REQUIEM FOR AMERICA
Requiem for America (a trilogy) exposes the genocidal founding of America across the 50 states (plus DC), in a series of 3 interlocking works. Each Requiem consists of 18 movements and opens with the same Movement #1, “The Doctrine of Discovery,” which authorized colonizers to subjugate Indigenous peoples. The 17 movements that follow focus on illuminating a specific genocide in each state, juxtaposing genocidal texts from America’s founding against historical letters from American Indians themselves. A narrator, in the persona of Earth, forms the connective tissue that contextualizes each movement, providing an integrated dramaturgical arc.
Once completed, the Requiem vision is to tour the trilogy to all 51 venues (50 states, plus DC). In addition to the Western singers and orchestra, each performance will feature indigenous singers recruited from local tribal communities. Inviting local Indigenous people into the collaboration is essential to the overall mission: To create cultural catharsis as we speak the truth of the genesis of our country’s “founding” for both Indigenous people and non-Indians. Requiem sings against the imposed invisibility and models the solution in performance. Through truth-singing, we can collectively lament the nation’s blood-soaked nativity.
Brent Michael Davids (Mohican/Munsee-Lenape) is an internationally celebrated composer, a music warrior for native equity and parity, and our most seasoned Indigenous composer. A citizen of the Stockbridge-Munsee Community, Davids is co-director of the Lenape Center in Manhattan. He created and co-founded Arizona’s renowned Native American Composer Apprentice Project (NACAP), with the Grand Canyon Music Festival, championing indigenous youth to compose written music. He designs instruments and pens performable notations that are themselves visual works of art. His composer career spans nearly five decades, with myriad awards and commissions. As an American Indian Music Specialist, Davids is in demand as composer, educator and consultant for film, television, universities and festivals. With myriad awards and commissions, the Venice Biennale Musica 2022 featured Davids on a concert he co-curated with a specially commissioned work. In 2015, Indian Summer Festival awarded Davids its “Lifetime Achievement Award.” Davids holds Bachelors and Masters degrees in Music Composition from Northern Illinois University (1981) and Arizona State University (1992) respectively, trained at Redford’s Sundance Institute, and apprenticed with film composer Stephen Warbeck (Shakespeare In Love). He has garnered the Distinguished Alumni Awards from both of the universities he attended, NIU (1996) and ASU (2004), and is repeatedly commissioned by the nation’s most celebrated ensembles, such as the National Symphony Orchestra, Kronos Quartet, Chanticleer, and the Joffrey Ballet.