Carmen Braden is a WCMA-nominated composer / performer from the Canadian sub-Arctic. Her music+sound company Black Ice Sound is based in her hometown of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. Hailed as “a talented, bold musician” (Up Here Magazine), Carmen is a life-long Northerner whose music has been described as “drop-dead gorgeous” (Ottawa Citizen). Carmen’s debut studio album Ravens was released by Centrediscs in 2017.

Carmen’s vocal, instrumental, and electroacoustic music is greatly tied to her soundscape. She draws from the environment by examining natural phenomena through sonic, visual, sensual and scientific ways of understanding. Her creative research has led her into deep study of ice on Great Slave Lake, as well as raven calls, bedrock, and different qualities of light. Carmen often collaborates with other mediums including dance, theatre, film, and story-telling.

Her music has been performed across Canada by the Toronto Symphony, James Ehnes, the Elmer Isler Singers, Spiritus Chamber Choir, the Gryphon Trio, the Land’s End Ensemble, GroundSwell and the Penderecki Quartet. Carmen’s works have been performed across Canada and internationally, including at the 21C Festival in Toronto’s Koerner Hall, the Stratford Festival, the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, the ArtArctica festival in Finland, the National Arts Centre 2013 Northern Scene Festival, The Global Composition in Germany, the Shattering the Silence New Music Festival, the Land’s End Emerging Composer Competition (Audience Choice Award), and the University of Calgary New Music Festival.

Carmen is passionate about creative education. She teaches individual students in Yellowknife, as well as contributing to music education in the North. Carmen was a pivotal member of the Gryphon Trio’s NWT Listen UP! project, which was a year-long program held in six NWT communities incorporating poetry, music composition, and performance. Carmen also delivers customized workshops on music education, composition and improvisation.

Carmen’s academic study has been supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, and her creative work has been supported by the NWT Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts.

Born in 1985 in Whitehorse, Yukon, Carmen grew up in Yellowknife and learned to love music with Bill Gilday and Ardith Dean. She earned the International Baccalaureate from Lester B. Pearson United World College of the Pacific and continued to study under Michelle Hewitt. In 2009 Carmen received her Bachelor of Music in Composition from Acadia University where she studied with Derek Charke and Stephen Naylor. She received her Masters of Music in Composition from the University of Calgary in 2015, studying under Allan Gordon Bell, Laurie Radford and David Eagle.


Cabin Radio – Concert Series Launch – Robert Uchida and Peter Allen concert of Brahms Violin Sonatas May 3 2018, and Clarisse Tonigussi concert of Canadian Women Composers May 26 2018

Metro News Toronto – Bentway Conservancy January 4 2018

CBC Yukon – Problematic Orchestra commission. December 20 2017

Ion Arts – March 20 2018 – Washington DC classical music review of Ravens – http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2018/03/morninglistening-to-carmenbradens-ravens.html

Classical Voice North America – TSO Chamber Soloists perform Songs of the Invisible Summer Stars – July 27 2017

Summer Festival Spotlights Music By Canada’s Own

The Gauntlet February 28 2017 Ice Seasons Premiere

CBC Interview – Daybreak Alberta with Russell Bowers. January 22 2017 – Launch of Ravens

The Whole Note – March 2017 – Review of Ravens  2206-TheWholeNote-March-2017-FULL FINAL_RFS 68

Written Works