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Join us for an evening of mesmerizing melodies at TRANSCENDENCE, our upcoming performance at Brooklyn Art Haus on Friday, October 13th at 7:30pm!

The program will feature works created for our Composer Competition exploring Lena Raine's captivating themes from Celeste alongside works by J. S. Bach, Brian Petuch, and Edvard Grieg. 

For those who are unable to make it in person, the concert will be livestreamed thanks to a generous donation from Mark and Carol Viner.


Press Start Presents: TRANSCENDENCE


                                        Sunrise/Sunset                                                                               Brian Petuch

                                                    Celeste Medley                                                                              Lena Raine (Arr. Nik Hooks)

                                   Celeste Main Score                                                                     Tristan Vappi

                                                The Art of Fugue BWV 1080                                                 J.S. Bach (arr. Samuel Baron)

                                        Fugue XVIII

                                        Fugue XVIIII

                                        Fugue VII



                                  Celeste Suite                                                                                    Daniel Kim

                                      I. Madeline

                                      II. Oshiro 

                                   Fairy Fire                                                                                           Noah Green


                                   Peer Gynt Suite No. 1                                                                 Edvard Grieg (arr. Wolfgang Renz)


Adam von Housen,  violin

Glenna Cureton, violin

Nick Pauly, viola

Julie Kim, cello

Jackie Traish, flute

Ellen Gruber, oboe

Kristina Teuschler, clarinet

Nik Hooks, bassoon

Alejandro Salaverry, horn


When selecting the video game for this Press Start concert, we found our way back to our roots of the composer competition. In our first competition we only had a handful of submissions that used the music of Celeste but we loved them so much we wanted to expand our exploration of Lena Raine’s score. 


The game follows Madeline, a young woman with anxiety and depression who aims to climb Celeste Mountain. Along the way she meets her love interest, Theo; the Inn Keeper, Mr. Oshiro; and a personification of her self-doubt known as Badeline, who attempts to stop her journey to the heart of the mountain. On her travels Madeline meets a number of characters that help her overcome her anxiety and support her in self-acceptance. Each character has their own lite motif, or theme, that we asked our composers to use as source material in their pieces.  

The three uniquely imaginative adaptations of this score from our composer competition finalists are thoughtfully crafted, beautifully orchestrated, and exciting to perform. They all draw inspiration of the four major Leitmotifs, or themes, that are associated with the main characters of the game. The selected motives were of Madeline, Badeline, Mr. Oshiro, and Theo. You will here these themes throughout tonight’s performances and encourage you to listen for these characters. Alongside these world premieres, we have programmed 3 fugues from J.S. Bach’s Die Kunst der Fuge, also more commonly known as The Art of Fugue which captures similarities to the music heard when Madeline encounters the Inn Keeper Mr. Oshiro on her journey to the summit. We also feature an arrangement of Edvard Greig’ a Peer Gynt Suite which we feel evokes the same journey of self discovery that Madeline experiences..


Composer Competition Finalists

Tristan Vappi

Daniel Kim’s work Celeste Suite is a multi movement work that depicts the multiple traits of each character using a mixture of classical and contemporary styles. The suite begins with an arpeggiating quartal chord ostinato, paralleling the game’s initial level. Madeleine is introduced as a brave protagonist poised to embark on her journey. Subsequently, her anxiety is depicted by mimicking the breathing exercises from the game and presenting the theme in minor form. The theme is “mirrored” via inversion, symbolizing duality as it is juxtaposed with the original. In Mr. Oshiro, the movement hesitantly begins with fragments of Mr. Oshiro’s theme set against a recurring original theme. The opening section illustrated the insecure Mr. Oshiro while giving insight into his hotel’s pleasant history. The structural characteristics of the theme suggest a baroque-style arrangement, which is why the next section creates a fugue using the theme as its subject. Paralleling Mr. Oshiros’s behavior in the game, the theme undergoes a progression of emotional states including agitation, wistfulness, and rage, climaxing in his outburst at the end of the level. 

Noah Green’s Fairy Fire comes from a more personal place. Noah sat down to write this piece with a journey I mind. In the same way Celeste follows Madeline journey to self acceptance as she climbs the mountain, Noah wanted the piece to follow the journey they took two years ago moving from a small town in Ohio to New York City. There have been many ups and downs but eventually Noah found found community that welcomed them. The piece uses Madeline and Badeline’s litemotifs to represents Noah’s own struggles with mental health. Additionally, a third litemotif Noah calls the “friendship” theme was added to represent the people and groups that have helped realize the person Is and wants to become. 

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