the latest from Decoda

"We Are Family" - a songwriting workshop in Baltimore

Dear Readers,

We're excited to share some info about a recent songwriting workshop, from October 11th, 2013, in Baltimore at Emmanuel Episcopal Church (EECBaltimore).

In honor of National Coming Out Day, EECBaltimore and Decoda collaborated on the We Are Family Songbook Project, a song-writing workshop designed to bring LGBTQ youth and LGBTQ elders together to share stories, their challenges and triumphs, their culture and context, their history and herstory.

These two organizations saw a need in the community to bridge the generation gap in the LGBTQ community. LGBTQ youth often feel isolated from their history and culture, while the elders feel isolated by age and a lack of understanding for the struggles they endured. By encouraging these two communities to tell their stories through song, the songbook project provided a mutually beneficial “knitting together” of the LGBTQ community.

The We Are Family Songbook was created through workshops led by four Decoda musicians, working with ten LGBTQ community members. We had nightly group workshops between October 6th - 10th, with individual sessions happening each day. The culminating performance of the songbook was on National Coming Out Day - October 11th, 2013.

Below you can see the concert program and experience some of the incredible songs that were created through the wonderful journey we had collaborating. As you'll see, we had a wonderful mix of compositions, collaborations, and forms of expression:

  • Decoda performed and arranged several short pieces for the event. 
  • We were able to present 6 different pieces, each created by an individual participant, in collaboration with members of Decoda. One of these was Decoda's musical realization or interpretation of visual art by participant Charlotte Bunting Floyd.
  • Over the course of the entire week, we also collaboratively created one song "Dance Together", which included ideas from all participating members and represented a unified message of advice from and to the LGBTQ community. 

This important event at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Baltimore was supported in part Free Fall Baltimore 2013. We would like to thank John Bowen, Director of Music, at Emmanuel Episcopal Church and EECBaltimore for bringing this project to life.

 - Kris Saebo (project leader), Alicia Lee, Brandon Ridenour, and Greg DeTurck

Check out the article and audio interview about the project on Radio Nederland's based blog Hablemos da Amor: 

http://www.hablemosdeamor.mx/observador-sexual-%C2%BFm%C3%BAsica-para-la-diversidad-en-una-iglesia

 

Concert Program

Concert Program

Concert Program, page 2

Concert Program, page 2

Concert Program, page 3

Concert Program, page 3

Concert Program, page 4

Concert Program, page 4


We are Family Songbook Project Concert: October 11th, 2013

Agnus Dei - one of our musical offerings, arranged by Brandon Ridenour (from J.S. Bach's B minor Mass).

Brandon Lee, trumpet; Alicia Lee, clarinet; Kris Saebo, bass.

We Are Family Songbook Project Concert: October 11th, 2013

Butterfly Man - poem by Ralph Welsh, accompanied on clarinet by Alicia Lee

We Are Family Songbook Project Concert: October 11th, 2013

Dance Together - created collaboratively by all We Are Family members along with all present members of Decoda:-)


Here's the music for "Dance Together" in case you feel like singing along! 

Dance Together.png

Decoda's first days in Mérida, Mexico

Decoda artists Meena Bhasin (viola), Claire Bryant (cello), Greg DeTurck (piano), Liz Janzen (flute) and Owen Dalby (violin) are back in Mérida, Mexico to work and perform alongside some very talented students from several Mexican states at the Escuela Superior de Artes de Yucatán as part of Carnegie Hall and Fomento Cultural Banamex's Professional Training Workshop. On Tuesday evening Decoda performed works by Copland, Mozart, Schumann, and the new string trio by our own bassoonist Brad Balliett. This Saturday we are gearing up to perform chamber music side-by-side with these awesome young musicians at the historic Teatro Peon Contreras. 

 

Schumann Piano Quartet performs at the Felipe Carrillo Puerto Theatre 

Schumann Piano Quartet performs at the Felipe Carrillo Puerto Theatre 

Our days have been jam-packed with rehearsals, coachings, group classes on 'The Rules of Engagement', while still making time to enjoy the delicious food of the Yucatecan culture!  Each of the five Decoda artists is working within a group of students on a movement from major chamber music repertoire by Beethoven, Sor, Weber, Ravel, Kurtag, and Schumann.  We have been so impressed with the dedication and eagerness of these young artists, ranging from 17-28, and are feeling elated by the freshness and love they bring to the chamber music tradition.  

Ravel Quartet performs in an open session on day three of the workshop

Ravel Quartet performs in an open session on day three of the workshop

Tomorrow the collaborative groups will present a concert for at the Celerain Senior Center for their residents which will be a great way to prepare for our culminating celebratory concert on Saturday evening.  The five of us wish to thank the students for their incredible efforts which have sparked a sense of renewed inspiration to our own musicianship!  Bravo and buenas noches from Mexico!  

 

 

Meena coaches violist, Roberto, in Borodin Quartet during an open chamber music master class at ESAY

Meena coaches violist, Roberto, in Borodin Quartet during an open chamber music master class at ESAY