Milky Way or Galaxy are traditional Korean translations of the first name of flutist Meerenai Shim. Pronounced “me-ren-ay,” the unusual name befits this unique and forward thinking musician.
Meerenai is a founding member of the innovative flute and percussion duo, A/B Duo. In 2016, she joined the award-winning contemporary flute ensemble, Areon Flutes. She has performed all over the United States as a soloist and chamber musician. Recent performances include the Soundwave Biennial in San Francisco, the Bang on a Can Summer Festival, the National Flute Association’s Annual Conventions, and numerous universities. In addition to regular broadcast of her recordings on classical radio stations, Meerenai's recordings and performances have been featured on Music from Other Minds, Live from WFMT, and New Music Box.
In 2015 Meerenai founded Aerocade Music, a record label specializing in contemporary classical, electronic, and experimental music. Her third solo album, the all-electroacoustic Pheromone, is the first release on the label. Regarding Pheromone, Fanfare Magazine says, "Flautist Meerenai Shim has the chops and the heart to do these recently composed pieces full justice, and this inaugural release on her own Aerocade label is the proverbial proof of the pudding."
After a practice-related injury almost derailed her flute career, Meerenai started studying the Alexander Technique, body mapping, and the Feldenkrais Method. She now teaches musicians how to play better by improving their movement. Her pedagogical philosophy of using the principles of the Feldenkrais Method in flute study can be seen in her book, Scale Studies for Beginner and Intermediate Flutists. She is currently training to become a Feldenkrais Practitioner.
Ever adventurous, Meerenai has never been afraid to learn new things. Whether it’s picking up the tenor banjo to play an informal concert at the Aspen Music Festival where she was conducting student, or trying her hand at producing an independent film, she has always been willing to rise to the occasion and learn new things. Between receiving her Bachelor of Music in flute performance from DePaul University and the Master of Music in flute performance from San Francisco State University, Meerenai worked in the Information Technology field and in Management Consulting. All of her past experiences and can-do attitude naturally led her to seeking out new repertoire and contemporary music.
As a part of A/B Duo, and on her own, Meerenai has commissioned new works from numerous composers including Daniel Felsenfeld, Andrea La Rose, Isaac Schankler, and Ken Ueno. Her frequent collaborator Matthew Joseph Payne has written Meerenai a few pieces with accompaniment by Gameboy or other circuit-bent instruments. Meerenai operates and mixes all of her own audio and electronics from the stage.
Meerenai Shim is an affiliate of, and fiscally-sponsored by, the San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the service of chamber music in California. She also serves as a curator at the Center for New Music in San Francisco. She resides in Silicon Valley with her husband Dave, and their Great Dane mix, Lady.