about

What Is Noise is an award-winning ensemble that has performed throughout the United States. The ensemble made its Carnegie Hall debut in May of 2014 as part of their “American Stories” concert tour that included performances in Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, and New York. What Is Noise is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that is passionate about building community through music by performing culturally relevant concerts that connect audiences with musicians and composers of their time. The sextet remains a strong advocate for new music and educational outreach.

What Is Noise has worked with composers Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, Don Freund, Lansing McLoskey, David T. Little, Edward Knight, Tania Leon, Katherine Hoover, and Jennifer Higdon among others. The ensemble has performed at a variety of venues including concerts at the Florida State University Biennial Festival of New Music, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina at Asheville, George Mason University, Furman University, the University of Missouri, Longy School of Music at Bard College, and Hope College among others. What Is Noise was featured as an ensemble-in-residence at the 2015 Taneycomo Festival Orchestra in Branson, MO and the guest artist in residence for the 2016 Young Composers Competition at Webster University in St. Louis, MO. What Is Noise is also a proud member of Chamber Music America.

What Is Noise have been described as an ensemble that is “precise, expressive, and convincing” (Composer Joshua William Mills). An ensemble that “demands your attention again and again” (Violinist Benjamin Sung). What Is Noise has “the kind of energy and ability to project ideas that really captivates an audience” (Composer Don Freund). “Their technical skill and nuanced expression left me speechless” (Composer Al Kovach).

Members of What Is Noise hail from Michigan, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Costa Rica, and South Korea. The ensemble’s name comes from an idea expressed by Jacques Attali in his book Noise: The Political Economy of Music that music has lost some of its inherent social value, as it has increasingly become a commodity. He expresses that there is intrinsic importance in the connection of the composers and performers with their shared community, and this is the way to obtain meaning through new composition. 

Board of Directors:
Joshua Burel, President
Anastasia Christofakis, Vice President
Justin Page, Treasurer
Megan Arns, Secretary
Cholong Park, Marketing
Lina Serpil Rotchadl
David Arns
Matt Witsil
Dustin Allison