David Chavannes is a sensitive and eager collaborator with other artists. He is curious about the ways a work of art can embody the beliefs about ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class held by its creator. His most recent collaborations have consciously explored the politics of black (self)representation (with choreographer Meghan Abadoo), as well as the relationship between art and capitalism (with dancer-actor Sudesh Mantillake).
David’s formal, institutional musical training has been in the Euro-American classical tradition as a conductor, pianist, singer, flautist, recorder player, and harpsichordist. He has commissioned or premiered music by a broad range of composers, including Alex Temple, Haley Shaw, and Ian Boswell, and has taught classical music for three years at the collegiate level. David’s formative years outside music school, however, were spent immersed in the decades-old musical dialog between Jamaican and African-American cultures. He writes music that sits at the intersection of the European and African diasporic influences of his childhood.
David believes in the power of music to deepen and transcend the meaning of words, to provide a lens through which to engage with issues of identity. He makes music and conversation in College Park, Maryland, and continues to experiment with ways to deploy his talents in response to the oppression of marginalized groups of people in his community.