Daniel Bernard Roumain, composer | Marc Bamuthi Joseph, libretto
“‘Twin Stars’ is a piece that was created out of love and a thirst for Black dignity — and the hope and optimism that every child, every human deserves.” —Marc Bamuthi Joseph, poet and librettist [LISTEN TO ARTIST STATEMENT HERE]
Filmed at WaterFire Arts Center on September 29, 2022. Run time: 31 minutes.
Libretto by Marc Bamuthi Joseph
Composed by Daniel Bernard Roumain
Direction by Dana Greenfield
Lighting Design by David Shocket
Melvin Chen, Piano
Becky Bass, Mezzo-Soprano
Albert Rudolph Lee, Tenor
MusicWorks Collective String Quartet:
Sarah Kim, Violin
Kimberly Fang, Violin
Sebastian Ruth, Viola
Kamyron Williams, Cello
Shura Baryshnikov, Dancer
Victoria L. Awkward, Dancer
Jay Breen, Dancer
Video by Steer
The future is built on how we remember. In Twin Stars, Daniel Bernard Roumain and Marc Bamuthi Joseph honor the memory of Philando Castile, murdered in 2016 during a police traffic stop while his four-year-old daughter, Dae’Anna and her mother, Diamond Reynolds bore witness in the back seat of the car. The epidemic of violence against Black bodies sparked the path for the artists’ music and activism, and converged with local collaborators in Providence, Rhode Island as the opening performance for FirstWorks’ 2022 season.
With “Twin Stars,” the artists have created a sanctuary on both live and virtual stages. I thank them — and their collaborators, for this painful, beautiful work of art that bears witness to Black trauma and brings us together to move forward. FirstWorks honors this work and is fiercely committed to our role in the arts ecosphere that brings artists and community together.
This chamber work, performed by string quartet, piano, two vocalists and dancers, challenges us to ask: How are we going to do the work? How are we going to join together against the persistence of anti-Black racism in the United States? It asks us to remember that beauty and joy can also be forms of resistance and proclamation.
Daniel is using music, classical music at that, as an instrument of change. We must rise to this moment. The voices of artists beckon us forward to a kinder future.
Executive Artistic Director & Founder, FirstWorks
Read about FirstWorks’ commitment to equity and inclusion.
We look forward to continuing this work, both internally and in the community.
Special thanks to our partners at NEFA, Providence’s Department of Art, Culture, Tourism and PVDFest, to Daniel Bernard Roumain, Marc Bamuthi Joseph and the collaborating artists and creative team in Providence: Victoria L. Awkward, Shura Baryshnikov, Becky Bass, Jay Breen, Melvin Chen, Dana Greenfield, Albert Rudolph Lee, MusicWorks Collective (Kimberly Fang, Sarah Kim, Sebastian Ruth, Kamyron Williams), David Shocket, the STEER team and Carlos Toro.
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