Dan Deacon is a composer and electronic artist who resides in Baltimore, Maryland, just forty minutes outside our Nation’s capital. Living so close to such rich history, makes one wonder: How close to America do you feel? But with any country, there’s always the good, the bad, and the atrocities. In Deacons 2012 album titled America, he set out to create a body of work about his homeland and the ever pitch shifting ideologies of its inhabitants. After trying to put his thumb on the constantly moving focal point of what represents America, the album made it’s way to Justin Peck’s ears, inspiring him to choreograph The Times Are Racing.
The ballet which premiered last weekend and is the third collaboration between Justin and Humberto, interprets encounters between strangers on city streets, and the costumes—which inspired OC's Spring 2017 collection—channel serendipity and connection. And while Deacon’s music might’ve been the spark that ignited the fire, coincidentally human interaction is a big part of the musician’s live performances. Deacon likes to play at eye level, reaching out to fans with a mic, encouraging them to sing, making the trifecta a sense-awakening collaboration of rich artistic mediums. Below writer Alice Hines connects with Deacon in Baltimore where he opens up about what drove him to make the album.
What is it like to look back on this series today, considering our country’s current state?
Well, it’s odd timing considering the impending apocalypse who just got voted in. I was convinced in 2012 that I wanted the world to end. I was obsessed with the apocalypse and thought things were so bad that the earth should return to trees and bacteria and no longer be ours to desecrate. I don’t think that anymore. If humans were eradicated, so would the concepts of music and math and justice. The apocalypse could still be happening, but it’s preventable. A lot of people say,‘What did Occupy accomplish?’ I think that work was important, even though there’s still so much to do.