DBR’s “Club Dance”: Music is a Living Art

DBR and Laurelyn Dossett
Courtesy: Davidson College

Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR) begins his 2012-13 season with a new project—“The Collide,” created in collaboration with North Carolina-native singer-songwriter Laurelyn Dossett. Sponsored by the North Carolina Arts Council’s Connecting Crossroads inNorth Carolina project, “The Collide” is a multi-partner commission that included a two-year residency dedicated to creating new works based on studying the uniqueness of the people, places, and traditions ofNorth Carolina. “The Collide” culminates this fall as DBR and Dossett return in residence to each of the host communities for educational outreach programs and concert performances.

Tara Villa conducts the Davidson College Symphony Orchestra

From September 24-29, DBR and Dosset return to Davidson College (Davidson, NC), where DBR’s Club Dance Manifesto will be featured in concert. Tara Villa, director of the Davidson College Symphony Orchestra, conducts the two-movement, 20-minute piece (played without pause). “We are really excited about performing DBR’s Club Dance Manifesto,” Villa notes, “especially since he will be in residency working with us. I believe the students will find DBR’s layering of motives very interesting as they weave and unfold throughout the texture as the piece progresses. It been several years since a guest artist from outside of the Davidson community performed with the DCSO. While I know the performance will be charged with Daniel’s energy and enthusiasm, I think the students will find the rehearsal process equally engaging. It’s a great opportunity for the orchestra to have the experience of rehearsing a piece with the composer present. There’s always a unique and very personal connection that the students can make to a piece when they’ve met and worked with the composer himself. It is a good reminder that music is a living, breathing, and malleable art.” DBR and Dossett continue their “Connecting Crossroads” tour through November 17th.

Each movement of Club Dance Manifesto consists of a main theme and series of variations. In many ways, I tried to make this an exploration of dance music, and the pounding, endless repetitions of both bass lines and bass drums. I tried to find solutions to the many problems any composer faces when translating music from one medium to another—I’m nottrying to make an acoustic orchestra sound like an electronic record. 

There’s a wonderful tradition of dancing and dance music that orchestral music shares with the electronic, rock, hip-hop, and pop music of the day. From Strauss to Stravinsky, and from Ellington to Eminem, there are overlapping qualities that perhaps all dance music shares, including tempo, melody, harmony, form, and texture. I think this work reveals the language of dance music that I want to speak through an orchestral palette.”    —  DBR


Other DBR news: On September 21st, pianist and new music-champion Anthony de Mare appears at the University of Maryland’s Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center and plays DBR’s Another Hundred People, which was commissioned as part of de Mare’s “Liaisons: Re-Imagining Sondheim from the Piano” project. In October, DBR performs his signature piece Voodoo Violin Concerto at the Westerfield Symphony (Westerfield, OH) on the 14th; and on the 18th, DBR heads to Cleveland’s Museum of Contemporary Art for the premiere of Gilgamesh on the Crooked River—commissioned by the Tri-C Center for the Performing Arts and written during DBR’s 2011-12 composer residency. DBR’s 2012-13 season also features a year-long residency at the New Haven Symphony.

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