Composer/performer/improviser Eden MacAdam-Somer (b. 1979) is one of today’s most exciting and versatile artists. Hailed by the New York Times as reflecting “astonishing virtuosity and raw expression” her music challenges the boundaries of composition and improvisation and transcends genre, weaving in and out of the many cultures that have formed her experience. Eden has written numerous works for solo artist on voice, violin, and body percussion, such as ‘Rumi Songs’, a partially composed, partially improvised song cycle. Her works are performed internationally, and she has received commissions by such groups as the New Gallery Concert Series, Cuatro Puntos Resident Artists, the Providence Mandolin Orchestra, and the AURA Ensemble. Her 2015 live solo album, My First Love Story, was listed as one of the top ten jazz albums of the year in the Boston Globe.
While growing up in Houston, Texas, Eden studied classical music formally, spending her free time at the local folk music sessions and working as an arranger and studio musician. She attended Houston’s High School for Performing and Visual Arts, winning the Music Teacher’s National Association State Division and the Lennox Young Artists Competitions. In 1993, she was introduced to contra-dancing in Amherst, MA, on a night out at Musicorda Chamber Music festival. When she got back to Houston, Eden tracked down the local dance community and began playing for dances. Thanks to the support of the Houston Area Traditional dancers, she was soon brought to the local Irish session, where she connected with members of an international music party band, the Gypsies, who took her under their wing. While earning her undergraduate and graduate degrees in classical violin performance, she was spending nights playing music of all kinds: Balkan, Eastern European, Klezmer, Jazz, Bluegrass, DAWG, and more. Meanwhile, she earned her BM and MM in classical performance from the Moores School of Music at the University of Houston, as a student of Fredell Lack, and the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, as a student of Kenneth Goldsmith.
Eden is a full-time faculty member at New England Conservatory, where she teaches courses, ensembles, and studio lessons, in addition to serving as Co-Chair of the Department of Contemporary Improvisation. A dynamic and passionate teacher, Eden works with each student to attain the skills they need to become creative and successful artists, strengthening unique personal style with a good foundation in aural skills and technical facility. Outside of the classroom, Eden maintains an active, eclectic international performance and recording career as a soloist and with such bands as Notorious Folk and the Klezmer Conservatory Band. She lives in Boston with her husband, (trombonist, artist manager, and videographer Aaron Hartley) and two children.
Videographer/artist manager Aaron Hartley grew up photographing weddings as a second shooter with his father at Lakeside Photography in Tampa, FL. While attending New England Conservatory of Music for Jazz Performance, Aaron co-created Boston’s legendary Film Noir Series that was featured in Jordan Hall for 15 years, which jump-started his career in videography. Now, Aaron is a full-time videographer and film editor, capturing weddings, concerts, and other events. In his free time, he loves learning new juggling tricks (both clubs and balls), taking care of his flock of chickens, practicing trombone, taking footage of his kids playing, sailing with his brother, Greg, or woodworking.
Aaron and Eden live in Boston with their three children, Gideon (6), Ida Lu (4), and Ori Tov (10 months). As a family, they enjoy baking, hiking, gardening, reading, playing music, dancing, tending their chickens, and exploring the world around them.