by Stephanie Manning
While living halfway across the country from each other due to the pandemic, vocalist Nina Dante and flutist Dalia Chin of the Dante + Chin Duo began sharing their dreams as a way to stay connected. “My dreams mean a lot to me — they feel like dialogues that our top-side self gets to have with our subconscious self, and I take them really seriously,” Dante said in a recent interview. That intersection of dreams and reality inspired Which of my forms, the Duo’s new work composed for the Cleveland Uncommon Sound Project’s 2021 Re:Sound Festival.
A few months into lockdown, Dante dreamed about a woman who could take two different forms — specifically, two creatures who were in a predator-prey relationship. Fascinated by how the story portrayed the dualities of the spirit, the pair chose to represent that concept through a cougar and a deer. First, Chin sent Dante an improvisatory recording that set up the “sonic world.” This six-minute track was released as a standalone work late last year, but a shortened version would later become the first of Which of my forms’ four movements.