Music Director for Dance
Michael Chorney is a self-taught musician, composer, and arranger who has lived and worked in Vermont for 30 years. He has been called “one of the Green Mountains' most inventive musician-composers.” As a bandleader, Michael has created and led viperHouse, Magic City, Orchid, 7 Deadly Sins, and his newest ensemble, the Michael Chorney Sextet.
Michael has also produced fellow Vermonter Anais Mitchell’s albums Hymns for the Exiled and The Brightness. Over the past three years they have collaborated on Mitchell's folk opera, Hadestown (Righteous Babe, 2010). Michael’s arrangements feature the playing of producer/bassist Todd Sickafoose, Jim Black, Josh Roseman, Tanya Kalmanovich and Marika Hughes. Guests singers include Justin Vernon, Ani DiFranco, Greg Brown and the Haden Triplets.
Michael is fluent on both acoustic guitar and baritone saxophone and has spent recent years focusing on prepared guitar. He’s developed a system of manipulating the strings that can alter the tone from that of an African hunter’s harp to a Javanese Gamelan. His guitar playing is featured on his own recordings as well as Hadestown. Michael prefers to use the straight-ahead sound of his 1933 L-00 Gibson when performing his solo songs.
In 2009, Michael received a New Works Grant from the Vermont Community Foundation, as well as a commission from the Flynn Theater, for his new works for sextet.