On Saturday, April 2, the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater (REDCAT) presents Derrick Skye with his program, “Where can we go, from here?”
Skye, a composer, conductor and musician based in Los Angeles, is bringing a team of dancers, instrumentalists, vocalists, and artists all led by him and writer, speaker, and musician, K Allado-McDowell.
Earlier this year, Skye was asked by CalArts if he would like to curate a concert at Redcat featuring his works. He says he was thrilled to have this opportunity and wanted to “use this platform to give people insight into the complex yet incredibly rewarding process of integrating multiple disciplines and mediums into my work.”
The title of the program alone stands out itself. When asked about the inspiration behind the title, Derrick explained how there is an influx of innovation happening in many different mediums currently. He goes on to tell the Sentinel that one area that’s seeing a lot of changes is classical music.
“The inspiration behind the title comes from the desire to foster more connections between music makers of different genres and disciplines. How can we bring what are perceived as different areas of study closer together, and show their connections,” the musician explains.
Having the desire to cultivate more connections, Derrick commonly intertwines different music practices from different cultural traditions into his work with the classical music communities. He describes one significant difference between “Where can we go, from here?” and others is how the music of different cultures is presented.
“Each piece is tethered together by an overall belief that every represented musical language adds something rich to the overall language of music-making. When these languages are interwoven, this can also have a meaningful effect on our communities by bringing people of different backgrounds together in collaboration,” Skye states.
When you walk through the doors or tune in online, expect to witness jaw-dropping performances as Skye and his team worked long hours to put this program together.
“People can expect to see a show that brings people together from multiple disciplines (neuroscience, music, dance) and highlights the beginnings of another approach to the way music and performance can connect to us all,” Derrick emphasizes.
The program has two parts and will feature a number of musical and dance performances. To top it off, attendees will also witness artificial intelligence (AI) live on stage. The program will conclude with “Song of the Ambassadors,” – an interdisciplinary work that is part of an opera being developed and includes a live neuroscience study on the effects of the composition – with music written by Skye and a libretto by Allado-McDowell which will use the AI language model GPT-3. Skye says this is the largest piece and has been in development since February of 2021 with producer Kenric Allado-McDowell and Lincoln Center.
“It involved work with many different organizations, including the neuroscience Lab at UCSD. Rehearsals for this show have had many different layers of preparation as they involve people from so many disciplines and musical genres. It’s been the most terrifying, yet exhilarating process I’ve ever gone through,” he explains.
Derrick is most excited about the electro-acoustic aspect of the show. It has been a dream of his to include the sciences, music of many genres, and dance all in the same show.
“Derrick Skye: Where can we go, from here?” will take place Saturday, April 2, at the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater located inside the Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles at 8:30 p.m. The show can be viewed both in person and virtual.
Tickets can be purchased at: https://www.redcat.org/event/derrick-skye-where-can-we-go-here
For more information on Derrick Skye, visit his website at: http://www.derrickskye.com/