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debuted at #2 on the Classical Albums and Traditional Classical Billboard Charts!

🏆 For Your Grammy Consideration 🏆

Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance (Emi Ferguson, Ruckus)

Best Engineered Album, Classical (Matt Hall and Dave Snyder, engineers; Alan Silverman, mastering engineer)

Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Capella (Sonata in E Major, BWV 1035: III. Siciliano)

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“blindingly impressive…a fizzing, daring display of personality and imagination”

- The New York Times

"Wit, panache, and the jubilant, virtuosic verve of a bebop-Baroque jam session electrified and illuminated..."

Boston Musical Intelligencier 

Taking Bach out of the museum and infusing it with equal parts tradition, funk, whimsy, and fun, Emi Ferguson and Ruckus take you on a wild romp through some of Bach’s most playful and transcendent works. The album features new arrangements of Bach’s Flute Sonatas and Keyboard Preludes, orchestrated for baroque flute and the forces of Ruckus that include theorbos, baroque guitars, baroque bassoon, cello, viola da gamba, harpsichord, organ, bass, and even banjo.

Ruckus, the super-powered baroque rhythm section, explodes Bach’s single bass line into a rainbow of textures and colors, continually shifting like light over the landscape as Ferguson’s flute lines dance above. Contrasting the three flute sonatas on the album are new arrangements of a variety of Bach’s keyboard preludes, with selections ranging from the beloved Well Tempered Clavier, to alternate movements from keyboard suites that are rarely performed.

track list

Prelude in G Major, after BWV 884



Sonata in E Minor, BWV 1034

Adagio ma non tanto           





Prelude in E Minor, after BWV 855 



Sonata in E Major, BWV 1035

Adagio ma non tanto    



Allegro assai            


Prelude in G Minor, after BWV 847a


Prelude in C Minor, after BWV 999

Prelude in C Major


Sonata in C Major, BWV 1033




Menuett I & II            


Prelude in E Major, after BWV 815a






















album credits

Emi Ferguson


Clay Zeller-Townson 

Shirley Hunt        

Doug Balliett  

Evan Premo  

Paul Holmes Morton 

Adam Cockerham

Elliot Figg 

Produced by

Assisted by

Recorded at

Engineered by

Overdubs recorded at

Engineered by

Mixed and edited by

Mastered at

Album artwork and design


CD liner notes


Catalog number

baroque flute

baroque bassoon

baroque cello, viola da gamba

viola da gamba

baroque bass

theorbo, baroque guitar, banjo

theorbo, baroque guitar

harpsichord, organ


Emi Ferguson

Clay Zeller-Townson, Elliot Figg,

Kendall Briggs, Nicholas Csicsko

Guilford Sound

Dave Snyder and Matt Hall

Fer Sound

Chris Botta

Dave Snyder and Emi Ferguson

ARF! Mastering by Alan Silverman


Ivanco Talevski

Aleks Degtyarev

Emi Ferguson and Clay Zeller-Townson





Emi Ferguson and Ruckus

J.S. Bach: E Minor Sonata, BWV 1034: II. Allegro

filmed by Aleks Degtyarev at Guilford Sound

edited by Emi Ferguson

Emi Ferguson and Ruckus

J.S. Bach: Sonata in E Minor, BWV 1034: III. Andante, live

filmed by Kevin Greene

audio by Dan Pfieffer

edited by Emi Ferguson

performed live at Harvard University's Horner Room as part of the American Repertory Theatre's Run AMOC! Festival, December 16th, 2018

Emi Ferguson and Ruckus

J.S. Bach: G Major Prelude, after BWV 884, live

filmed by Kevin Greene

audio by Dan Pfieffer

edited by Emi Ferguson

performed live at Harvard University's Horner Room as part of the American Repertory Theatre's Run AMOC! Festival, December 16th, 2018


these works were not created equally

they represent three distinct stages of j.s. bach's life, and each inhabits its own artistic world


we’ve responded accordingly



E Minor Sonata, BWV 1034. A dance between light and shadow. Possibly written during his early Leipzig years while composing over sixty cantatas, this sonata has the weight of his larger musical sermons, and its technical sophistication shows the hand of a seasoned craftsman.



E Major Sonata, BWV 1035. Sensual, simple in form, perfumed with luxurious harmony. There’s a galant breeziness throughout, yet the harmonic twists and melodic interplay between flute and bass reveal Bach’s love for thorny, contrapuntal music.


C Major Sonata, BWV 1033. Open-hearted, inviting, full of grace and generosity. This sonata features an unusually simple continuo line that may have been composed by a young C.P.E. Bach as part of his studies - possibly in response to an existing solo flute work by his father. This invited us to experiment. Using C.P.E.’s work as a springboard, we interwove other music by Bach (the Goldberg Variations), rewrote bass lines, and added newly composed material.


con·tin·u·o: an open-ended accompaniment part used in 17th- and 18th-century music consisting of a bass line with numbers that indicate chords. an 18th-century rainbow machine, a bedazzled dinosaur.


flute: Italian traverso, French, flûte traversière.  the oldest melodic instrument, favored by Baroque composers for its sweet tone. not to be confused with the recorder. a glass of champagne, a soaring dragon.

son·a·ta: in the Baroque period, a multi-movement instrumental chamber work. also, a mid-size car.

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full press kit (pdf)

sections (pdf)

press release

track listing

album credits

liner notes



photographs (dropbox)

download the above as word files, pdfs, or pages documents on dropbox


media inquiries

flythecoopbach [at]

(917) 740 6661

booking and licensing

nicholas csicsko

nick [at]


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EMI FERGUSON can be heard live in concerts and festivals around the world as a soloist and member of the Handel and Haydn Society, AMOC*, the New York New Music Ensemble, and the Manhattan Chamber Players. Her debut album, Amour Cruel, an indie-pop song cycle inspired by the music of the 17th century French court, was released by Arezzo Music in September 2017, spending 4 weeks on the Classical, Classical Crossover, and World Music Billboard Charts. Emi has spoken and performed at several TEDX events and has been featured on media outlets including the Discovery Channel, Vox, and TouchPress apps talking about how music relates to our world today. She has been featured in performances by the Marlboro, Lucerne, Lake Champlain, and Twickenhamfest music festivals and has been a guest artist with early music ensembles Tafelmusik, Les Arts Florissants, the American Classical Orchestra, Voices of Music, and Trinity Baroque Orchestra. Emi is currently on the faculty of the Juilliard School. Born in Japan and raised in London and Boston, she now resides in New York City. For more information please visit



RUCKUS is an emerging early music band with a fresh, visceral approach to old music.  The ensemble aims to fuse the early-music movement’s questing, creative spirit, with the grit, groove, and jangle of American roots music, creating a unique sound of “rough-edged intensity” (The New Yorker). Ruckus performed its debut in Christopher Alden’s staging of Handel’s Aci, Galatea e Polifemo featuring Anthony Roth Costanzo, Davone Tines, and Ambur Briad to wide-spread acclaim: “achingly delicate one moment, punchy and incisive the next” The New York Times; “Superb” Opera News.  Material from its forthcoming debut album with flutist Emi Ferguson, Fly the Coop: Bach Sonatas and Preludes, was described as a “ fizzing, daring display of personality and imagination” by The New York Times. Future performances will be held at The Da Camera Society (Los Angeles) and Music Before 1800 (New York City).


At its core, Ruckus is what is known as a continuo section in baroque music: a collection of guitars, keyboard, and bass instruments akin to a rhythm section in jazz.  This five person core is comprised of players who are among the most creative and virtuosic performers of their instruments in the United States.  Individually, they perform with the leading period-instrument ensembles.  



Clay Zeller-Townson (baroque bassoon): Founder of Ruckus.  Plays with the leading period instrument ensembles in North America including Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, Boston Baroque, Trinity Baroque Orchestra, American Bach Soloists and Musica Angelica.  Masterclasses at Eastman School of Music, UCLA, and University of Missouri.


Doug Balliett (viola da gamba and bass): is a composer, instrumentalist and poet based in New York City. The New York Times has described his poetry as “brilliant and witty” (Clytie and the Sun), his bass playing as “elegant” (Shawn Jaeger’s In Old Virginny), and his compositions as “vivid, emotive, with contemporary twists” (Actaeon). Doug is professor of baroque bass and violone at the Juilliard School.


Adam Cockerham (theorbo/baroque guitar) Performances with Trinity Baroque Orchestra, NOVUS NY, Philharmonia Chamber Players, New York Baroque Incorporated, El Mundo, and J415, Prototype Festival (Pulitzer Prize-winning Angel’s Bone) and Opera Saratoga (A Long Walk).  Cockerham is currently a doctoral candidate at The Juilliard School after completing his Master of Music degree in Historical Plucked Strings, studying with Charles Weaver and Daniel Swenberg. Partnering with acclaimed mezzo-soprano Danielle Sampson, he founded voice and guitar/lute duo Jarring Sounds, which released its first album in 2014.


Elliot Figg (keyboards): member of Ruckus, ACRONYM, New York Baroque Incorporated, and New Vintage Baroque. Recent engagements include: Conductor and harpsichordist for L’Amant Anonyme with Little Opera Theatre of New York; assistant conductor and harpsichordist for Vivaldi’s Farnace, and Cavalli’s Veremonda, both with Spoleto Festival USA; and assistant conductor and harpsichordist for Dido and Aeneas with L.A. Opera.


Shirley Hunt (cello and viola da gamba): member of Ruckus, performances and recordings with Handel and Haydn Society, Boston Baroque, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, American Bach Soloists, Musica Angelica, Portland Baroque Orchestra, and Bach Collegium San Diego. Performs regularly at the Metropolitan Museum of Art with the renaissance ensemble Sonnambula, and is an artist-in-residence at the Museum of Jurassic Technology.


Paul Holmes Morton (theorbo/guitar/banjo): member of Ruckus, The Chivalrous Crickets, and the Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado. Recent Recordings: “Orphea” by Majel Connery, Emi Ferguson’s “Amour Cruel”, and “Arcangelo’s Circle”, by the Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado. Paul is an active performer and recording artist of music ranging from historical resurrections to his own creations. He lives in New York City.


Evan Premo (bass): founding member of DeCoda. Founder, with his wife Mary Bonhag, and artistic director of Scrag Mountain Music.  Artistic director and founder: “Beethoven and Banjos": brings together folk and classical musicians for cross-genre concerts in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. As Composer, commissioned by the Pittsburgh Symphony Chamber Orchestra, River Town Duo, Aizuri Quartet, International Society of Bassists.



about fly the coop

"The three intimate concerts I heard on Saturday were blindingly impressive. One fun hour had Emi Ferguson playing Bach’s flute sonatas with a six-part continuo band, Ruckus, improvising on the figured bass, a fizzing, daring display of personality and imagination."

David Allen, The New York Times (pdf)

"Venturing outside the box with American Modern Opera Company's Flutist"

Zoë Madonna, The Boston Globe (pdf)

"Wit, panache, and the jubilant, virtuosic verve of a bebop-Baroque jam session electrified and illuminated previously candle-lit edifices as Ruckus and friends raised the roof, and my mind’s eye will never see those structures in quite the same light again."

CJ Ru, Boston Musical Intelligencier (pdf)

about emi ferguson

"How a classical musician turned 400-year-old French songs into a modern hit."

Anne Midgette, The Washington Post (pdf)

"This emotion-packed song-cycle will appeal to fans of all musical genres—rich sounds pair instruments that would have been familiar to an 18th century audience with a modern pop-rock aesthetic."

Peter Jurew, All About Jazz (pdf)

"The performance was dazzling, its best moments having the quality of a jam session...Ferguson and Daskalakis responded vigorously to the challenge."

Allan Kozinn, Portland Press Herald (pdf)

about ruckus

"Clay Zeller-Townson, who led the ensemble, drew a vibrant performance from the musicians, achingly delicate one moment, punchy and incisive the next."

Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times (pdf)

"He was aided by Mark Grey’s smoothly disruptive sound design and by the rough-edged intensity of the period-performance ensemble Ruckus, conducted by Clay Zeller-Townson."

Russell Platt, The New Yorker (pdf)

"Led by Clay Zeller-Townson, the superb period ensemble Ruckus, enriched with electronic and pre-recorded sounds, played from house left yet succeeded in striking a seamless balance between pit and stage."

Steven Jude Tietjen, Opera News (pdf)