En Masse is a participatory, large scale, outdoor performance event with newly commissioned music by UH Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts artist in residence Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR), directed by Marc Bamuthi Joseph in collaboration with Troy Bennefield (UH Cougar Marching Band.)
En Masse invites audience members to experience what it is like to be inside a "deconstructed parade," from a lone trumpeter perched on a rooftop to a processional of hundreds. With a throng of performers from the UH Cougar Marching Band spread around Discovery Green, visitors are invited to follow groups of band members on their path.
Visitors may stay for an hour or experience the entire musical marathon.
En Masse Studies & Etudes is a collection of 12, 5-minute works for 5 to 500 musicians. The music is a systematic, comprehensive look at contrapuntal music, with an emphasis on Haitian and African-American musical styles, namely kompa and soul music. Written on five staves of music, the musicians are encouraged to read from the score, freely determining tempo, dynamics and other musical parameters.
Conceived for marching bands or other large ensembles, En Masse Studies & Etudes is a companion piece to Roumain's Hip-Hop Studies & Etudes, and serves as a composer's response to Bach's seminal The Art of the Fugue.