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The Eugene Difficult Music Ensemble performs and commissions underrepresented experimental works in order to open ears and minds. We work to expand the definition of what music can be and what music is capable of achieving, as well as who is capable of achieving it.


EDME was started in 2019 as a trio (soon turned quartet) that performed bizarre music in Eugene, Oregon, USA. Pre-COVID, we co-curated new music nights at venues not normally associated with composed music. We bridged the worlds of trained and untrained musicians, demonstrating the ways music unites us. These shows diligently provided program notes about composers and scores to audience members, whether performing in yoga studios, dive bars, game shops, or concert halls. Our Graphic Score Evocations, involving collective music-making through non-traditional notation, began drawing a following before COVID struck.


Our group maintained a commitment to music as a medium for all throughout the pandemic. We started a YouTube channel, now hosting 29 videos, and performed at outdoor events like LAC’s Open Air Studios, three ArtCity BEAM events, and First Fridays. We provided the soundtrack to a video installation at the Gordon Hotel’s Dimensions Between exhibition in June 2021. Our 2021 and 2022 Porchfest concerts featured the works of non-white and LGBTQ+ composers. Our livestreamed performance for Seattle’s New Works Project in September 2020 invited audience participants to a Zoom-style Graphic Score Evocation.


In May 2021, our Eugene Garbage Project livestreamed to a global audience. This event turned local residents into artistic contributors. We collected trash from the community and recorded sounds and visuals with it. This media became a concert-length work for voice and electronics broadcast from Eugene Contemporary Art on YouTube, and rebroadcast as part of BrainRave in July 2021. In October 2021, we converted the work into an interactive installation for BEAM. Audience members controlled the sounds and visuals on their own through motion-capture technology. We participated in BEAM the following year with our prepared light-up piano, programmed and installed with lights by EDME.


Since October 2022, our annual New Music Festival has brought guest artists, audience participation pieces, and novel experimental concert music to Eugene residents at various downtown locations. Female-identifying, LGBTQ+, and non-white composers are featured strongly among the nearly four dozen selected individuals so far. Our performers and guest musicians served over 150 audience members during the three-concert series its first year and over 200 its second. In 2024, we will expand to four concerts.

JP LEMPKE  Executive Director

JP Lempke is a composer and creator of bizarre things, many of which have been performed by individuals and groups like unassisted fold, Kanae Mizobuchi, and WasteLAnd. A winner of the American Guild of Organists Student Commissioning Project and a nominee for the Destellos Foundation Electroacoustic and Video-Music Competition, his works have been featured throughout the United States, Europe, and South Korea. In February 2020, he became executive director of the Eugene Difficult Music Ensemble, and he started up the Eugene Garbage Project that same year. He is currently teaching piano, theory, and composition at the Pavilanis School of Music in Eugene.


Lee Pembleton has been composing and performing music for over forty years. The bulk of that time has been spent investigating sound environments and performative installations. He has been a member of several contemporary music/performance ensembles, jazz bands and the occasional rock, psychedelic and folk group. He has performed at the Smithsonian's Hirshhorn Museum, Roulette Intermedium, Issue Project Room, Mills College’s Littlefield Concert Hall, Milk of Burgundy, 55 Bar, Czar Bar, Flux Factory, Old Nick's, and many other obscure venues.


Adrian is a craftsman and tinkerer who enjoys working with a plethora of mediums. In the past, he h­as worked with ceramics, paint, wood, cardboard, sound, electronics, and instruments. Born in Oregon but identifying strongly with his Hispanic heritage, he strongly believes in collaboration across different fields and is influenced by many different artists across various mediums including Fashion, architecture, classical literature, bootleg toys, design toys, land artists, noise, hip-hop, and video games. He is classically trained in playing the cello but is most interested in contemporary music around the world. He is currently studying to be an ethnomusicologist researching electronic music.


Thomas is a violinist, performer, and composer studying music education at the University of Oregon. Born in Oregon, his Hispanic heritage guides him toward exploring new perspectives in both music and communities. Having studied classical music and playstyles most of his musical career, he has recently been able to explore more modern contemporary projects involving dance and original music within the school of music and dance. He believes in the expansive nature of music that explores diverse identities while providing opportunities for collaboration in the arts and beyond.

Ellen LaMora  Violin

Ellen LaMora is currently studying violin performance and music education at the University of Oregon. She is interested in pursuing a career performing as well as teaching violin and other string instruments and ensembles.  She is a member of the University of Oregon symphony orchestra and has performed other chamber and solo works on campus. In her free time, Ellen enjoys hiking, reading, and crocheting.

Owen Atlansky  Voice/Electronics

Owen is from Portland, OR and is currently studying music technology at the University of Oregon. He was a choir kid in high school and he became interested in making music and music production when he got FL Studio his senior year. Owen is inspired by hip hop, electronic music, jazz, video game soundtracks, and all music and sounds. He has performed in the Oregon Electronic Device Orchestra and has released some music under the name XDL. In his free time he enjoys chilling, hanging out, kicking it, and relaxing. 

Jayne Cronin  Double Bass

Jayne Cronin is a music education student and double bassist from Mundelein, Illinois. Jayne’s accolades include winning a Leonard Bernstein Award, performing as a senior soloist, and being elected as her high school’s symphony orchestra president. Outside of performance, she is most fascinated by music history, specifically the influence and contributions of Islam on western Europe. She is very excited to get back into performing with others after taking a year long hiatus.

K.C. Isaman  Double Bass

K.C. Isaman is an active performer  as a multi-genre bassist. An orchestral bassist, chamber musician, jazz bassist, collaborator, and improviser, K.C. thrives in creating a rich musical landscape for listeners. A thoughtful and engaging player that is fun to watch and even more fun to play with, K.C. enjoys performing and learning about all genres of music and strives to be a reliable, trustworthy, and dynamic performer. K.C. is pursuing a Master's Degree in Music Performance with a specialization in Historical Performance Practice at the University of Oregon, studying under Tyler Abbott. K.C. graduated from the University of Idaho Lionel Hampton School of Music in 2023 with a Bachelor's Degree in Music Performance and a minor in Jazz Studies, where he studied under Joshua Skinner, Vern Sielert, Kate Skinner, and Daniel Bukvich.

Ellie Jakes  Cello/Electronics

Ellie Jakes is a composer, cellist, and synthesist whose work encompasses classical, electroacoustic, jazz, free improvisation, and film scoring. She is a frequent collaborator of Fermata Ballet Collective and has had her compositions performed by the Oregon Jazz Ensemble, participated in the Westben Performer-Composer Residency, and had a sound installation on display at the Studio Gallery in Washington, D.C. She graduated from Lawrence University in 2015 with Bachelor's Degrees in Music Performance and Physics, and received a Master's Degree in Jazz Studies from the University of Oregon in 2019.

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