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JAN. 18-21

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The idea:

To create a festival of song, celebrating language as a doorway to experiencing the richness and diversity of human and musical expression.

Our friendship began while we were studying solo piano repertoire as conservatory students in Boston. As we started working more and more with singers in text-based music making, we experienced a new kind of expressive mixture, a collision of seemingly opposite worlds. The “abstract” world of music itself (open-ended, suggestive, spiritual) met the “literal” world of words (direct, structured, narrative)...Or is it the other way around?! Perhaps music is more literal and poetry more abstract! Whatever the case, there are infinite possibilities whenever these universes collide. Thanks to countless poets and composers over the past several hundred years, they have collided over and over again.

The mixing of language and music gives us not only a rich, varied, and ever-growing repertoire to explore; it also creates community. The inherent spirit of sharing in singer-pianist duo work immediately lends itself to human connection. And this type of connection doesn’t stay locked up in a practice room! We are lucky to be part of the community of singers, pianists, poets, composers, mentors, and audience members that naturally forms around the world of song.

Our plan:

With the first edition of the Boston Text and Tone Festival, coming in January, we hope to provide time and space for this community to come together. To this end, we have invited many wonderful artists–from spoken word performers to pianists to singers to Boston-area conservatory students–to participate in four consecutive days of music making. 

 To put the “text” in Text and Tone, each event will include poetry recitation, texts and translations of all works, and discussions of selected texts. We hope that this focus on text can provide an entryway into the world of song for people without musical backgrounds.

All are welcome.

-Elias Dagher and Pierre-Nicolas Colombat

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