection’s concert series (Washington DC). As an advocate for teaching about experimental music he has been in educational residencies at University of California Davis, The Walden School, Brandeis University, Brown University, Stanford University, and the University of Maryland. Kyle performs on Pearl Drums and Adams Percussion Instruments, and is honored to be an endorsed artist.
Since the day Megan Arns was hired to teach at Mizzou, she told us that our group was always more than welcome to come visit to give a performance and masterclass to her students. Her offer has always been on our to-do list to set-up, but the timing never seemed to quite work until this past summer when we finally made it a large priority to tour a show. As promised, Megan found us some available dates, and we decided that the most fitting thing to do would be to visit during HALLOWEEN! Not only did our audience get a taste of the weird and unexpected from our show corporel : having a body, we ourselves got a taste of the vibrant nightlife and pageantry in Columbia, Missouri on Halloween night.
Given this was our first time traveling on the road as a group, we were super stoked to get to meet Megan’s students and work with them in coachings and lessons. In total, we were able to teach 6 hours worth of lessons, 3 hours of coachings, and 1 masterclass on entrepreneurship. The students were super receptive and engaged throughout our visit, and we consider ourselves extremely fortunate to have this be our first experience working on the road. Our only criticism from the whole trip was why we hadn’t come sooner as this visit was arguably one of the most fun and rewarding experiences we have ever had as an ensemble. Plus, Megan was an amazing host who introduced us to the world of Shakespeare’s Pizza. Apparently, it is a huge staple in Columbia, and after devouring several pizzas, we understood why.
UPDATE: We met our fundraising goal just in the nick of time! We were definitely getting some of those Cubs 9th inning World Series butterflies. Fortunately, we had a surge of amazing friends, family, and enthusiasts who made several 11th hour donations. For all who donated to this campaign, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your backing. Your support (in any form) is what compels us to explore and continue our pursuit of experimental art.
It is the most wonderful time of the year! The holidays have arrived, and if you listen very closely at night, you can hear the faint clicking of keys as many of us not-for-profits burn the midnight oil to write our end of the year appeals. We have seen many organizations make appeals for what has been dubbed “Giving Tuesday” very similar to the “Black Friday” or “Cyber Monday” that many of us know to start off the season after Thanksgiving.
However, if you know anything about us, you probably could guess we wanted to do something a little different. Our thought was why only have one day of giving when we could have three weeks of giving! We also needed to figure out what was a good goal. We are still new to the game, but we definitely wanted to get our feet wet with some fundraising. We initially thought $1000 would be a great number to hit, but it just seemed a little too flat. So… we decided to give ourselves a constant reminder of our deadline and monetary goal which is why we are trying to raise $1231 by the end of the year.
It was a dark, cold, and rainy September night. It was the best of times and it was the worst of times. The phone rang twice and…. We got picked for what?!!
Ok, that first part may have not totally happened as described, but we were definitely surprised (and honored) to find out that our show corporel : having a body has been picked up for the American Theater Company’s CORE Residency Program. Especially after getting through a successful, but admittedly stressful first run at the Humility Gallery in Pilsen.
In any case, we are stuffing our cars with gear and headed north! We are looking forward to having a full week of time in a venue with loads of space, a full functioning lighting rack, and the luxury of not having to strike down another show before we can even start moving into the theater space (which is a very true story).
Starting September 20th, we will be workshopping and refining the different elements of our show that will culminate in a performance on Monday, September 26 at 7pm. We hear that there are rumblings of a presidential debate that may be occurring at the same time, but c’mon, the only real debate is how many friends you should bring to check out this show 😉 Plus that is why you spend the big bucks on TiVo or OnDemand, right?
We’ve been waiting patiently, and beyond this point has finally been granted not-for-profit status!! Two exclamation points you say? Yes; two. One to represent the thrill of each of our two founding members. Or possibly because we consumed so much coffee researching and filling out forms for the past two months that more exclamations points just give that added buzz of excitement!!! The best way of describing it would be the feeling of getting bumped up to first-class for a flight! You know you can stretch your feet out a little more so you can prepare for the long and exciting trip ahead.
What does this momentous occasion mean to our supporters (besides a dance party until all hours of the night)? If you ever want to donate to our mission or give us some cash for our projects, you not only get our sincerest thanks, you are legally allowed to write your contribution off on your taxes. You read that correctly. You can donate to the creation of experimental art, and in some weird way through means of the IRS, make money (or at least potentially get some money back on your tax return :).
If you are as excited as we are and want to try out this new donation system, we have provided a link below to our paypal for donations. For all of you cautious and well-researched supporters, we are happy to explain how to help you write this off for your taxes. Trust us when we say that we have become VERY educated in the not-for-profit world, and we can answer most questions that come to mind.