Issue 11: Concert Black

By David Dies

Concert Black is an new music trio based in Brooklyn, made up of Domenica Fossati (flute), Owen Weaver (percussion), and Lisa Dowling (bass). Their concerts involve improvisation, original music, and commissioned works, often layering loops and grooves. They have worked with composers Robert Honstein and Ravi Kittappa and their next commission is with Molly Herron.

How did your ensemble come together? And how did you come to the name, Concert Black?

Owen: The three of us were fellows at the 2010 Bang on a Can Summer institute…I told [Lisa] I thought it would be funny to start a band called Concert Black to kind of poke fun at and pay tribute to the classical music dress code of the same name…since we all grew up playing in that tradition…Sometimes people assume the name is somehow about race, but any classical musician could tell you otherwise.

Domenica: Owen and Lisa became a duo at the festival…I actually thought their name was "Constantly Black." Since I enjoyed playing with them, I asked if I could be the "constantly black" musician part of their group. (It's a little crude… but it's the truth!)

Lisa: I think what really solidified our friendship was the realization that we all have epic love for 90's hip hop. I remember walking down to MASSMoCA from the dorms one morning, blasting Tribe Called Quest's 'Hot Sex' in my headphones, feeling high on life, bumping into Owen and having an impromptu dance party at the front of the building.

In your own music, do you see a trajectory or an evolution to the kinds of pieces you create or to the way you put them together?

Owen: Writing our own music came in baby steps at first, I think. We built a song from an alternate bass tuning that Robert Honstein and Lisa worked on for the piece he had written us…

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