Carmen Braden is a WCMA-nominated composer / performer from the Canadian sub-Arctic. Her music+sound company Black Ice Sound is based in her hometown of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. Hailed as “a talented, bold musician” (Up Here Magazine), Carmen is a life-long Northerner whose music has been described as “drop-dead gorgeous” (Ottawa Citizen). Carmen’s debut studio album Ravens was released by Centrediscs in 2017. Carmen’s vocal, instrumental, and electroacoustic music is greatly tied to her soundscape. She draws from the environment by examining natural phenomena through sonic, visual, sensual and scientific ways of understanding. Her creative research has led her into deep study of ice on Great Slave Lake, as well as raven calls, bedrock, and different qualities of light. Carmen often collaborates with other mediums including dance, theatre, film, and story-telling.
Her music has been performed across Canada by the Toronto Symphony, James Ehnes, the Elmer Isler Singers, Spiritus Chamber Choir, the Gryphon Trio, the Land’s End Ensemble, GroundSwell and the Penderecki Quartet. Carmen’s works have been performed across Canada and internationally, including at the 21C Festival in Toronto’s Koerner Hall, the Stratford Festival, the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, the ArtArctica festival in Finland, the National Arts Centre 2013 Northern Scene Festival, The Global Composition in Germany, the Shattering the Silence New Music Festival, the Land’s End Emerging Composer Competition (Audience Choice Award), and the University of Calgary New Music Festival.
Carmen is passionate about creative education. She teaches individual students in Yellowknife, as well as contributing to music education in the North. Carmen was a pivotal member of the Gryphon Trio’s NWT Listen UP! project, which was a year-long program held in six NWT communities incorporating poetry, music composition, and performance. Carmen also delivers customized workshops on music education, composition and improvisation.
Carmen’s academic study has been supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, and her creative work has been supported by the NWT Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts. (MMus, University of Calgary 2015; BMus Acadia University 2009)