Helga Davis Debut Album
“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” —James Baldwin
Helga Davis’s music and interdisciplinary performances embark on a deeper understanding of community and humanity in today’s world by breaking traditional forms and boundaries, daring to ask the question that perhaps beyond fearing death, we fear each other.
Songs on her debut album will be inspired by her project Requiem for a Tuesday which is a ceremony, where those assembled are invited to overcome fear by seeing each other. In this ceremony, music opens a space for the assembled to witness and thus face collective and individual engagements of mortality and fear. In taking part in such an act, the assembled will, perchance, understand that these actions are universal and thus fear of the other is not necessary as there is, in fact, no other.
The album will feature songs by Ms. Davis, Shara Nova, and Lou Reed among others, with arrangements by both Nova and Paola Prestini for piano, drums, bass, harp, and Yuka Honda (synthesizers, electronic programming), Leo Abrahams (guitar), PUBLIQuartet String Quartet, and CJ Camerieri (trumpet).
Helga has her own podcast produced by Q2 and WQXR where she features probing conversations with creative and performing artists like Solange, Hilton Als, and Alan Gilbert who have a unique, uncompromising voice and a stake in the matter of social change. In support of the album release in spring 2019, Helga will tour nationally, and in each city she will host conversations with local artists as an extension of the podcast, engage local teenagers in conversation, as well as performing songs from debut album.
Collaborative presenters expressing interest for programming this concert and her conversation series: Mass MOCA, Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s The CUBE series, National Sawdust, UNC at Chapel Hill, Celebrate Brooklyn, BRIC, and UCLA.
Release will be on VIA Records, the non profit, in-house record label of National Sawdust.
“Helga Davis is an explosion of electricity. Every time I encounter her artistry I am confronted, inspired, and brought to a deeper sense of my humanity. I want to do everything in my power as producer and a co-songwriter, to see this great artist complete her debut album. Helga stands in a singular position in the cultural conversation and I want to hear and support what she has to say.” -Shara Nova
“As an actress, dancer and singer, she is an artist of the highest caliber. She has a great capacity to move us deeply by her interior concentration and intelligence and as a result her outward beauty is astonishing.”
– Bob Wilson
“Hold me like this” by Helga Davis. This is an excerpt from National Sawdust’s second season’s opening night in October 2016. Helga sings at 1:13
About the piece “REQUIEM FOR: A TUESDAY”:
Created by Helga Davis and Davóne Tines
Music composed by Helga Davis, Shara Nova, and Caroline Shaw
Choreography by Reggie “Regg-Roc” Gray
Helga Davis (vocals)
Marc Cary, piano
The D.R.E.A.M. Ring
This performance was part of Helga’s first curated series at National Sawdust, a weekend titled after the song “Favorite Things” which featured performances by some of Helga favorite dancers, video artists, and singers alike.
Start and End Dates
08/01/2018 — 12/01/2018
New York, New York