NOW Ensembles

the NOW ensembles are seven to ten member ensemble with flexible instrumentation drawn from Vancouver's finest improvising musicians. Currently under the Artistic Direction of Lisa Cay Miller, NOW ensembles have been presenting engaging and varied concerts since 2008 in a multitude of venues and formats, from formal concert halls to DIY stages, from showcases to concerts and installations. The music is closely associated with Musique Actuelle and Creative Music, fusing improvisation and composition, the predetermined with the undefined. Events planned and unplanned are linked, craft and skill navigates the endless possibilities of the unknown.

The NOW ensemble proudly presents compositions commissioned by the NOW Society, and has premiered new works by Giorgio Magnanesi, Rainer Wiens, Joane Hétu, Coat Cooke and Lisa Cay Miller. The ensemble collaborates with world-renowned composers, performers and improvisers; recent and coming guest artists include Lori Freedman, Joane Hétu. Christine Duncan (Montreal), Anne La Berge, Ig Henneman (Amsterdam), Pauline Oliveros, Lisle Ellis and Eyvind Kang (USA). 


Past projects:

Mentor and Telemachus: stories of Wisdom 

(details here) 

On October 17 at the Vancouver Community College, orkestra futura will feature new works by honored guest artist from Amsterdam, Ig Henneman (viola), composer New York City resident and Vancouver born Cat Toren, Mayor Arts award winner Cole Schmidt, ) as well as a new work by Managing Artistic director Lisa cay Miller. With Vancouver's own Tony Wilson (guitar), guest artist. 

Rippled Modalities performance on November 21 at Pyatt Hall, workshops on November 19 and 21, featuring guest artists Anne La Berge (flute, electronics, composer) and Lori Freedman (Bass Clarinet, composer). New Works by Freedman, La Berge and Miller. 



Of: NOW bios


Previous projects:

Spring 2014

STrong and FRee

8 pm March 28 at the Western Front


A Celebration of Coat Cooke – A Lifetime in Music with NOW
            36 Years as an Improvisor, Composer, Leader
                          A Farewell as Artistic Director

                                                  details here

image Gary J. Taylor



Fall 2013

Of:NOW Goes Graphic

8 pm November 22 at the Western Front

details here



LISTEN to Orkestra Futura

we no longer, composed by Giorgio Magnanensi and commissioned by Orkestra Futura, is a kaleidoscopic journey through evolving sonic fields. Blending and merging as an organic unit, Orkestra Futura navigates through events planned and unplanned. listen


Slap and Tickle, composed by Coat Cooke, is a modern, energetic, raw tribute to the improvisational talents of the ensemble. listen







April 12 - Orkestra Futura / VEE: Urban Sprawl, Western Front Ashes to Ashes (Coat Cooke)


November 23 – Orkestra Futura: Hear It NOW 2012: Time Travel, Scotiabank Dance Centre.

Guest artists: George Lewis, Giorgio Magnanensi. Pots (George E. Lewis), We no longer… (Giorgio Magnanensi), Global Unity (Coat Cooke)

April 13 - Orkestra Futura: Music is the Invisible Art, Roundhouse Community Arts Centre.

Guest artist:  Christine Duncan. Music is the Invisible Art (Coat Cooke – words and music), Just the Right Amount (Tom Cone/words, Stefan Smulovitz/music) 

September 14 - Orkestra Futura: Pan-Global Imprint, the Western Front. Guest artists: Mei Han, Bich Hoang, Ali Razmi, Curtis Andrews.


February 4 - Orkestra Futura: Meeting of the Minds, The Waldorf Hotel. Matrices, Hallucination, Blues, Mist, Mona, Breakthrough, Chaste, Nazca, Horizon, Cell 

April 1, 2 Orkestra Futura: Game Theory, the Western Front. Guest conductors: Sarah Weaver, Todd Reynolds, Lisle Ellis, Giorgio Magnanensi, Stefan Smulovitz and Paul Cram. BoB, Improvisor Else, Wave Culture, Scales, Shift (Coat Cooke) 

November 12 – Orkestra Futura: Hear It NOW 2011: Phoenix Rising

Guest artists: Rainer Wiens, Joane Hétu, DB Boyko. Deepen the Mystery (Rainer Wiens), Pour ne pas désespérer seul (Joane Hétu), Fukushima Breakdown (Arise Dear Phoenix) (Coat Cooke) 


October 15 - Orkestra Futura: Meeting of the Minds, Western Front.

May 15 - Orkestra Futura: Music for Rubber, Wood and Glass, Vancouver East Cultural Centre.

Guest artist: Rainer Wiens Breathe into Life (Rainer Wiens), Breathe into Time (Rainer Wiens)


April - Orkestra Futura: L.E.D. by the Light, Vancouver East Cultural Centre. Guest artists: Eyvind Kang, Christine Duncan. Guest conductors: Pauline Oliveros, John Oswald, Lisle Ellis, Paul Cram, Stefan Smulovitz. In the Belly of the Beast, Ask the Right Question, Get the Right Answer, Mad Scientist Machine


November 7 - Orkestra Futura: Hear It NOW 2008, Roundhouse Community Centre.

Guest Artists Jean Jerome and Giorgio Magnanensi.



Orkestra Futura members


Orkestra Futura members include: Lisa Cay Miller, JP Carter, Coat Cooke, James Meger, Mike Mike Dowler, Brad Muirhead, Peggy Lee, Chad MacQuarrie, Kristian Naso, DB Boyko, Tommy Babin, Jesse Zubot, Peter Hurst, Viviane Houle, Jesse Zubot, Clyde Reed, Lee Hutzulak, Skye Brooks, Joe Poole, Kenton Loewen, and Chris Gestrin.