By Kat Pittalis
From being in Durham for almost three years now, I have had the pleasure of being introduced and entertained by the outstanding, original-music scene. From attending live-music events before the pandemic restrictions to watching live-streams, it is very evident that Durham students have a lot of incredible original-music to showcase. I recently sat down with the president of Durham’s Original Music and Alumni Network (DOMAN), Taylor Morse, to discuss plans for the upcoming year. Taylor emphasised that the main goal for DOMAN is to provide both Durham students and alumni with opportunities to showcase their original music to the wider community and be able to network with other keen musicians and producers. Due to current, rocky climate with Covid-19 restrictions, DOMAN have been working hard to continue providing exciting opportunities for students to showcase their original music. This includes online events such as their brand-new podcast series and termly competitions.
What is excellent about DOMAN is their encouragement for students who have no prior experience in creating music to get involved. Taylor emphasises that the society “wants to help musicians build their platform from the ground up”, not only through creating original music but also by showcasing it to the wider community. She comments that DOMAN plans to hold recording masterclasses so that students have the opportunity to become well-versed with the software used in music production and be able to demonstrate their talents to a high-degree. She further states that “DOMAN is currently exploring options with the Open Mic Society and Poetry Society to bring more opportunities with lyric and melody creation and performance,” highlighting the determination and emphasis for students to take advantage of the opportunities DOMAN provides.
The recent podcast series from DOMAN, ‘DOMAP’, comes as a result of the team acknowledging how to create content through the lack of in-person collaboration. George Bone, the primary host of DOMAP, states that this “came out of a natural desire to steer students towards the sort of advice that those craved when starting uni.” The advice includes finding an individual sound in a university saturated by cover bands, how to go about establishing an original sound and changes an artist takes in order to establish oneself in the industry. The podcast clearly demonstrates DOMAN’s efficiency in continuing to provide incredible content during these difficult times, including pre-recorded Q’n’A sessions and conversations between the hosts and artists who are showcasing their talent around both County Durham and the UK. George Bone further comments that “on top of having virtual jams and showcases, DOMAN plans to use their more digitised platform this year to highlight not only the work of, but the advice given by the Durham student and alumni community.” As well as this, Taylor notes that one podcast to especially look out for is the big Christmas podcast. This exciting podcast will be held as a livestream, raising money for the society with students donating to have their original songs played and reviewed by the hosts.
DOMAN are also currently providing students with the exciting opportunity to showcase their original music through their Michaelmas competition. The song-writing competition includes artists producing a track set to the provided picture. There will be two winners crowned: the first will be voted by the public and invited to perform the winning song at the end of the term as the headliner in DOMAN’s recorded termly showcase, which will spotlight specific artists. The second is voted for by the DOMAN exec and will be invited to be a special guest on one of their podcasts. Taylor highlights that “the song competition has the capacity to garner virtual interest, and allows us to feature the artists later on in the year on our podcasts. It’s a very strong opportunity to test out anyone’s original music skills within a timeframe and explore the mind when reacting to inspiration.”
It’s safe to say that DOMAN are superbly adapting to providing content and opportunities to students despite the restrictions. Durham is an incredibly musical city, whether it be walking through the streets and listening to buskers or attending live-music events. DOMAN are keen to showcase this talent and allow students a bigger opportunity at establishing themselves in the music industry.
If you want to check out the latest DOMAN podcast then click on the link below: