Either/Or Ensemble

Avant-garde ensemble Either/Or expands the gray area between composition and installation, composer and performer, music and sonic environment.

Either/Or presents compelling new works for unconventional ensemble formations rarely heard elsewhere.

At MIT, the experimental and fiercely virtuosic group is working with students to workshop their compositions in-progress, educating them in the intricacies of their instruments and proposing novel ways of composing. The residency culminates in Either/Or performing student compositions, an exciting and instructive opportunity for students to benefit from masterful contemporary musicians performing their work in public. Either/Or is also performing the work of MIT Associate Professor of Music Keeril Makan, recently described by The New Yorker as “an arrestingly gifted young American composer.”

This residency will work in parallel and overlapping ways with the residency of Robin Rimbaud (Scanner) and Stephen Vitiello, which explores sonic production primarily from the perspective of installation. During their residency, Either/Or will perform a concert focused on the works of Alvin Lucier, whose music at the intersection of concert work and installation provides a critical point of departure for the investigation of sound and space.

Either/Or is a cutting-edge contemporary music ensemble based in New York City. Founded in 2004 by pianist/composer Richard Carrick and percussionist David Shively, Either/Or has performed to critical acclaim at numerous renowned concert halls and experimental music venues. The ensemble and its directors have been Artists in Residence at Eugene Lang College of the New School for Social Research and New York University Faculty of Arts & Sciences.

Learn more about Either/Or.

Presented by the Center for Art, Science and Technology (CAST), Music and Theater Arts and the Concerts Office.

Past Events

Composers Forum featuring the music of Alvin Lucier
February 13, 2014 / 5:00 pm
Composers Featuring the music of Keeril Makan
April 3, 2014 / 5:00 pm

Alvin Lucier: Chamber Music for Instruments and Sine Waves
February 15, 2014 / 8:00 pm

Anthony Burr – Clarinet, Guitar, Electronics
Jennifer Choi – Violin
Wendy Law – Cello
David Shively – Percussion, Guitar, Electronics

World Premiere Featuring the Composition of Keeril Makan: Letting Time Circle Through Us
April 5, 2014 / 8:00 pm

Sonic Bodies 
A performance by Scanner and Stephen Vitiello with members of the Either/Or ensemble
Friday May 16, 2014 / 7:00 pm   

Visuals – Madeleine Gallagher
David Shively – percussion
Jennifer Choi – violin

New Works by MIT Undergraduate Composers
May 17, 2014 / 8:00 pmJennifer Choi – Violin

Taka Kigawa – Piano
Wendy Law – Cello
David Shively – Percussion




Class Visits
Advanced Studio in Production of Space: Sound Installation
February and May 2014

Advanced Seminar in Music Composition
February and May 2014


In the Media

The New York Times: Either/Or Spring Festival at the Kitchen

The New York Times: Ensemble That Plays by Its Own Rules

The New York Times: Cryptic Messages or Silence From the ’60s Avant-Garde



Keeril Makan, Associate Professor of Music in Music and Theater Arts

Gediminas Urbonas, Associate Professor in the MIT Program for Art, Culture and Technology



New Music Box: Boston Practice Sessions

Blog: Resonating MIT