CNSNC (Consonance) is a New Jersey-based collective of five composers (Zach Gulaboff Davis, Daniel Despins, Bobby Ge, Gu Wei, and Seo Yoon Kim) that was founded in 2019 with the goal of presenting and promoting contemporary music to new audiences.
Consonance’s mission is to connect with a new generation of listeners through interactive concerts and multimedia collaborations. We partner with innovative musicians and nontraditional venues, prizing musicality and communicability in our work. We eschew restrictive formalities and seek to engage communities in conversation, especially those not traditionally served.
We believe that classical music is alive. It was not meant to be enshrined as a museum artifact, nor caged in ivory towers, nor used as a measure of learnedness. Our shared hope is that by the end of each program, at least one audience member has the realization that they, too, can be a composer.
Zach Gulaboff Davis
Described as “beautiful, lyrical” and brimming with “unexpected harmonic shifts” (International Trumpet Guild), the music of Zach Gulaboff Davis centers on the core elements of musical narrative: Emotion, drama, and expression. Zach’s compositions have been performed across the globe at venues including Carnegie Hall, Columbia University, New York University, Bulgaria’s National Palace of Culture, Norway’s Arctic Cathedral, the national conferences of the International Trumpet Guild and North American Saxophone Alliance, and at schools of music and conservatories throughout the country. Gulaboff Davis’ works gave garnered nearly 20 national and international awards since he began compositional studies in 2013. Zach holds a B.A. in piano performance and composition/theory, summa cum laude, from Linfield College, Oregon, an M.M. in composition from the Mannes College of Music in New York City, and a D.M.A. in composition and M.M. in music theory at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, where he studied under Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Kevin Puts. In his spare time, Zach is active in American Kennel Club dog sports, where he travels the country as a licensed Dog Agility judge. Don’t ask him about the (countless) similarities between composing and designing Agility courses unless you have hours to spare!
Daniel Despins (b. 1994) seeks to capture the relentless endurance of the human spirit in each of his musical works, composing contemporary classical music flavored with many different styles, including jazz, folk, and traditional music. Daniel’s music has been performed in the Mid-Atlantic region and across the East Coast: Notable performances include the Peabody Institute Opera Etudes Program, the Tampa Bay Symphony, the Chesapeake Silver Cornet Brass Band, Christiana Winds, the University of Delaware Symphony Orchestra, and the Network for New Music Ensemble. In addition to composing, Daniel plays keys and sings in rock bands, and realizes his passion for the marching arts by writing shows and arrangements for bands of all shapes and sizes.
Bobby Ge is a Chinese-American composer and avid collaborator who seeks to create vivid emotional journeys that navigate boundaries between genre and medium. He has created multimedia projects with the Space Telescope Science Institute, painters collective Art10Baltimore, the Scattered Players Theater Company, and the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. Ge has received commissions and performances by groups including the Minnesota Orchestra, the New York Youth Symphony, the Albany Symphony’s ‘Dogs of Desire,’ the Harbin Symphony Orchestra, Music from Copland House, the Pacific Chamber Orchestra, the Bergamot Quartet, the Boss Street Brass Band, and Mind on Fire. He is currently pursuing his Ph.D at Princeton University as a Naumberg Fellow, and holds degrees from UCBerkeley and the Peabody Conservatory.
Gu Wei (b. 1991) is an award-winning Singaporean composer whose music has been described as having ‘warmth of real splendour…'. Having lived in China, the U.K., the U.S. and Germany, he draws his inspiration from various sources, notably from sounds of the natural world and from intersections between musical cultures. He has collaborated with various scientific and cultural institutions around the world, including the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC), Asian Arts Initiative (AAI), Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), and National Gallery Singapore.
His music has been performed by ensembles including the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Alarm Will Sound, Peabody Symphony Orchestra and Singapore Wind Symphony, among others. Gu Wei holds a Doctor in Musical Arts degree from the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University. His major teachers include Kevin Puts, Oscar Bettison, David Smooke, Rob Keeley and Zechariah Goh.
Seo Yoon Soyoona Kim
Seo Yoon Kim is a composer raised in Korea and Russia. Her favorite things are captivating stories, music in spoken words, and pre-dawn ceremonies in ancient Korean Buddhist temples. Her music was performed at the 30th Seoul Music Festival, International Festival of Children’s Musical Theatre at Novosibirsk, Longy’s Divergent Studio, and by the musicians including Density512 and Pique Collective. Seo Yoon was one of five composers selected in the Peabody Opera Études Project in 2019. The resulting opera Dear Father, both music and libretto written by Seo Yoon, received its premiere by the Peabody Opera Department. She is a composer fellow of Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy of Music, and the winner of a 2019 Student Commissioning Project of the American Guild of Organists.
Seo Yoon is passionate about bringing music to a broader world. She was a violinist at Peabody String Sinfonia and served as a Junior Bach composition instructor helping young composers realize their musical ideas. Seo Yoon is currently pursuing DMA in music composition at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University with Dr. Kevin Puts. Her previous composition mentors include Michael Hersch, Yevgeniy Sharlat, Byung-dong Paik, and Mikhail Bogdanov.