Since its formation in 2012, the Rushes Ensemble has established itself as the premier interpreter of Michael Gordon’s Rushes for seven bassoons. The ensemble is made up of some of the United States’ leading performers of contemporary bassoon music: Dana Jessen, Rachael Elliott, Michael Harley, Lynn Hileman, Jeffrey Lyman, Saxton Rose, and Maya Stone.

Rushes, which was commissioned in 2011 by the New Music Bassoon Fund, is a 55 minute tour-de-force that takes the listener on a meditative journey through rich, undulating harmonies captured by the velvety sound of seven bassoons. Composer Michael Gordon shifts polyrhythmic material not only through timbre and dynamics, but by weaving melodic lines into the kaleidoscopic waves of rhythmic texture.

The Rushes Ensemble gave the world premiere performance of Rushes in September 2012 at the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center in Troy, New York, and has since performed at some of the leading contemporary music festivals in Europe, including the November Music and GLOW Festivals in the Netherlands, and the Surround Festival in Brugge, Belgium.

The ensemble’s recording of the work was released in 2014 by Cantaloupe Records.