I Screamed .... DANIEL!!!
by Daniel Bernard Roumain | Mar 29, 2013 11:12 am
Posted to: Arts & Culture, Music
Celebrated hip-hop voodoo violinist Daniel Bernard Roumain‘s 20-day New Haven residency (hosted by the New Haven Symphony Orchestra) took him to UNH and a Seymour middle school this week. He tells us about it in the latest installment of a diary he’s keeping for the Independent. (Previous installments here and here.)
an orchestra of life
We played our first Young People’s Concert this week at Seymour Middle School
Hundreds of young people wanting to hear something old, new
I played, first, as DBR
Then, I introduced my friends, as the NHSO
We all have a name, and I told them I would never ask them to do something I wouldn’t do myself
What better way to establish trust?
So then, at the top of my lungs, I screamed my name….
I asked the orchestra to do the same
I asked our young guests to then shout their name with us
And in this, we instantly became an orchestra of life
After this, it was easy to introduce my other friends
Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms
And the wonderful Cuban-born composer and conductor, Tania Leon
Our guests loved it all, and shouted for more
So we gave them my Voodoo Violin Concerto
Towards the end, I told them you should always have a question; you should always have a comment
They wanted to hear more
They wanted to hear the theme from Star Wars
This from a young, excited boy born in 2001!
I asked him to tell me who composed that work
He replied he didn’t know
So, I told him to Google-search the composer of that work
And come to Woolsey Hall for more…with his parents.
It was a great day.
a framer of ideas
I was invited to give a lecture at the University of New Haven
I plugged-in my laptop, but first, pulled-out my violin
And played the room
I walked all around them
Playing and talking and singing and story-telling
I told them I was a composer and that to me that meant I frame ideas and present them
That for me, that is the essence of what I do
So I took them on my journey
Sharing my website, scores, and sound files
Challenging them to question everything I said
And inviting them to ask questions, comments, and to take a stance
I even invited one of them up to play my violin
She had never played before
And she did—-quite well
In that moment, she may not have realized how much I was learning from her
From her courage and her compassion and her willingness to dare herself
And in doing so, inspiring others, and all of us
People came and went
I suppose they all got what they wanted or needed
We are an orchestra of life
We care about our community
We love our children
They are our kids, too
We play with our whole bodies for them
We just don’t say our name; we declare it!
We will never ask an audience to do something we wouldn’t do ourselves
We provide musical, and magical, moments
We work hard to get it all right
We give and always receive
We want to be heard so that others will, too
Our stage may be the last bastion of democracy, were all voices are heard, and differences are celebrated
We play to make and move and reveal and rejoice and express and extoll and heal and hope
We are the sound of being alive
We are an orchestra of life.
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