Every Satellite production has combined original music with other art forms, including dance, multimedia, film, and spoken word. And always, live music, lots of it. Our first notice in the New York Times, noted that the “abundance of live music” was unique in the world of small, interdisciplinary companies. In an unheard-of move, we actually gave as much stage time to the musical performers as we did to the dancers and visual artists. You can now listen to the entire history of Satellite Collective original music here on our archive page.

Music Feature //
Ellis Ludwig-Leone & BAILE

Satellite Collective is in a new production cycle for Liar Lear King. The piece, set in the New York of the 1970's, focuses on Lear's daughter Cordelia, who must grow in strength to lead an invasion of her own country only to be violently killed by her two sisters. Ultimately, Liar Lear King will fuse ballet, music, spoken word, film, animation, and digital sound beds in both stage and outdoor performances that will trace the impact of bullying on society.

Shakespeare's King Lear is a warning first, and a story second. When Satellite Collective engaged in an adaptation of the piece in the form of Liar Lear King, it was certain to reflect the peculiarity of our times, and to be set in New York City, where no story is too big to hide behind the truth. Satellite's multi-form production includes original music that weaves the work through its complex and tragic story.

Satellite is working with Brooklyn-based composer Ellis Ludwig-Leone, and Brooklyn producer BAILE to produce the film score, and has commissioned Ellis to compose an original ballet with Kevin Draper and Lora Robertson, to premiere at Grand Rapids Ballet October 14-16, 2022.

Two new movements by Ellis, SPEECH II and SPEECH III, anchor the short film score.Producer BAILE, also known as Reed Kackley, brought these works together, developed a sound bed and counterpoints, and adapted the elements into a film score that moves quickly while also giving the listener a strong sense of setting. Ludwig-Leone brings to the score rich dynamics, and resonant emotion with soaring violins, violent cello, and lyrical piano passages. The composition reflects a fierce dialogue between vibration and silence, evoking a wide swath of ancient and modern sounds that reflect the melancholy of our times. The themes of love, violence, and interference ripple through the film score.

Ellis Ludwig-Leone has scored short films for Satellite, most recently “Edie Leaves Twice.”

The collaboration began with Ellis Ludwig-Leone composing and producing a piece titled "Speech after the Removal of the Larynx" inspired by Carey McHugh's poem of the same name. Ludwig-Leone organized his piece into four short movements, each evoking the scrambled sounds of speech: chattering, screaming, breathing, silence. The work invokes Ludwig-Leone's musical negotiation between aggressive, rhythmic "captors" and the glowing chords that bloom in the silences between. Ludwig-Leone said his composition, "adhere[s] to the same kind of scrambled logic as the poem, which is full of contradictions, elisions, and vibrating dissonances."

Kackley, a musical autodidact electronic dance music composer and producer, responded to Ludwig-Leone's composition by listening to it in concert with film of the ballet. Kackley cut and reassembled Ludwig-Leone's composition to score the 10-minute short film, weaving in Kackley's sonic additions, "so that the two works flowed back and forth in a synergistic way — at times complementing and at other times playing against each other to create sudden mood shifts," Kackley said.

Kackley uses a variety of analog synthesizers to create layered electronic dance music, composing with foley sound, analog synths, and captured ambient sound to create warmly textured music. Kackley, working with his phone or Zoom recorder, snatches city sounds including sirens, footsteps, and trains. In Liar Lear King, Kackley incorporated captured sound of ice breaking apart in the Rockaways. Liar Lear King is the first composition in which Kackley incorporated another composer's music into a score he produced. Kackley said, "It was a particularly enjoyable challenge to work with Ellis's pieces which are so complex and impressively written."

Ellis Ludwig-Leone will be releasing Speech II and Speech III in Autumn of 2022.

Ellis's classical training at Yale University and extensive work with chamber ensembles inspires lush, naturalistic compositions marked with barbed complexity. Influenced by mythical storytelling in which wonder turns to terror with a trick of light, his music is distinguished by its cinematic narrative sweep and captures subtle shifts in emotional valence, swinging between euphoria and dread: lyrical melodies twist into gnarled roots; clear water swirls to murk.

Kackley produces for himself and others, and has scored a memoir movement, Patient History (2017), a piece that incorporated experimental dance and spoken word, as well short documentaries and films. He tours the US, Canada, the UK and Amsterdam, DJing and playing live.

Ludwig-Leone composes, is the bandleader and songwriter for San Fermin, and is a founding partner of the label Better Company Records.

Working together on Liar Lear King, Ludwig-Leone and Kackley have so far created a fresh film score remarkable for its lyricism and resonant emotional depth. As the ballet composition progresses , we look forward to sharing more.

Kackley's analog synth tools include a Prophet Rev-2, Moog Little Phatty and Elektron's Digitone, while using a Microcosm pedal to add textures on top of the synths. Kackley is known for incorporating ambient, captured and foley sound into layered works. Foley, a technique usually reserved for the creation, enhancement, or repair of sound for a film's soundscape, is used self-referentially in Liar Lear King's film score. Kackley, working with his phone or a Zoom recorder, snatches city sounds including sirens, footsteps, and trains. In Liar Lear King, Kackley incorporated captured sound of ice breaking apart in the Rockaways.


BAILE’s recent release “Painting Out” inspired Satellite to reach out to him.

BAILE, also known as Reed Kackley, is a Brooklyn based electronic music producer. Baile composes using foley sound, analog synth, and captured ambient sound to create warm layered dance music. BAILE collaborated with Ellis Ludwig-Leone on the composition for the film score for Liar Lear.

2021 saw Kackley release his first full-length album, 'After All This Time', on Montreal-based label House of Youth.

You can now listen to the entire history of Satellite Collective original music here on our archive page.

Music Feature //
Stelth Ulvang

Satellite's Rogue Film Unit has begun a long, beautiful work in collaboration with Stelth Ulvang, of the band The Lumineers. The subject is Luzia Woman, one of the oldest human remains ever found. Dated to over 11,000 years old, they are now lost to a tragic museum fire.

This new composition will be a work in three parts, coming this Autumn and Winter. See this first image from the composition, and watch the preview:

Luzia Promo from Satellite Collective

While we await Stelth's new work, listen to his music from Satellite Collective's 2016 dance-centered short film, "Gran Jericho". His music here evokes pastoral innocence, sensory richness, comfort, and rumination in the natural world.

Gran Jericho - Lora Robertson with Satellite Film from Satellite Collective