RAKONTO: Melting Pot
A portrait of an immigrant neighborhood in New York City.
Daniel interviewed dozens of people including students, senior citizens, business owners, children in after-school programs, musicians, people at churches and social service organizations in one of the most ethnically diverse communities in the country, Flushing, Queens, New York City. The neighborhood is one of the best examples of the “melting pot” idea that is central to the American Dream – that people from all over the world come to the USA to make a new life for themselves and their families.
The recorded voices of these people – immigrants as well as people who had lived in the neighborhood for almost 90 years – were interwoven with music performed by a Daniel’s stellar ensemble in an imaginative musical ode to the community, creating an opportunity for their voices and stories to be heard in a new way.
This piece features incredibly talented NYC-based musicians who have impressive careers in their own right: Rez Abbasi – guitar, Yoon Sun Choi – vocals, Satoshi Takeishi – drums, David Ambrosio – bass. This piece also features the talents of Min Xiao-Fen on Chinese Pipa who has collaborated with Bjork, Randy Weston and John Zorn, among many others.
Commissioned by Flushing Town Hall, 2011