Ensemble Flame is composed of instruments that have existed for half a millenium.
The viola da gamba and the harpsichord were invented approximately 500 years ago, when increased travel and exchange of ideas between European, Africa, and Asian cultures enabled humans living near the Mediterannean to create new tools of artistic expression. At the same time, a renewed interest in the works of ancient Greek philosophers such as Aristotle inspired artists to create works of art that imitated the forms, figures and passions of empirical human experience.
The musicians of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries merged refined church music with the unwritten dance music of popular folk musicians, resulting in the instrumental chamber sonata, or suite. Playing the music of composers who mastered this style, Ensemble Flame illuminates the wonders of ancient works, sparking the delightful, enflamed passions that define our human existance. Founded in Paris in 2016, Flame has performed throughout Europe and North America.
Eric Tinkerhess is a cellist, viola da gambist, composer and musicologist from Ann Arbor, Michigan. He has a B.A. in cello performance from the Oberlin Conservatory, an M.A. from the Paris Conservatory where he studied the viola da gamba with Christophe Coin, and an M.A. in Interpretation of Early Music — Research and Practice from the Sorbonne where he researched the impact of French Baroque poetry on the French Baroque viola da gamba.
His recordings with Audax Records have received numerous awards from the international press ("Diapason d'Or" from Diapason Magazine, "Top Ten Classical Albums of 2019" from The Guardian for The Paris Album with Ensemble Diderot). As a teacher he has given master classes at Huddersfield University (UK) and the Shanghai Conservatory. His compositions have been performed at the Chautauqua Music Festival in New York, the Music Academy of the West in California, and at the Salle Cortot in Paris. In 2016 he founded the Baroque music band Ensemble Flame, and he is currently a PhD student of Historical Musicology at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.