VIGIL is dedicated to the memory of Breonna Taylor.
A work of art and a call to action, the world premiere of VIGIL pays tribute to Louisville native Breonna Taylor, the EMT and aspiring nurse who was shot and killed by police in her home, and whose tragic death has fueled an international outcry. Created by renowned opera singer and activist Davóne Tines in collaboration with Matthew Aucoin, Igée Dieudonné and Conor Hanick, this music film presents an exercise in empathy—a model for how to engage with the powerful emotions we feel because of injustice, and how to take action. Through Tines’ rich sonic and visual lyricism, VIGIL asks us to connect with, understand, and act upon all of our sensations, inside and out.
Artist Statement: Davóne Tines
1. About the video
The video begins with a prayer bell over a sea of “white noise“ that is interrupted by the song. Employing tools I use for getting into my body for performance and meditation, I made the video into something that I hope gives an opportunity for the audience to slow down — to take time — to get into your body — so that your mind can receive one thing: a simple statement outlining the deep tragedy and injustice of Breonna Taylor’s death. — But, receiving this statement is just the tip of the tip of the iceberg. There are so many ways that this work has to continue. There are so many people and organizations that are doing the work of change and they need our attention. They need our focus. They need our support in the form of time and money as we are able. We need you to move from a personal, emotional response to a communal, galvanized action. Because what’s the point of crying, if those tears don’t water the seeds of change.
2. About the song
This song came out of a spontaneous collaboration with dear friend-colleagues Igee Diedonné and Matthew Aucoin. It was originally created by me and Igee in an improv session. And very uncommonly, the song came out fully formed in one try. It blends our various sensibilities including gospel, contemporary classical, French impressionism, and experimental pop. I describe the feeling of the sound world as a Monet watercolor with some added soul. Matthew Aucoin made an arrangement of the song that added what I call a tiny bird, whose admonitions fly about that watercolor and, in an elegantly subtle way, focus the luminous spirit of the piece.
On October 3, 2020, Tines performed the world premiere of an orchestral arrangement of VIGIL by Matt Auccoin, commissioned for and performed with the Louisville Orchestra, live-streamed for a virtual audience.