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Dawn of Midi

Mike Holober

Dawn of Midi is contrabassist Aakaash Israni, percussionist Qasim Naqvi, and pianist Amino Belyamani. Creating a bold face on the notion of idiosyncratic music, Dawn of Midi blends together the sentiments of many musical worlds. DoM’s sound-world is one of effortless juxtaposition; from the harmonic language of Debussy to the clammer and rattle of extended techniques evoking Cage’s piano preparations. In the global art music setting, one can sense a paradigm shift that veers towards an appreciation of timbre, color, and the silences that frame a musical offering. This new sensibility is immediately recognizable within DoM’s language. Dawn of Midi is creating a sound that connects with people who are unfamiliar with improvised music as well as highly adept listeners of more eclectic musical stylings.

Dawn of Midi released their debut Album First in March of 2010 (Accretions) to worldwide critical acclaim. Within six months of the album’s release, the group’s music was featured in Downbeat Magazine, Time Out New York, Point of Departure, New Music Box, The Chicago Reader Critic’s Choice List, The Wire (on the bi-annual compilation CD The Wire Tapper) and countless other print and online publications. By the end of the year, First began appearing on many year end lists: it was nominated by Peter Margasak and Kurt Gottschalk for “Best Debut of 2010” for the Village Voice jazz critics poll, named among the top 3 “Best Piano Albums of 2010” by, nominated for the Happy New Ears Award, and listed on ‘Best Records of 2010’ lists by WFMU, The Milk Factory, Destination Out, Spiritual Archives, Instant Jazz, a-musik and The Jazz Journalists Association. Dawn of Midi was named ‘Grupo Revelación’ in the 2010 El Intruso International Critic’s Poll. In their first year on tour, DoM performed concerts in New York, Tokyo, Osaka, Yokohama, Kyoto, California, Chicago, The Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Ohio, and the ISIM Festival at the University of Michigan. In 2011, Dawn of Midi has been invited to perform at Gasteig in Munich (home of the Munich Philharmonic), England, Australia, Portugal, and Austria.

Dawn of Midi has received commissioning grants from Chamber Music America, The New York Foundation for the Arts, The Brooklyn Arts Council and the online magazine Triple Canopy. The group’s through-composed multimedia concert piece Kashmir is a work exploring the acceleration of the recording and re-writing of history due to advances in mechanical memory, contextualized by the territorial conflict over the region of Kashmir, the piece will premier in multiple cities worldwide in 2011 and 2012. In preparation for the 2012 Copenhagen Lyd+Litteratur Festival, Dawn of Midi, in collaboration with German typographer and graphic designer Bernd Kuchenbeiser, is creating a performance consisting of a typographical-musical conversation centered on the text ‘In The Penal Colony’ by Franz Kafka.