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Witching Hour preview: Chromic Duo’s playful soundscapes

Augmented reality and toy pianos are just a few of the elements Chromic Duo uses to create intimate performances.

Chromic Duo is made up of Asian-American composers Dorothy Chan and Lucy Yao. The two artists are third-culture-kids and create sounds that describe the road to self-discovery. In their bio, the phrase “inspired by the small wonders of the everyday” encapsulates their inspiration for the music-making process.

In an interview with Little Village Magazine, Yao stated “A toy piano… might be something that you think is just for a kid to learn. But then when you start to look a little bit deeper, you notice that the toy piano actually has this beautiful character and all these different toy pianos are characters in themselves.” A sense of playfulness is at the heart of Chromic Duo’s pursuit to connect with those trying to find a sense of belonging.

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Chromic Duo is no stranger to new modes of storytelling and delightfully integrate sound and visuals in their 2020 YouTube video entitled “Chromic Nightbloom.” The piece demonstrates multidimensional art and music production. Live generated visuals of pastel skies move cautiously along with the melancholic plucking of piano strings. Then, the mood changes to a more lighthearted composition and transports you to a tranquil dimension. Chromic Duo’s ability to reimagine everyday musical instruments will have you smiling and reminiscing on childhood curiosity and creativity.

via YouTube

The musical duo will bring their soundscapes to the Englert Theatre’s annual Witching Hour festival. Chromic Duo performs at the James Theater in Iowa City on October 21st at 7:30 P.M.