Posts Tagged ‘Dante De Silva’

LA Composers Project 2013: Dante De Silva

DeSilva HeadshotIt’s getting a little tricky to keep the “Next up in our series of interviews with composers featured on What’s Next? Ensemble‘s fifth annual Los Angeles Composers Project” line fresh, so feel free to leave a comment suggesting how I should introduce whoever is next. In any case, today we’ve got Dante De Silva.

The name of your piece being performed at LACP 2013 is:

Mr. Distinguished

[Scroll down for audio]

Tell us about it.

The idea for Mr. Distinguished came from a simple idea—I missed writing fun music. I had been knee-deep in my opera about Gesualdo, and I felt I needed to write something that wasn’t emotionally draining.

Inspired by the works of Jacob Ter Veldhuis, I set upon finding a recording of a Dickens story or some poetry. I came across a website, LibriVox.org, an online project that gets volunteers to record themselves reciting books and poetry in the public domain. After days of searching, I found the text for Mr. Distinguished from a chapter of Emily Post’s book of etiquette—the chapter titled “Introductions.”

Much like a kid (me) entering phonetic combinations of letters into a Speak & Spell to hear dirty words, I wanted to manipulate the text into something much more playful than the ridiculously snobbish original text. I manipulated the spoken text to create a character, Mr. Distinguished, who is despicable and goes against many of the rituals Emily Post suggests. He is “always abrupt and unflattering, rude, preposterous, [and] inelastic”—he is almost exactly the way I was described by my etiquette teacher.

Favorite X : Y

My favorite car from the Pixar Cars movies is Fillmore.

Here’s the piece: