“Through my compositions, I’m aiming to encourage the intersection of artistic communities, and eliminate the genre barriers within them”
Hannah Boissonneault of Detroit progressive-indie band Blank Slate debuted her debut collaborative single “Feels Like Honey” today.
“I’ve always been so amazed by my wonderful friends who are all musicians, visual artists, and visionaries,” she says. “I really wanted to start a new project that allowed me to collaborate with all of them while communicating my own compositions through vocals and bass guitar.”
Boissonneault is involved with a variety of music communities including progressive rock, metal, indie, folk, classical, and jazz.
“I used to think of these genres and communities as separate entities,” she says. “For a long time, I’ve been looking for a way to interconnect these communities and musical spaces in my compositions. I’m aiming to encourage the intersection of artistic communities, and eliminate the genre barriers within them”
Boissonneault worked with a varied ensemble for the instrumentals.
“I really couldn’t be more excited about the lineup for this single,” Boissonneault says. “I chose the instrumentation with every musician in mind, even though I hadn’t even asked them to be involved yet at that point in time! I’m so thankful and grateful to work with such an incredible group of musicians and friends.”
The list of talent includes flutist Jiwoon Choi, clarinetist Ally Szeles, violinist Amanda Beaune, violinist Daniela Diaz, violist Alexis Berry, cellist Josh DeVries, and drummer Nick Chard. All of the artists are students or recent graduates.
“Jiwoon is passionate about new music and large ensemble and chamber performance,” she tells us. “We met during my freshman year in a film scoring class and have been great friends ever since! She currently performs with the Ohio State Wind Symphony and Symphony Orchestra and is teaching and freelancing around the Columbus area. She has always been a wonderful aspect of the community at Michigan State, and often performed new works of composers during her time there.”
Szeles is a founding member of an inclusive new musical collective, The Achelois Collective and is currently pursuing a doctorate in clarinet performance at Michigan State University.
“She’s an advocate for new music, and can be found performing as a solo artist, in chamber ensembles, in improvisation groups, and as an ardent Eb clarinetist in all of the above,” Boissonneault says.
Beaune is also a student, working towards a Bachelor of Music in violin performance at Wayne State University.
“Amanda has an immense passion for chamber music and orchestral performance, and has a very unique musical voice,” Boissonneault says. “In addition to the University Symphony at Wayne State, she is a member of the Dearborn Symphony, Rochester Symphony, and Detroit Chamber Orchestras, as well as graduate student-led chamber orchestras within Wayne State.”
Diaz recently made her Carnegie Hall performance debut after receiving 1st prize in the chamber music category of the “2018 Golden Classical Music Awards” International Competition. She is currently a Graduate Assistant of Professors Dmitri Berlinsky and Yvonne Lam at MSU.
“Daniela has always been such a wonderful collaborator and leader in the composition community at Michigan State,” she continues. “Sometimes, it can be daunting to find performers when writing new music, and Daniela has always been so inviting, friendly, and willing to perform.”
Berry is an MSU alumni with a Bachelor of Music in viola performance.
“Alexis is involved in many musical avenues, including orchestral performance, commercial performance, and has performed as a pit musician on musicals such as The Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Secret Garden,” Boissonneault says. “This past summer, she completed an internship as a music librarian with the National Symphony Orchestra at The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. Alexis has been a wonderful person and musician to work with.”
Boissonneault met Josh through the Detroit Composers Project in late 2018. He is currently pursuing a PhD in Music Theory at University of Michigan, where he received his degree in cello performance.
“Josh is involved in many different artistic avenues,” Boissonneault tells us. “He is passionate about contemporary music, engraving, and publishing, and recently announced the upcoming launch of his new music publishing store, Just a Theory Press!”
Chard is another Michigan based artist who performs with a variety of music groups including Riddle Me That!, Friends, Composetheway, LVRS, and Macy Krew. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Music performance in Jazz Studies at Michigan State University.
“Nick is very passionate about community outreach, and participating in all genres of music,” Boissonneault says. “He is a wonderful drummer to perform and record with, and I really enjoyed working with him for this single.”
Boissonneault says that she would like her listeners to view this work as an attempt to blur the conventionality of assigning genre to music.
“As listeners, we tend to assign our own personal interpretation to the music we listen to,” she says.” “Music serves as an outlet to our experiences. I’m excited to hear about any interpretations and responses to the song.”
In the future, she plans on releasing a five song EP that will include a variety of different artists, instrumentations, and musical styles. She is also looking at the possibility of creating handmade merchandise to accompany the release.