On May 22, 2019, Library Street Collective and The Detroit Sessions welcomed Jason REVOK, Roberto González-Monjas and Tunde Olaniran to a former church for an immersive experience titled SPECTRE, merging time-based projection with classical performance. Within the repurposed cathedral, REVOK’s buzzing Tape Loops enveloped the space as González-Monjas interpreted the complete cycle of Brahms violin sonatas in a concert that presented the power of space, optics, and sound.
With the generous support of Bluewater Technologies, the space stirred with original visuals by Jason REVOK as González-Monjas performed with pianist Ivan Moshchuk, wrapping the domes and columns in vibrating concentric lines. REVOK too uses abstraction to consider the enormity of the human condition without representational reference to the human figure itself. He works physically, and his studio practice is centered around the calculated - yet indeterminate - use of his manmade tools. In an unexpected connection between these two artists, it is interesting to consider the words of music critic Samuel González Casado who said of González-Monjas “he is in a great moment of artistic maturity that allows him to mold a brutal ‘physical’ part that also requires absolute devotion to transmit that urban and street paroxysm.”
Following González-Monjas' session was a captivating performance by multi-hyphenate (singer, songwriter, producer, rapper, choreographer, author and activist) Tunde Olaniran, backed by pianist Kaleb Waterman and choir (Talicia Campbell, Adrian Davis, Tiffany Marshall, Jamiliah Minter, Gully G. Que, Tamara Wallace, Jennifer Cole, Paris Mason, Tekhoyia Kirkland and Dequindre Williams). A restlessly creative talent, wit and humor interlaced with a broader social message is pretty much par for the course with Olaniran, whose music explores identity rather than adhering to strict, conventional ideas of it.
Founded by Ivan Moschuk, the Detroit Sessions is positioned at the intersection of art, space and technology, designing experiences with classical music. In the span of two years it has grown from concept into a fully functional nonprofit organization that has welcomed more than a dozen artists from around the world and collaborated with many of the leading arts organizations in the area. The collaboration between González-Monjas and REVOK continued with a second iteration - titled DREAM - at the Detroit Institute of Arts' Rivera Court.