Facing the music: DOMAN

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The first entry in our new series, ‘Facing the Music’, in which we introduce Durham University’s music societies, outlines what they have to offer.

The Durham Original Music & Associates Network (DOMAN) was founded in 2019 in response to members of Music Durham and the wider student community saying that they would like more avenues in which to be creative compositionally. In doing this, we also offered more “mainstream” musicians (e.g. guitarists, drummers, etc.) an opportunity to get involved with Music Durham. To accomplish this, between October 2019 and March 2020, we held a series of events including, but not limited to: networking sessions, jam sessions, and showcases (which functioned as gigs, except with a less formal attachment surrounding them). The idea was to create a friendly environment in which musicians could be creative without the pressure to sound professional. In that vein, set up their annual Link-Up Scheme, where current students are connected to Durham alumni of a similar musical background to bounce ideas off of and to share experiences with. In doing this, not only do we stay connected with Durham musicians of the past, but we help inspire current Durham students to be inspired in their creative processes. 

When COVID impacted our work in-person, like most societies we shifted to an entirely online model of promotion & networking. In September 2020 we started producing our Palatinate Award-nominated podcast series, The DOMAP: a show dedicated to documenting the roads and experiences of both current and former students. Featuring in a handful of these shows were our two Song Writing Competition winners, a competition which itself germinated in October 2020 in response to the COVID crisis. Upon being given a brief, and a timeframe to complete work, songwriters of all abilities showed off their many talents, and were all given constructive feedback from notable past Durham alumni. With a recent agreement reached between and the university’s radio channel (Purple Radio) to produce and promote the podcast more, students should expect more The DOMAP & Song Writing Competitions for the terms to come. Additionally, we held two noticeable online showcases: we produced an original music album entirely containing work from Durham students called the “Michaelmas Domix”; and raised money for the UK-based music charity Help Musicians in our Epiphany Term showcase “DOMAN HOME”. The former was referred to as a ‘gift’ by the Music Editor for the Palatinate in her review of it, and the latter raised upwards of £60 towards HelpMusicians Financial Hardship Funding Programme. 

With COVID restrictions (hopefully) behind us – we can look forward to providing more opportunities for student creatives, in addition to building on what we accomplished last year. ​​For students starting to find their creative footing: our in-person Networking Sessions & Open Mic Nights at The Food Pit (week 2 of each term) will give you ample opportunity to meet like-minded musicians. Our planned showcases at the end of each term will, subsequently, allow you to present your work in an informal manner, all while raising money for the popular Durham charity #TakeBackTheBailey. For those more established and wanting to test themselves, regular gigs at Fabio’s Bar, and contacts with both The Sage Gateshead and Sofar Sounds will help push you out of the Durham bubble, and take your music further than before!   

members, whether old or new, need not pay subs: anyone who wants to get involved can do as much – or as little – as they want!

If you would like to know more about as a whole, you can keep up with us on Facebook, Instagram, Anchor, YouTube and through our mailout via MailChimp. Alternatively, you can email us at originalmusicdurham@gmail.com

We cannot wait to hear from you!

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