As director, composer, curator and performer, my aim for Dronechoir is to present beautiful musical experiences that provide deeper connections between women of different cultures and communities.
Dronechoir performances require no fewer than four female vocalists of various ethnic backgrounds and musical interests who perform an unrehearsed piece that I’ve composed. Each singer is given musical and movement cues through earphones.
Although the base composition of the piece is a constant, Dronechoir continuously reshapes itself through space-specific movement directions that are fed to generous, adventurous vocalists of diverse backgrounds whose voices vary in volume, range and timbre — which is where the movement directions come into play, physically foregrounding specific singers at different points in the piece. As a result, the singers may move closer to members of the audience than expected, bringing depth to the listener’s experience by challenging comfort barriers and introducing a heightened sense of engagement with the performance.
But discomfort is also a factor for the performers: Dronechoir combines unfamiliar collaborators with an unrehearsed performance, and everyone is singing together for the first time with people they may never have met before. We’re given the opportunity to become comfortable with our discomfort, settling into the unknown. Throughout the piece, the vocalists learn what their role is within the choir and composition. By committing to this unrehearsed performance they naturally demonstrate a sense of hope and support, acceptance with what is in the moment, love and respect to our audiences and each other.
video of Arone Dyer’s Dronechoir TRACE taken at PEOPLE Festival in Berlin on October 1st, 2016.
Below is an excerpt of the spoken word portion, written and performed by Mahogany L. Browne alongside Ramya Ramana and Imani Davis as the 16-strong choir sang from their seats in the audience at Ecstatic Music Festival on March 1st, 2018. More info about this very special performance can be found here
Recorded Live at Kaufman Music Center, courtesy of Ecstatic Music Festival, Engineer: Kenny Feldman