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Sarah Hennies

Reservoir 2: "Intrusion" (2018-19) for bass flute and five or more voices

density 2036: part vi
Constellation Chor: Marisa Michelson (director), Chad Goodridge, Kalliopi Siamidou, Marisa Michelson, Chaesong Kim, Luisa Muhr, Nikko Benson, Jen Anaya, Tamrin Goldberg, Shawn Shafner

Reservoir 2 -Sarah Hennies, Constellation Chor (rehearsal excerpt)

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“Intrusion” is the second in a series of pieces called “Reservoirs” based on the relationship between human conscious and unconscious thought.

The title is based on Freud and Jung’s belief that the human unconscious mind is a large reservoir of thought and feelings mostly inaccessible to us in our conscious lives. Many psychologists also believe that the unconscious mind is a “storage facility” for unpleasant and traumatic memories, a kind of internal mental protection so we don’t have to continually relive our past traumas every day.

— Sarah Hennies

Reservoir 2: "Intrusion" (2018-19) for bass flute and five or more voices

density 2036: part vi


Sarah Hennies (b. 1979, Louisville, KY) is a composer based in Upstate NY whose work is concerned with a variety of musical, sociopolitical, and psychological issues, including queer & trans identity, psychoacoustics, and the social and neurological conditions underlying creative thought. She is primarily a composer of acoustic ensemble music, but is also active in improvisation, film, and performance art. She presents her work internationally as both a composer and percussionist with notable performances at MoMA PS1 (NYC), Monday Evening Concerts (Los Angeles), Le Guess Who (Utrecht), Festival Cable (Nantes), send + receive (Winnipeg), O’ Art Space (Milan), Cafe Oto (London), ALICE (Copenhagen), and the Edition Festival (Stockholm). As a composer, she has worked with a wide array of performers and ensembles including Bearthoven, Bent Duo, Claire Chase, ensemble 0, Judith Hamann, R. Andrew Lee, The Living Earth Show, Talea Ensemble, Thin Edge New Music Collective, Two-Way Street, Nate Wooley, and Yarn/Wire. 


Her groundbreaking audio-visual work Contralto (2017) explores transfeminine identity through the elements of “voice feminization” therapy, featuring a cast of transgender women accompanied by a dense and varied musical score for string quartet and three percussionists. The work has been in high demand since its premiere, with numerous performances taking place around North America, Europe, and Australia and was one of four finalists for the 2019 Queer|Art Prize.


She is the recipient of a 2019 Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists Award, a 2016 fellowship in music/sound from the New York Foundation for the Arts, and has received additional support from the Fromm Foundation, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, New Music USA, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the Creative Work Fund.


Sarah is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Music at Bard College.

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