Siren Baroque with Danielle Eva Schwob Siren Baroque with Danielle Eva Schwob

SIREN Baroque is an all-female baroque ensemble from New York City. Presenting passionate and historically informed performances throughout the States and overseas, the women of SIREN are committed to infusing spirited historical accuracy with a tinge of modern dynamism. Critics praise SIREN Baroque’s “unusual freshness” (Seen and Heard International) and “secure and stylish” playing (New York Times).
2011-2012, SIREN’s inaugural season, garnered enthusiastic reviews and an invitation to perform at the Festival de Musica Barroca in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Programs highlighted early Italian antiphony (“Surround Sound”); English love songs and music (“The Course of Love”); women composers from convents and courts (“Women All-Stars of the Baroque Era”); and the musical exchange between Venice and Spain in the High Baroque (“Counter Culture,” featuring cellist Katie Rietman). In May, SIREN collaborated with Company XIV on Judge Me Paris, a burlesque/baroque adaptation of The Judgment of Paris, and in August SIREN performed at the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s “Art After 5” series.
The 2012-13 season included a program of cantatas and concertos by Bach and Vivaldi (“Venice Connection”); a selection of vocal music by women composers on Gotham Early Music Scene’s popular Midtown Concert Series; and a concert of French music featuring renowned violinist Marc Destrubé (“In His Court”). In March, SIREN collaborated with Morningside Opera to present Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas. In April, SIREN recorded its debut album, “Women All-Stars of the Baroque Era,” presenting rarely-heard masterpieces by women composers, a program that SIREN performed at the Boston Early Music Festival in June. July brought a tour of upstate New York, with performances in Saratoga and Ulster Counties.
The 2013-2014 features “Fyer, Fyer,” the first of four concerts exploring the ancient elements in collaboration with innovative baroque dancers, at the trendy Gershwin Hotel; “Winter Songs,” a collection of delightful seasonal favorites; “Women All-Stars II,” with more masterpieces by women of the era (at the Gotham Early Music Scene’s Midtown Concert Series and at Drew University’s acclaimed concert hall); and a season finale in May with special guest vocalists.
The music of London-born but New York-based musical polymath Danielle Eva Schwob is as “hard-edged” (New York Times) as it is “catchy, thoughtful” (Flavorpill) and “honest” (Joonbug). An intense blend of confessional lyrics, intricate yet unpredictable melodies and thick arrangements, her sound fuses elements of rock, pop, electronica and classical music. Her songwriting is an exercise in contradictions, taking small, personal experiences and making them seem enormous and overwhelming in their emotional arc. Characterized by expansive sound-scapes, glittering synthesizers, cinematic string arrangements and jangling electric guitars, her sound is an eclectic one.
Having grown up playing in rock and jazz bands before studying classical composition and honing her chops as a guitarist and arranger in the New York music scene, it’s not surprising that she developed an extensive musical vocabulary. While developing her own songwriting and performing with her band, she also worked on projects with artists including Philip Glass and Tara Hugo, Ben Folds, The Pogues, Dar Williams, Sxip Shirey, Corn Mo and members of The Polyphonic Spree, New York Philharmonic, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Roots, Boston Symphony and International Contemporary Ensemble as well as Shakespeare in the Park and several Hollywood film soundtracks. She also continued composing symphonic works and chamber music, receiving numerous commissions and accolades for these classical compositions.
Her unique and eclectic approach to songwriting has not gone unnoticed by critics. The New Yorker described her as a “notable cross-genre composer” while TimeOut NY dubbed her a “worldly musical chameleon [and] genre-bending composer” as well as a two-time ‘Critic’s Pick.’ Other features have come from NPR, NY1, MNN and numerous other blogs.
Having released her debut EP, Overloaded, in 2011, she is currently working on her debut album alongside three-time Grammy Award-winner David Bottrill (Tool, Muse, Peter Gabriel, Sinead O’Connor).
Photos courtesy of Krys Fox and Adrian Buckmaster