The Commons Choir (BRIC Artists in Residence)

Led by choreographer Daria Faïn and poet Robert Kocik, The Commons Choir collectively sets our humanity’s troubles and highest ideals to song, movement, and spoken word. Using a collective creative process, the Choir uses voice and movement as links between art, health, and social change.  

The Commons Choir will premiere a new work, mayday heyday parfait (formerly BROOKLYN REZOUND), which sets humanity's troubles and highest aspirations to song, dance, and poetry, exploring the human capacity for empathy across difference. A diverse cast of 15 weaves a multi-layered narrative in complex musical harmonies and highly personal movement—from the violence of history that brought us to where we are now, to a way forward where individuals follow their own paths and yet still feel their connection to others. Like the title whimsically references: mayday (distress signal, request for help) heyday (period of great success) parfait (French: perfect; layered concoction), our stories and our histories are irreducible and interdependent. Our collective force may be strong if we can find a way to undiscover ourselves and meet again. 

For the Fall 2017, The Commons Choir is participating in a BRIClab Residency to further the development of the piece and which will culminate in the premiere of mayday heyday parfait in November at BRIC House. You can support the continued development of mayday heyday parfait by contributing to its Kickstarter campaign


COMPANY BIO

Led by choreographer Daria Faïn and poet-architect Robert Kocik, The Commons Choir collectively sets humanity’s troubles and highest aspirations to song, movement, and spoken word. The Choir is built upon The Prosodic Body, a methodology developed by Fain and Kocik to explore language and the fundamental building blocks of sound as a medium to create art that delves into the rich cultural diversity and social interaction of communities. Their medium is prosody, encompassing the physical and musical aspect of language—vibration, tone, rhythm, pause, emphasis, gesture, connotation, intent, attitude—without which we could not communicate. A performance by The Commons Choir takes on the scale of an epic, town hall musical. Their vocalization emits a primal full-bodied force, sending a vibration throughout the audience, who ultimately feel the core sound of the language—the subtleties of how it enforces who we are, how we move, how we exist and relate to one another—as distinct from its meaning. The Commons Choir has a core and variable cast of roughly 30 singers, actors, dancers, poets, musicians, composers and people and in addition to performance their work manifests in architecture, health, education and socioeconomic justice.

Darius Jones is an extraordinarily gifted alto saxophonist and composer. He joined the New York music community in 2005, after living and studying in Richmond, VA. During his time in New York he has amazed and inspired musicians and audiences from widely divergent backgrounds with his meticulously honed musical gifts. Soul-power is at his foundation; forward-looking expression always at the core. Darius was signed to AUM Fidelity records in February of 2009 and released his highly acclaimed debut album as a leader, Man'ish Boy (A Raw and Beautiful Thing), in October of that year. He has since released numerous other albums which have garnered overwhelming praise from the New York TimesNPRJazz TimesAll About JazzTime Out New York, the Boston GlobePop DoseSignal to NoiseThe WireParis TransatlanticThe Village Voice, and others. Darius was awarded the Van Lier Fellowship by Roulette in 2008, which he used to launch his chamber ensemble, Elizabeth-Caroline Unit, a project dedicated to new works for voice. Darius was a two-time nominee for Up and Coming Artist in 2010 and 2011, and nominated for Alto Saxophonist of the Year in 2013 by the Jazz Journalists Association. Darius was one of Jazz Times' Debut Artists of the Year for 2009. Of note, Jones was featured in the Wall Street Journal and BBC's Jazz on 3 in 2011.