Mindful Music Moments

Imagine an entire school – students, teachers, and administrators – taking time each morning to turn inward together, and listen to a brief mindfulness prompt and world-class music.

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Sound Intersections

Sound Intersections is a collaborative musical commission, composed by Appalachian composer Nate May, for The Well's Mindful Music Moments program.

The commission began with a community sound session on February 11, 2023, with panelists Nate May, storyteller Omope Carter Daboiku, and interpreter and Shawnee Citizen Talon Silverhorn, and musicians Jay Bolotin, Mike Oberst, and Matthew McAllister.

This project uplifts the history and the intersection of historical Appalachian, African American, and Native American sound and music within the Ohio River Valley region, ultimately creating three compositions of new music for Mindful Music Moments, premiering in Fall 2023.

Photo of Nate May

Nate May

Photo of Omope Carter Daboiku

"Mama O" Omope Carter Daboiku

Photo of Talon Silverhorn

Talon Silverhorn

Sound Intersections Collaborator Bios

Nate May

Nate May is a composer, performer, and educator whose interest in human ecosystems has impelled explorations of a wide variety of sounds and interactions. Raised in Huntington, West Virginia, much of his work stems from a “fascination, love, and respect for the people” of Appalachia (Soapbox), including his oratorio State, the result of interviews he conducted with Appalachian migrants on a fellowship from the Berea Sound Archives, and “Licorice Parikrama,” a networked performance featuring a live conference call with West Virginians affected by the 2014 Elk River chemical spill.

Nate is an accomplished keyboardist and improviser as well as an electronic musician and producer, collaborating with Paris-based choreographer Wanjiru Kamuyu on the world-touring work Spiral and indigenous experimental trio Khoi Khonnexion on their debut album Kalahari Waits, recorded during a year in South Africa on a Reese Miller scholarship from the Telluride Association. Selected as one of three U.S. composers to participate in the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s 2017 National Composers Intensive, Nate has been a fellow at the Sō Percussion Institute, the Next festival, the Norfolk festival, and the highSCORE festival.

His chamber, choral, and orchestral music, characterized by textural intricacy, rhythmic drive, and repurposed sounds, has been performed by the International Contemporary Ensemble, Ensemble Dal Niente, Wild UP, the Yale Philharmonia, Patchwork Duo, Quartetto Indaco, and many others. Currently a doctoral candidate in composition at Yale, he holds degrees from Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music (M.M., Composition) and the University of Michigan (B.F.A., Jazz and Contemplative Studies), and has studied with Aaron Jay Kernis, David Lang, Christopher Theofanidis, Geri Allen, Stephen Rush, and Michael Fiday. He serves as a teaching artist with the American Composers Orchestra and on faculty at Montclair State University and at the Walden School, where he was awarded the 2018 Arno and Ruth Drucker Faculty Chair.
Learn more at: www.NateMayMusic.com

"Mama O" Omope Carter Daboiku

Known honorifically as Mama O, Omope Carter Daboiku is a 2012 migrant to the Miami Valley. Originally from Ironton, in southern Ohio, she identifies as an Appalachian of mixed ancestry. Trained as a cultural geographer, Mama O has 30 years of experience as an international performance artist, educator, and published writer. The founder of the local Dunbar Literary Circle, her storytelling is included in Dayton Metro Library’s new Dial-a-Story service, and she’s working with arts education ally, Muse Machine, to produce writing and theater resources for virtual learning.

Since COVID-19, her work on Dayton’s west-side has shifted from academic tutoring to restoring agriculture as an African American heritage craft, supporting access to healthy food, and inspiring cross-town civic engagement through science education and the arts.

Talon Silverhorn

Talon Silverhorn is a Citizen of The Eastern Shawnee Tribe and has been an interpreter since 2007. He grew up on the Shawnee Reservation in Oklahoma and participated in traditional aspects of his culture such as ceremonies, hunting traditions, and material arts. Up to this point, Talon has interpreted at historic sites and museums across the U.S. and Canada, with a focus on material culture and its connection to deeper cultural beliefs. He was the Keynote speaker for the 2022 National Association for Interpretation conference and has also been a featured speaker for several Archeological organizations such as the Pennsylvania Archeological Society and Experimental Archeological Association.

Native American Studies programs such as Wright State University, Ohio State University, West Virginia University, and the College of William and Mary have all utilized Talon for resources and educational programs. Talon Currently serves as the Cultural Programs Manager for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, overseeing American Indian historical content and interpretation in the States 75 parks, and is involved in developing a new Shawnee Cultural/interpretive Center in western Ohio.

Learn more on Talon's YouTube channel at: YouTube.com/@TalonSilverhorn8041


We're excited to have the following musicians contribute their stories and sounds of their instruments:

Photo of Jay Bolotin

Jay Bolotin

Photo of Mike Oberst

Mike Oberst

Photo of Matthew McAllister

Matthew McAllister

Musician Bios

Jay Bolotin

Jay Bolotin joins Sound Intersections to share the unique sounds of the saw. Jay is an acclaimed interdisciplinary artist who grew up on a farm in rural Kentucky and immersed himself in music and storytelling, and made sculptures from fallen trees. He is a Camp Washington resident.

Learn more on Jay's Instagram @BolotinJay

Mike Oberst

Mike Oberst joins Sound Intersections to share the unique sounds of the banjo. Mike is an American multi-instrumentalist, musician, artist, and songwriter based in Cincinnati, Ohio, who performs solo and as a member of the band, The Tillers, which he co-founded.

Learn more at www.MikeOberst.com

Matthew McAllister

Matthew McAllister joins Sound Intersections to share the unique sounds of the shekere. Matt, a native of St. Louis, is a professional drummer, percussionist, and composer in the Cincinnati area. He leads two of his own original music projects; Animal Mother, a garage jazz trio and Tough Friend, an experimental jazz octet. Besides performing and composing, Matthew also teaches at the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music (CCM), Xavier University, and MYCincinnati in Price Hill.


This commission was generously supported by these funders:

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Our programs have been nourishing the community since 2005. In 2019, we became the non-profit, A Mindful Moment.


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