The Durham Original Music & Alumni Network (DOMAN) functions around connection. In-person networking events, jam sessions and showcases created the bedrock of what we offered throughout most of the 2019/20 academic year. When the first spike of COVID-19 emerged in the United Kingdom, therefore, both the existing and incoming exec were unsure of how we would exist as a society, nay how we would adapt to the 2020/21 cycle. Nevertheless, we have.
Over the last 5 months virtual placeholder events have well-nigh brought the Durham original writing community together. Through Zoom networking sessions, a less-than-in person alumni link-up scheme and the launch of a dedicated podcast, we have digitally shared the stories of the most exciting original musicians both on, and around, the peninsula. Even when a second national lockdown was implemented – indeed, dashing our hopes for an in-person showcase of any size – we were prepared, and this project – the Michaelmas Mix-Tape – was our solution.
In collaboration with KALAB Artists, Music Durham and featuring musicians recommended to the Student Music Network UK, this “showcase” through both physical and digital mediums gives Durham musicians a platform from which to hopefully build professional careers on post-studies. This album is not about what WE, as DOMAN, have done, though. It is what the students have achieved, in the face of glaring adversity. The album is entirely student-driven: it is self-written, self-recorded, self-produced and self-mastered. DOMAN merely facilitates the distribution and networking element of their music, a foundational goal of our society. It manifests the idea that – while the arts have been stretched to their limits, both this term and for the last nine months – the persistence and amazing advancements of creatives throughout the university have not stopped, nor will they go unnoticed. Headlined by our Michaelmas Song Writing Competition winners Sam White and Ed Osborne (Escher) the album, from submissions so far, brings together many different types of compositional and cultural influences. From: Britpop, to Trance-Rock; Shoegaze to French Piano solos; the gamut of music on display is wide and inclusive.
Coming from, and to, a society near you!
Along with promotion from other Music Durham and DSU societies, including Rock Soc, DJ Soc and via an upcoming article in The Palatinate, the internal response to the announcement of this project has been phenomenal. Additionally, with the help of Purple Radio, and “Undiscovered Artists” host Kat Pittalis, an entire hour of broadcasting will be dedicated to hearing these artists on the Durham airwaves. Listen up for this special episode from 8-9pm on Monday 14th December. All of the DOMAN Team (including: President Taylor Morse, Vice-President James Hughes, Secretary Lizzie Lloyd, Treasurer Ishaan Shukla and Secondary Alumni Relations Officer Finola Southgate) deserve an incredible amount of credit and plaudits for not only keeping the society operating this term, but for bringing new life and tabling innovative ideas at every occasion possible.
Where to find it
The album will be available to stream on Spotify from December 10th, with Apple Music users (et al.) being able to stream it a week later; physical versions of the CD will be available to order on the Music Durham website from the latter of these dates.