DialogueSongs are the musical work of musician/composer/educator
Eric Haltmeier. The idea for DialogueSongs was initially
Don Proffit (Northeast Steward for the World Café) who, having already found ways of
incorporating visual/graphic arts as a means of documenting
important conversation processes, longed to incorporate music and
sounds into the processes of dialogue and deliberation (D&D).
Don approached Eric about becoming involved in the World Café
process, asking him to develop emergent original musical
compositions that would serve to reflectively represent the dialogue
that would take place throughout different workshop settings.
When creating DialogueSongs, Eric begins by
collecting sounds, musical ideas, and other audio material in
advance of a workshop that represent the ideals which will be
focused upon in workshop conversation. Prepared with only a
conceptual sketch in mind, Eric then becomes an active participant
in a workshop or conference, striving to collect musical source
material throughout the D&D process. These sound samples have
included audio clips of workshop participants stating important
points, ambient sounds during the workshop, and audio clips of
workshop facilitators. The sound samples are then treated as
'musical material' and begin to become a part of a new and original
musical composition. Eric also improvises music at various
stages of the D&D process in an attempt to capture and react to the
spirit and energy of a workshop in sound. The combination of
sounds collected in advance of and during a D&D workshop, together
with original accompanying music, are combined into a musical
composition that is performed by Eric in real-time at the close of a
workshop, allowing participants to reflect upon, revisit, and
connect deeply with the process in which they just participated.
Eric performs the new musical compositions using keyboards, woodwind
instruments, and computer software that allows the 'collected
sounds' to be 'triggered' in live performance. As such, the
people involved with the D&D process will actually become a living
part of the music itself. Eric has also created these
compositions in conjunction with graphic facilitators and video
artists who develop visual art that is connected to and inspired by
the music and vice versa.
No two DialogueSongs are ever be the same.
Just as every important conversation that takes place between groups
of people develops original ideas, creative thinking, and new
perspectives, each Dialogue Song hopes to uniquely reflect the
character, people, and ideas that become present in those
Dialogue Songs have been created/presented for organizations
National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD)
Young Audiences of New Jersey
Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School, Rockville, MD
"2008 NCDD Conference Concerto"
In 2008, Eric was invited to the National
Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation (NCDD) National Conference
in Austin, TX in order to create a "Dialogue Song" that served to
document the conference as a whole. Ambient sounds, spoken word
clips from conference attendees, and musical fragments were
collected digitally throughout the conference. These clips were
then set to a backdrop of other music and performed live using
saxophone, laptop, and MIDI controllers at the concluding session of
2 of Dialogue Songs...