And that odd muse of mine,
My versipel, is with me everywhere,
In carrel and in car, and in my chair.

                                                —Vladimir Nabokov, “Pale Fire”


changeable; protean; having a form, nature or appearance that changes often.

Versipel New Music is an organization dedicated to presenting high-quality, innovative performances of new classical music to the New Orleans area and to educating the public about exciting and stylistically diverse works written by living composers both around the world and at home in Louisiana today.

Versipel reflects the idea of the constant morphing of each individual’s artistic muse and how style in contemporary music continuously reforms, reshapes and grows anew. Due to the multifaceted and unique nature of the New Orleans cultural and artistic scene, we have created an organization that is designed to be versipellous, to change shape and take on audience engagement in many different ways. Our mission will be achieved by presenting several types of concerts in the New Orleans area, which will often be accompanied by an educational component in local universities, schools and community centers.

Through our Visiting Artist Series, we will host the most experienced, cutting-edge new music ensembles and musicians from around the country. In our New Music Series, we will present concerts performed by the Versipel Collective, a group of local musicians dedicated to performing new music. As a free-spirited city with its unique convergence of cultures and eclectic traditions in music and in art, New Orleans makes a perfect home for adventurous and innovative new music.


Kari Besharse, director

Kari-banffsmContinuously exploring the myriad ways that music intersects with science, nature, and the human world, Kari Besharse’s compositional output spans various facets within the field of contemporary music, fully engaging new technological resources as well as traditional instruments and ensembles. Her works, which incorporate sounds from acoustic instruments, found objects, the natural world, and sound synthesis, are often generated from a group of sonic objects or material archetypes that are subjected to processes inspired by nature, physics and computer music. Currently a lecturer at Southeastern Louisiana University, Dr. Besharse has also taught music theory, music history, and electronic music courses at Illinois Wesleyan and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Kari’s education includes undergraduate studies at the University of Missouri at Kansas City, and graduate work at the University of Texas at Austin and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

 Philip Schuessler, assistant director

photo2Philip Schuessler’s music explores the intricacies of subtle timbres and delicate dynamics through extended acoustic and electro-acoustic resources. His works have been championed by such artists and ensembles as Yarn/Wire, Loadbang, Mantra Percussion Ensemble, Dither Guitar Quartet, Hypercube, Byrne:Kozar:Duo, violinist Graeme Jennings, pianist Mabel Kwan and cellist Craig Hultgren. He is currently an instructor of music theory and composition at Southeastern Louisiana University. His music is published by Pendula Music, Potenza Music, Alia Music, Murphy Music Press, and SCI Journal of Scores. Recordings of his compositions may be found on the Centaur, Curvepoint, and Capstone labels.

For updates on concerts and other activities, please sign up for the Versipel New Music Mailing List HERE.

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