Diorama: a series of drum solos for one person at a time

“Not unlike a sex scene in a Milan Kundera novel…a totally weird experience.” – New Music Box

DIORAMA - promotional video

In Bobby Previte’s DIORAMA, each listener enters a small room and sits directly behind the drum set. Unaware of their identity, Previte plays an improvised piece for his solo audience member. The strange, heightened intimacy of the interaction and the site-specific venue create a concert of extremes and oppositions.

DIORAMA was presented in March 2010 as part of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Swing Space program on the 31st floor of a landmark Wall Street building, and in January 2012 at Chashama 266, an empty storefront in midtown Manhattan. The next presentation will be September 22, 2013 on a hilltop at Olana State Historic Site in Hudson, NY as part of Framing the Viewshed: Groundswell, a collaboration between The Olana Partnership and Wave Farm’s WGXC 90.7-FM.

“I have wanted to do a performance of drum solos for individual audience members ever since I was an artist-in-residence at SUNY Buffalo. A colleague, Benjamin Hudson, asked me to listen to Xenakis? Mikka S, a solo violin piece he was preparing to play the following evening at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. As Benjamin stood two feet away and played the piece in my cramped office, I was flabbergasted by the sound. I felt I could actually see the sound waves shooting through the body of the violin.

I wanted to experience that again, so the following evening I went to the concert hall, and was shocked; it was not the same piece. This was a revelation. I understood how my proximity to the instrument had made my experience of the work much more powerful and alive.

Diorama will allow the listener to hear the sound of the drums as I do; the sound that first captivated me at age 13, and still does today.”

— Bobby Previte

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article about DIORAMA on the DIORAMA tumblr blog where audience members can contribute.

Bobby Previte: Diorama 2013 at Framing the Viewshed: Groundswell is co-organized by The Olana Partnership and Wave Farm’s WGXC 90.7-FM, and is made possible, in part, with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts’ Electronic Media and Film Presentation Funds grant program, administered by the ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes; as well as individual contributors including David Kermani.

Bobby Previte: Diorama 2012 was made possible, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Major support of the Franklin Furnace Fund was provided in 2010-11 by the Lambent Foundation Fund of Tides Foundation and Jerome Foundation. Space provided by Chashama.

Bobby Previte: Diorama 2010 was made possible by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Swing Space program; space at 14 Wall Street is donated by Capstone Equities; and in part by public funds from the Manhattan Community Arts Fund supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and administered by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.

DIORAMA premiered in March 2010 at Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Swing Space on the 31st floor of 14 Wall Street in New York City. The landmark site was formerly the private residence of legendary financier J.P. Morgan, and most recently existed as a French bar and restaurant. DIORAMA 2012 was presented at Chashama 266, an empty storefront in midtown Manhattan. DIORAMA 2013 will be presented on a hilltop at Olana State Historic Site in Hudson, NY.