As a result of the implementation of lockdown restrictions in Durham, the music scene has been affected greatly particularly with the inability to host live concerts and showcases. However, Durham’s Original Music & Alumni Network (DOMAN) have successfully found a way round this problem with their brand new Michaelmas Mixtape.
Over Zoom, I spoke to George Bone, the alumni relations officer for DOMAN, to discuss this brilliant concept and to understand DOMAN’s overall aim and impact they wanted to achieve with the Mixtape.
In normal circumstances, DOMAN would hold an ‘end of term showcase’ to provide the opportunity for Durham students to perform their original music to the wider community. However, this has not been possible this term due to the unfortunate lockdown restrictions, meaning the society had to think outside of the box to provide a way for Durham students to still have the opportunity to promote their original music. Most societies and colleges have turned to ‘Virtual Open Mic’ events but DOMAN wanted to be original and stand-out against this current trend and thus, the Mixtape was born. George described the Mixtape as being “a compilation album of Durham’s original musicians and their talents, where it is not necessarily based on one culture but on multiple influences in one collective output.”
The overall goal of the Mixtape is to highlight that despite the Arts being knocked down and stretched by the consequences of the pandemic, it does not mean that artists persistence and creative output should go unnoticed.
The Mixtape features all self-produced and self-mastered original music, highlighting a spectrum of styles and genres. George comments that another goal with the Mixtape was to emphasise that “people still have a voice and regardless of whether it’s in cyberspace or together, that voice needs to be heard”.
One group that are headlining the album are the winners of DOMAN’s Michaelmas song-writing competition, first year South and Van Mildert students Sam White and Ed Osborne, who form the band Escher. Due to Covid, the two have faced the challenge of not been able to meet in person to create their music.
This meant the overall creation of the songs on the Mixtape were produced through sending files back and forth between each other. Discussing their creative output, the artists described their style as being ‘Art-Rock’ with a combination of sounds that listeners can hear on their debut album ‘Scary Earth’ as well as the tracks featuring on the Mixtape. They see the Mixtape as being “the next best thing from live performances when it comes to new people hearing their music” and as an exciting way to share their original songs with the wider community.
DOMAN have gone above and beyond to continue allowing original music to take a precedence in Durham and providing students with these incredible opportunities to let their voices be heard in the wider community.
The Mixtape is set to be released on Spotify on 10th December and on Apple Music a week later. As well as this, all of the songs on the Mixtape are excitingly going to be featured on a special episode of Purple Radio’s ‘Undiscovered Artists’ on Monday 14th December at 8pm so be sure to check it out and put that in your calendars!
Featured Image by George Bone